The Most Expensive Car Ever Sold at Auction Is This 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO For Almost $50 Million But Its Not the Most Expensive Ferrari Ever, Not Even Close Actually.

I feel like every time we update our most expensive Ferraris ever list a week or two passes and it is time to update it again. This past weekend was one of those weekends with the sale of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (chassis 3413 GT) during the 2018 RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction, held August 26th.

Everybody knows that Ferrari GTOs are considered the biggest trophies in the car-collecting world for their rarity, power, beauty and success on the race track. A 1962-63 GTO then sold at auction in California in 2014 for $38 million, but that was eclipsed this weekend with this sale making chassis 3413 GT the most valuable car ever sold at auction. 

It probably the coolest auction ever with five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell stepping out of the car after driving it across the auction block in front of an a huge crowd. Bidding opened at (gulp) $35 million. Three collectors (over the phone) went back and forth for almost ten minutes until sold for $48,405,000 (with fees).  The Ferrari 250 GTO was offered with its original engine, gearbox, rear axle and factory Series II body after two decades in the collection of Gregory Whitten. This car was unique in that the GTO began its life as a Series I and was used as a test car by Phil Hill for the 1962 Targa Florio road race, before proceeding to win 1st in class at the event for the next two years. This led the car to claim the 1962 Italian National GT Championship, with victories in 9 out of 10 races. It is the third of a mere 36 examples built. That kind of racing pedigree is what drives prices for GTOs.

This astronomical auction price however was still not enough for this car to crack the top of the most expensive Ferraris ever list because when you take into account private sales, there are two more notable prices paid for Ferraris. Just this year (2018) the record was broken when a $70 million GTO was sold to David MacNeil (founder of WeatherTech). That car (one of only 36 that were made) won the 1964 famed Tour de France race and came in fourth at Le Mans. It’s painted in silver and yellow and despite a winning record on the track was never crashed, unlike many other GTOs. Previously the highest price for a car was $52 million, paid for a 1963 Ferrari GTO in 2013, also a private sale. 

All photos from RM Sotheby’s