Among classic car aficionados who have tens of millions to spend on their hobby, the Ferrari 250 GTO is often referred to as the “holy grail.” Only 36 were ever produced — all of which are still around — and it’s considered one of the most beautiful Ferrari designs in history, rivaled only by its unparalleled success on the racetrack.
At the Sotheby’s Monterey classic car auction at the end of August, one of these incredible machines is up for bid, and it’s likely to set a record for the most expensive car ever sold at auction.
The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti, chassis no. 3413 GT, was the third one ever built. It’s currently owned by Dr. Greg Whitten, chairman of Numerix and former chief software architect at Microsoft, and he’s owned it for about 20 years.
There’s a private club of owners, which adds to the mystique as well. First begun in 1982 by a group of French collectors, they gather every five years for a GTO anniversary driving and dining tour across the country. The only way to join this exclusive gathering is to own one of the Ferrari 250 GTOs.
The car, which still has its original engine, gearbox, and rear axle, began life as a Series I test car for the 1962 Targa Florio road race, and then won 9 of the 10 races it entered in 1962. In 20 races the car was never involved in an accident and never even failed to finish the race.
The value of the car is estimated at about $45 million, but there’s no telling how high the bidding will go. One Ferrari GTO went for $35 million in 2012, and the previous auction record was set in 2014, according to Bloomberg, when a 1963 version sold for $38.1 million. A similar 1963 GTO was sold in private for $70 million earlier this year.
Shelby Myers of Sotheby’s said in a statement, “This marks just the third time that a GTO has been offered for public sale in the new millennium. I can think of no better place than our flagship Monterey event, an auction that has borne witness to the record-smashing sale of some of the most important cars in history, for the presentation of such an exceptional example of Ferrari’s most successful racer and the world’s most sought-after collector car, full stop,”