Last Thursday, as part of the world-renowned Monterey Car Week, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for a world record $38 million. That was 8 million more than the previous record of $30 million, which was for a Mercedes W196 sold last year in England.
As offers skyrocketed from $11 to $31 million within the first minute of bidding, that $70 million price tag seemed attainable for a short while. However, enthusiasm seemed to fade after that and bidding began to progress at increments of $100,000 until the final price was settled.
Still, that minor disappointment does not take away from a historic day.
When asked about the final price, auctioneer Robert Brooks said, “It’s a world record! I mean the previous world record was $30 million, and we’re nearly 30% ahead of that. That’s a lot of money; that’s a big up.”
The sale also marked yet another notch up in the value of classic cars over recent years, with rich collectors gathering to snatch up any memorable vehicle in hopes that it will only continue to go up in value.
This particular Ferrari, of course, was one of the world’s most coveted cars. This was because it was a near perfect blend of power, style, and history.
Like many performance cars of the era, this ’62 GTO was a constant presence on the racetrack during its heyday. And believe it or not, it was raced, crashed, and rebuilt more than once over the years. Actually, one of the more memorable historic ties that the car carries was when it was purchased by Olympic gold-medal skier, Henri Oreiller, and then slammed into the side of a building, killing the athlete shortly after.
The two-seat coupe, with a 3.0 liter, 300 horsepower V-12 engine was the 19th of just 39 Ferrari GTOs ever made. Currently, other owners of the very rare car include Ralph Lauren, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, and Wal-Mart heir Rob Walton.
McKeel Hagerty, the founder and president of Hagerty Insurance, a company that insures and tracks the values of classic cars, says, “It was elegant on the street, and you could take it to the racetrack and really have a good chance of winning.” And for now, it is the highest selling vehicle of all-time.