ONCE AGAIN the Ferrari 250 GTO underlines its title as “the world’s most expensive car”, with US businessman David MacNeil recently handing over nearly AUD$92 million for serial number 4153GT.
MacNeil's deal currently bookends a string of highdollar 250 GTO sales taking place over the past five years.
In 2013, Chassis 5111GT formerly owned by Stirling Moss sold for around AUD$55 million in a private sale and was – at the time – the single most expensive car ever sold.
During the following year’s Monterey Car Week, Bonhams brought down the hammer for another 250 GTO for around AUD$50 million.
Furthermore, in late 2016, UK-based Ferrari broker Talacrest offered the second Ferrari GTO ever made (serial number 3387GT) for a whopping AUD$75 million.
The Ferrari 250 GTO’s stratospheric rise in price is caused by a perfect storm in the collector world. Just 39 were made, so they’re an extremely rare bit of kit, with each having historic motor racing provenance. They also rarely change hands, and consequently, when one does come up for sale – bidding wars often ensue from multiple interested parties, pushing the selling price ever higher.
MacNeil’s new purchase rolled off of the production line on June 2, 1963, finished in silver with a horizontal yellow bonnet stripe (more recently the car has been seen bearing a vertical tricolore stripe).
The car boasts various motorsport appearances, beginning with the 1963 Le Mans 24-Hour, where it finished fourth overall and second in the GT3 class. It was steered by its first owner, Pierre Dumay, and has been owned by numerous European racing drivers since.
The car has also raced in the 500km of Spa, the 1000km Nurburgring, and various Tour de France rallies (winning the event in 1964).
Its last major outing was at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it has won Best in Class at numerous Concours d’Elegance events.
Ferrari historian Marcel Massini has confirmed the sale, and believes that within the next five years, the world will see a 250 GTO sale break the $100 million barrier.
With the stunning rate of increase seen recently, indeed it does seem to be more a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’.