The most expensive Ferrari ever sold at public auction is a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO / 330 LM that achieved the highest price of $51,705,000 at a special RM Sotheby’s sale in New York in November 2023.
The new record price for the most expensive Ferrari ever sold in a public auction increased to $51,705,000 paid for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO / 330 LM at the RM Sotheby’s New York 2023 sale. This is also the second-highest price ever paid for a car in a public auction. It raised the price of the most expensive Ferrari ever by over $3 million but the final result was well below the pre-sale estimate.
Most Expensive Ferrari Ever: 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO / 330 LM
As expected, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO / 330 LM offered for sale by RM Sotheby’s in New York on 13 November 2023 during Sotheby’s marquee sales of Modern and Contemporary Art, became the most expensive Ferrari ever sold at public auction. Bidding opened at $34 million and less than ten minutes later, the auction hammer came down at $47 million for a final premium-included price of $51,705,000.
$51.7 million is the highest price ever paid for a Ferrari in an open auction and the second-highest ever for a car after the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé that achieved $143 million in the RM Sotheby’s special auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart in 2022. However, the result was slightly disappointing as the presale estimate was “In excess of $60 million”.
The 1962 Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO, Chassis 3765, is not only the most expensive Ferrari marque car ever but also the most expensive Italian car ever sold. It became the 66th car to ever achieve over $10 million (nominal) at public auction, the 17th to sell for more than $20 million, and only the second to break the $50 million barrier.
1962 Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO, Chassis 3765
Only 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs were ever built, making them among the world’s most expensive and collectible cars. The most desirable are the 33 Series I models built in 1962 and 1963 — these very rarely are offered for sale, whether privately or at public auctions.
The 1962 Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO, chassis 3765, sold for the new record price in New York in 2023 has an interesting provenance. It is one of only two originally fitted with the 4.0-liter 330 LM engine and the only Series I GTO raced by the official Scuderia Ferrari factory team.
As a works entry, it achieved a class win and second overall finish at the 1962 Nürnburgring 1,000 KM race using the original 4.0-liter engine. A more powerful engine was fitted for its outing to Le Mans where it initially performed well — achieving a fourth-place starting position but retiring after six hours due to overheating.
Ferrari fitted a third engine when it returned the car to a more regular 250 GTO specification and sold it on to a privateer racer in Sicily. It was extensively raced in Italy before it was sold to the USA.
The 1962 Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO, chassis 3765, benefited from 38 years of fastidious care under the ownership of consignor, James Jaeger. This led to the claim that the sale was a once-in-a-generation opportunity.
In recent years, the 1962 Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO, chassis 3765, was
- Winner of an FCA Platinum Award and the Coppa Bella Macchina at the Cavallino Classic,
- 2nd in the GTO class at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, among 23 total GTOs,
- Best of Show at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance where a dozen GTOs were entered, and
- Blue Ribbon winner at the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance.
Most Expensive Ferrari 250 GTO Prices Ever at Public Auction
Only three Ferrari 250 GTOs were offered at public auction in the last decade and all took the title of the most expensive Ferrari ever at the time of sale. These three are also among the four most expensive cars ever. The only car sold for more at public auction was the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé that achieved $143 million in the RM Sotheby’s special auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart in 2022.
Reports frequently circulate of 250 GTOs selling privately for far more than the auction cars. Prices of $60 and $80 million are often hinted at but can of course not be verified. However, such high prices are plausible as none of the three GTOs sold at auction would be the first choice of buyers should all 33 Series I GTOs be available.
The previous record holder, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3413, sold at RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2018 for $48,405,000, was the third Ferrari 250 GTO ever built and one of only four cars upgraded in period by Scaglietti to the more aggressive and successful Series II GTO/64 coachwork.
The 1962-3 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3851, sold at Bonhams Quail Lodge 2014 for $38,115,000, was the 17th Ferrari 250 GTO produced and originally belonged to French privateer Jo Schlesser, who with Henri Oreiller as co-driver finished second in the 1962 Tour de France Automobile races series. After Oreiller crashed fatally at Mothlhery, the car was rebuilt and thus often termed a 1962-3 car.
More on the Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold
- The Most Expensive Cars of All Time – $10 Million Plus for a full listing of cars selling for more than $10 million at public auctions.
- Cars Sold for Over $20 Million – The Most-Expensive Cars Ever
- Cars Sold for $15 to $20 Million – Mostly Italian (but not only Ferraris) and a Brit
- Cars Sold for $12 to $15 Million – including the French record holders
- Cars Sold for $10 to $12 Million – a mixed bunch of great marques