The Ferrari 250 GTO is widely regarded as the most desirable collector car, regularly commanding the highest prices for any cars sold. With only 36 ever built, rarely we get a chance to see one of them change hands. This year, however, not one but two of these insanely precious pieces of automotive history were sold, breaking all previous sale records. In June, German race car driver Christian Glaesel sold his 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 4153, for somewhere between $70 million and $80 million in a private sale to WeatherTech floor mats founder David MacNeil. And now, renowned car collector Greg Whitten’s fabled 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO has smashed the previous record for the most expensive car ever sold at an auction by selling for $48.4 million.
Sold at the RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, California, on last Saturday, this particular Ferrari with chassis 3413 GT was the third GTO built out of 36 total, and might be the most successful GTO in competitive racing ever. It won nine races in 1962 alone under ownership of renowned Ferrari collector Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi, and ended up winning its class at the 1963 and ’64 Targa Florio and overall at countless hillclimb events. Greg Whitten, an early Microsoft employee, bought the car in 2000 and participated in many vintage racing series and four prestigious GTO anniversary tours. The star at the RM/Sotheby’s auctions fetched a hammer price of $44 million in just 12 minutes of spirited bidding; the winning bid placed via an agent on behalf of an anonymous buyer. With the buyer’s premium, the total price comes to $48.4 million, which betters the old auction record, which was for a 1963 250 GTO sold for $38.1 million four years ago. However, it’s interesting that some experts had predicted a sale price of $60 million. Despite missing estimate, Dr. Whitten was happy with the sale. “My journey with the 250 GTO has come to an end, but I am excited to see how this fantastic car is enjoyed by the new owner,” Dr. Whitten told Auto Classics. “They will have seen the seemingly unbelievable list of superlatives that are used to describe it—legendary, historic, holy grail—but I can assure them that once they get behind the wheel, they will understand that every one of them is true.”