Some lucky punter is expected to hand over a world record $45 million for a rare 1962 Ferrari when it goes under the hammer in a few weeks.

RM Sotheby’s reveals it has secured a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, regarded by many as the “Holy Grail” of collector cars — for what is set to be its most exciting Monterey auction to date.

The GTO was effectively the final edition of the marque’s famous 250 model, which debuted in 1953 and ended with the last GTOs built in 1964.

Just 36 examples of the car were produced, making it a rare beast indeed.

Widely considered the best looking design, the GTO was one of the most successful road and racing cars that the marque ever built, claiming victory or first in class in nearly 300 races across the globe.

Decades later the Ferrari 250 GTO has become the ultimate prize for collectors, thanks in part but to a group of French collectors who organised the first gathering of GTO owners back in 1982.

Staged once every five years, the meeting is celebrated with a leisurely drive across the country of their choosing.

The only entry ticket to this exclusive event is a GTO, making the car the hottest ticket in the collector car world.

“We are thrilled at the rare opportunity to offer a legendary Ferrari 250 GTO at auction,” RM Sotheby’s Car Specialist, Shelby Myers, said.

“Due to the evolution of technology and safety regulations that followed, the GTO was essentially the final true road racer, marking the end of an era when drivers really got their hands dirty.

“This was the last car that you could park in your garage, drive to the track, win the race, and then drive home.”

The Ferrari 250 GTO to be auctioned, chassis # 3413 GT, is the third of the 36 examples built and began life as a factory test car, driven by Phil Hill in the 1962 Targa Florio road race.

It was acquired by current owner in 2000, Dr. Greg Whitten, Chairman of Numerix, avid car enthusiast and former chief software architect at Microsoft.

Under Dr. Whitten’s ownership, the GTO has competed in vintage events around the world over the last two decades, as well as four of the lauded GTO anniversary tours.

Maintained in terrific, highly original condition, the GTO is expected to achieve in excess of $45 million in Monterey, which will make it the most valuable motor car ever offered at auction.

“This marks just the third time that a GTO has been offered for public sale in the new millennium,” Myers said.

“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.

“The fact that the GTO exists as it did in period, along with Dr. Whitten’s long-term, enthusiastic ownership, only adds to the car’s impeccable pedigree.”

Watch the 250 GTO on the track with current owner Dr. Greg Whitten behind the wheel: http://bit.ly/250GTO18.

RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale will be held August 24-25, during the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

 

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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