A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta has become the most valuable car in history to be sold at auction after selling for $38,115,000 (£22,843,633) yesterday. It smashed the world auction record, which was set last year by a 1954 Mercedes W196R Formula One car, which sold for £19.6m. The sale at the Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction in California shows that there’s no sign of any cooling down in the classic car market, which has outperformed fine art and wine in the past decade.
Only 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs were made between 1962 and 1964 and only 28 were fitted with the 3-litre V12, as featured in the sale car, which was the 19th to roll out of the Maranello factory. It was first owned by Jo Schlesser, the French grand prix driver before being bought in 1965 by an Italian, the wealthy Fabrizio Violati, for 2.5m Lira (£24,000), who retained ownership for 49 years. Robert Brooks, chairman of Bonhams said: “We’ve always maintained that we would exceed the current world record and that the car would bring between $30-$40million, and today the GTO did just that.” Read how to turn a classic car into an investment here