Vijay Pattni30 January 2014

Ferrari 250 TR sells for £24m

It’s the most expensive car ever sold in Britain: ex Phil Hill racer fetches record amount

Here's an opportunity to gloss over the nightmares you've no doubt been having about those 2014 Formula One nosecones and their assorted ‘appendages'*. It's a chance to look at a very pretty Ferrari that's just sold for a record £24 million. Ching, and indeed, ching.

It's 1961 Formula One world champion Phil Hill's old racer; the car he raced along with Peter Collins to win the 1958 12hrs of Sebring, and therefore comes with proper racing pedigree.

It's also ruinously, sucker-punch, crazy expensive, topping the £20.2 million paid in 2012 for a Ferrari 250 GTO. It's the most expensive ever car sold in Britain, no less.

Derbyshire dealer Tom Hartley Jnr bought the car from a businessman named Eric Heerema, and sold it on to an anonymous buyer, achieving that eye-watering price tag thanks to its ‘unmolested', totally original condition. Underneath sits a 3.0-litre V12 engine with 300bhp - the same as an Opel Astra OPC Cup car, if you want a surprising comparison - that's good for a 0-60mph sprint of around six seconds and top speed of 167mph.

In fact, its so good, noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini describes this exact model - chassis 0704 - to be one of the top five Ferraris on the planet. "It is so valuable because it is totally unmolested and not restored, genuine and very original. It also comes with a fantastic history which is most important."

Ah yes, history. This 250 TR raced at the 1957 Le Mans race, running as high as 2nd place but failed to finish. Under Hill and Collins's stewardship the following year however, the car picked up two wins - the 1,000km Buenos Aires and 12hrs of Sebring - to help the factory cars win four of the six races to secure Ferrari's third consecutive World Sportscar Championship constructor's title.

It was then sold to an American customer who drove it to 16 race victories across the pond, before it was donated to the Ford Dearborn Museum in 1967, where it stayed for 30 years.

"I believe the Ferrari market will continue to go up as more and more wealthy people need to reinvest their cash, but there are not many top quality cars available" says Massini. Where will it end?

*shudders

Pics via SWNS.com

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