A red 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta, which is said to be one of only a handful, has recently been sold for $38.1 million in California, becoming the most expensive car ever sold.
The car, with the chassis number 3851 GT, belonged to the Maranello Rosso Collection. It was auctioned at Monterey Car Week near San Francisco. The auctioneers did not name the new buyer.
The Ferrari sold has a checkered past. Its first owner was a French racer Jo Schlesser who drove the car in competition with his friend, the Olympian Alpine ski racer Henri Oreiller during the 1962 Tour de France Automobile.
The second time the friends took the car out was during the Coupes du Salon race, where Oreiller crashed it and was killed.
Bonhams said that the car was badly damaged after hitting a trackside building and a mourning Jo Schlesser returned it to the factory for repair to as-new condition and subsequent resale.
The car was then purchased by Paolo Colombo from Italy the following year for competition, and was later sold to Ernesto Prinoth, who used it to embark upon an energetic programme of mixed hill climbing and circuit racing.
In 1965, Italian enthusiast Fabrizio Violati bought the car and kept it until his death in 2010. Since then it has been retained by the Maranello Rosso Collezione.
It’s the most expensive car to be sold ever, according to Bonhams. The previous record was held by a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 model that was sold in Britain last year for $30 million.
Among the celebrities who own a Ferrari 250 GTO are the designer Ralph Lauren, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and the heir to the Wal-Mart supermarket chain, Rob Walton, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2014.
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