It is a new world auction record (note that Bonhams is very careful to stress it is an “auction” record, not just a sale record): the Ferrari 250 GTO for sale at Quail Lodge, Carmel, almost made its higher estimate, and sold for $38,115,000 (£22,843,633). That, however, includes the Buyer’s Premium of 10% to Bonhams.
Forget the 1954 ex-Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196 R F1, also sold by Bonhams for $30m last year: this is the latest record.
Yet, cyberspace is awash with comments about what a ‘good buy’ the car was. There are always rumours about rare cars passing hands for $50m, but a private transaction of that value is unlikely to promote publicity from either party; this sale cannot be compared, and its absolute significance never proven. Of course finder’s fees could be equal to what Bonhams has charged.
Whilst Ferrari Berlinetta GTOs are indeed very rare, provenance and history add to the mystique. It looks like this one, 19th in production line, had a little less of both.
Other cars from the Maranello Rosso Collection (10 Ferraris) sold for a combined total of £39,522,440.
Complete details can be found at Bonhams.com/Quail.