November 14, (THEWILL) – A bright red 250 GTO Ferrari roadster was auctioned off in New York for $51.7 million, according to Sotheby’s, making it the second most expensive car ever sold at auction. The sports car had been owned by an American collector for 38 years before being sold to an unnamed bidder.
Only one car has sold for more – a Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe that went for €135 million in 2022. That would equal $144 million at today’s exchange rate. The 250 GTO was expected to fetch over $60 million but ended up selling after a few minutes of bidding for a lower price.
The 1962 legendary Italian sports car with its four-litre 390 horsepower engine had finished second in a 1,000-kilometre race at the German Nurburgring circuit. It also competed at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans but had to withdraw due to engine failure. After years of racing in Italy and Sicily, the Ferrari was exported to the US in the late 1960s.
Restored and modified over the years, the 250 GTO changed hands between American owners before being purchased in 1985 by a collector in Ohio who held onto it until this week’s record-breaking sale. Sotheby’s said the car “offers its next caretaker further touring and vintage racing enjoyment”.
The Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe that broke records earlier this year was one of just two examples built and was sold privately to a museum in Germany. According to Sotheby’s, it remains the most expensive car ever sold either at auction or in a private sale.