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This is (potentially) a $45m Ferrari 250 GTO

Another Ferrari 250 GTO is up for auction: the third of just 36 GTOs ever built

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Let us tell you a little story about a big car. This is a Ferrari 250 GTO. It was made in 1962 and is the third from a run of just 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs ever built.

Before it was sold to its first owner, Ferrari deployed a certain Phil Hill – 1961 Formula 1 world champion, no less – to use it as a test car ahead of the 1962 Targo Florio.

Later, it was sold to the car’s first owner, Mr Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi. This gentleman racer was apparently one of Ferrari’s “most favoured privateer customers”, and as such, he used his new GTO to contest ten races in 1962. He won nine of them, and came second in the one he didn’t win.

Those wins meant Mr Luadli-Gabardi won the 1962 Italian National GT championship. So enamoured was he by the 250 GTO, he got a second GTO in 1963, and sold this one – chassis no 3413 – to a racing driver called Gianni Bulgari. Yep, Bulgari of Bulgari jewellery.

Mr Bulgari, along with the next owner Corrado Ferlaino, campaigned the GTO in the 1963 and 1964 Targo Florio, winning in its class. We’re told that throughout 20 races in this period, it never once broke down, nor had an accident.

In fact, this particular example still wears its original engine, gearbox, rear axle and that Series II body (despite starting life as a Series I car). It then went through “an unbroken chain of ownership” – including the custody of a former chief software architect at Microsoft – which brings us neatly to today, and the latest chapter in this story.

Because today, RM Sotheby’s reckons it’s worth north of $45 million. That’s right, fourty-five big ones. It’ll be offered up for auction at its Monterey sale towards the end of August, where it might just become the most expensive car ever sold at auction, eclipsing the $38m paid for… a 250 GTO back in 2014.

“Due to the evolution of technology and safety regulations that followed,” explains RM Sotheby’s, the GTO was essentially the final true road racer, marking the end of an era when drivers really got their hands dirty.

“This was the last car that you could park in your garage, drive to the track, win the race, and then drive home.”

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