A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sports car sold for $51.7 million in New York according to Sotheby’s, making it the second most expensive car ever sold at auction.
The incredible red roadster had been owned by an American collector for the past 38 years, and its auction price was only eclipsed by that of a Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, which sold for 135 million euros in 2022, according to the auction house. At today’s exchange rate, that equates to $144 million.
The 250 GTO went on sale Monday evening after a few minutes of bidding in the auction room, although at a lesser price than the more than $60 million projected by RM Sotheby’s, the auction house’s luxury automobile affiliate. The successful bidder was not identified by Sotheby’s.
According to RM Sotheby’s, the legendary Scuderia sports car — chassis 3765, four-liter engine developing 390 horsepower — had finished second in a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) race on the German Nurburgring circuit in 1962, as well as in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the team had to withdraw due to engine failure.
The car was sold and shipped to the United States in the late 1960s after several years of competition on the Italian mainland and in Sicily. The 250 GTO was restored and modified multiple times before coming up in the hands of an Ohio “dedicated collector” in 1985, who sold it on Monday.
“This stunning GTO offers its next caretaker further touring and vintage racing enjoyment, or display at major concours d’elegance and marque gatherings worldwide,” Sotheby’s said.