1962 Ferrari GTO sells for world-record fee at auction

  • It was a single-lot auction at Sotheby’s RM
  • The classic racing car last changed hands in 1985
  • It was the most expensive Ferrari ever sold at auction.

Published on Nov 14, 2023 at 3:07 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on Nov 17, 2023 at 2:45 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Alessandro Renesis

1962 Ferrari GTO sells for world-record fee at auction

It’s not often that you see a 1962 Ferrari GTO at auction or at this price.

The stunning red racing car made history selling for $51.7 million, on November 13, 2023.


Despite falling short of its expected value, that makes it the most expensive car from the prancing-horse brand ever sold at auction.

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This car blew other high-price auctioned Ferraris out of the water.

Sold by Sotheby’s RM, the 1962 Ferrari 330 LM/250 GTO by Scaglietti had an unpublished estimate of $60 million.

While Sotheby’s RM refused to give information on buyers or bidders, those present offered some insight.

There were two bidders who drove the price to $47 million.

Auction-house fees were then added to the price.

Sotheby’s President of the Americas Mari-Claudia Jiménez, Sotheby’s Chairman described this car as the “Holy Grail of collector cars”.

This was seconded by Gord Duff, Global Head of auctions at RM Sotheby’s who said it’s “more than a classic; it’s a legend”.

“This is an unparalleled piece of automotive history,” he said.

“This is the one – the car that collectors can only dream of acquiring”.

It was promoted by Sotheby’s as a luxury object and as such, it was auctioned in a stand-alone sale during its marquee fall auctions of fine art at its New York Avenue headquarters.

Auctioneer, Oliver Barker — chairman of Sotheby’s Europe — presided.

To drive its status as a ‘luxury object’ home, it was parked in front of a painting by the contemporary artist, Jonas Wood.

The car being a rare find drove its price upward.

There are a mere 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs still in existence that were produced between 1962 and 1964.

Owning the coveted model allows one to join an exclusive club.

Fashion designer, Ralph Lauren and drummer for Pink Floyd, Nick Mason, are well-known members.

Described by the auction house as “one of one”, it is very similar to the 250 GTO.

It was originally configured as a 330 LM, an even more unique car with a slightly larger engine.

It was in 1962 that the car was converted into a 250 GTO.

The model is the only factory-owned Series I GTO ever raced by Scuderia Ferrari, the carmaker’s racing division.

It was honored with class win and second overall finish at the 1962 Nürburgring 1,000 KM.

It was also driven by Mike Parkes and Lorenzo Bandini for the Scuderia Ferrari at the1962 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Last, but not least, it was runner-up in the 1965 Sicilian Hillclimb Championship.

Other later accolades include Winner of an FCA Platinum Award and the Coppa Bella Macchina at the Cavallino Classic.

It came second in the GTO class at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, among 23 total GTOs.

It was Best of Show at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

And was awarded the Blue Ribbon winner at the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance.

The automobile brand later sold it to a Sicilian surgeon in 1964 for a sum of $6,000.

In addition, it passed through the hands of a chairman of the Ferrari Club of America.

As such, it benefits from 38 years of fastidious care under current ownership.

Its desirable documentation include copies of factory build sheets, owner’s correspondence, period racing coverage, and even magazine feature articles.

These make it a snapshot of automotive history.

And there are a lot of imitations and tributes to the classic car out there.

While reaching the top sale price for a Ferrari, Chassis number 3765 failed to come close to the current auction record for a classic car.

This was set by Sotheby’s RM last year.

A Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe sold for €135 million, or about $144 million today.

Rumors tell of a Ferrari 250 GTO being sold privately for more than $70 million in 2016 – but they remain unconfirmed.

However, despite falling short of the estimates, the $51.7 million reached is a huge profit on the (rough) $500,000 it sold for when it last changed hands in 1985.

That equates to around $1.4 million today, according to Gord Duff, RM Sotheby’s global head of auctions.

The seller has been confirmed by Sotheby’s RM to be Jim Jaeger.

The Ohio-based collector is a co-founder of a radar detection business.


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.