Ex-Factory 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Headed to Auction, Could Be Most Expensive Ferrari Ever

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In a highly anticipated auction scheduled for November 2023, RM Sotheby’s is set to unveil a rare gem: a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. This exquisite piece of automotive history, meticulously documented with an enthralling past, is poised to make waves as it is expected to claim the title of the most expensive Ferrari model ever auctioned.

Dubbed as “the holy grail of the sports car pantheon,” this particular 250 GTO bears the chassis number 3765 and boasts a mesmerizing Rosso Cina finish. What makes this specimen especially remarkable is that it’s one of only three Works examples, powered by the distinctive 4.0-liter V12 engine developed by Ferrari to comply with emerging racing regulations. This engine, bearing the designation 42 SA, featured a dry-sump lubrication system, specialized carburetors, and revised camshafts. Chassis number 3765 embarked on its competitive journey at the 1962 Nürburgring 1,000 Kilometers race, where it claimed first place in its class and an impressive second place overall.

Ferrari’s ambitions then led to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same year. To prepare for this demanding race, the car underwent significant modifications, including the installation of a new engine with six carburetors, producing around 390 horsepower. Structural changes to the front end were made to accommodate the new engine, addressing the “minor damage” incurred during the vehicle’s maiden race. However, during the race itself, an incident led to the 250 GTO getting stuck in a sand bank, requiring a laborious 30-minute effort to extract it and make necessary repairs. Despite its challenges, the car soldiered on, eventually succumbing to overheating and retiring after 56 laps.

In 1962, chassis number 3765 found a new home with a private buyer in Italy, marking the start of a journey that included receiving a third engine, a 3.0-liter V12, in November of that year—a remarkable piece of history that still resides within the car today. Over the years, the car participated in various smaller events and changed hands amongst multiple owners in both Italy and the United States. Ultimately, in August 1974, it landed under the ownership of Fred Leydorf, the manager of AMC’s engine design team and the chairman of the Ferrari Club of America. Finally, in April 1985, the car was acquired by its current owner, a passionate collector based in Ohio.

The upcoming sale of chassis number 3765 is made even more intriguing by the inclusion of several factory documents that meticulously detail the car’s early history, which encompasses the engine swaps it underwent. This historic event is set to unfold on November 13, 2023, in New York City at 5:30 p.m. local time, corresponding to 2:30 p.m. in California and 11:30 p.m. in Paris. While RM Sotheby’s has refrained from publishing a pre-auction estimate, it’s expected that this 250 GTO may very well become the most valuable one ever sold, aiming to surpass the previous record set by a 1963 model that fetched an astounding $70 million in June 2018. Nevertheless, it needs to exceed this figure by more than twice to claim the title of the world’s most expensive car, as evidenced by the jaw-dropping $143 million achieved by a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut Coupé” at an RM Sotheby’s auction in May 2022. The auction of this iconic Ferrari 250 GTO promises to be a momentous occasion for automotive enthusiasts and collectors alike, with the potential to set a new benchmark in the world of classic cars.


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