The 250 GTO has been arguably the most desirable of all Ferraris almost since its inception. Just how desirable was quantified this weekend at the annual Bonhams Quail Lodge auction, held in conjunction with the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
The 19th of the 39 GTOs built, chassis number 3851, which was originally owned and raced in the 1962 Tour de France by Formula One driver Jo Schlesser, became the most expensive car ever sold at public auction when it was hammered sold for $38.115- million (US) ($34.65 million plus premiums).
Rumours persist that another GTO was sold recently for $52-million in a private sale, but none has crossed the auction block for several years.
The previous auction record holder was an ex-Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196, which sold for $30-million at Bonhams' Goodwood auction in England in July 2013. The highest previous auction price for a Ferrari was $27.5-million at RM’s Monterey auction at Pebble Beach just a year ago.
" We've always maintained that we would exceed the current world record and that the car would bring between $30-$40-million and today the GTO did just that," said Bonhams chairman, Robert Brooks.
The GTO was one of ten Ferraris from the Maranello Rosso collection of the late Fabrizio Violati that were sold by Bonhams, collectively bringing in more than $65,945,000 (US). Violati had owned the car from 1965 until his death in 2010.