1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Sells for Record-Breaking $48.4 Million at Monterey Auction

Even then, the famous Ferrari didn't meet its minimum price estimate.

Patrick Ernzen ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's—©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold at auction for $48.4 million on Saturday night, successfully breaking the world record for the most expensive car ever to be sold at auction.

The pristine Prancing Horse sold at the RM Sotheby's auction in Monterey, California, where its bidding started at a hefty $35 million. As this video shows, bids climbed incrementally during the seven-minute-long bidding extravaganza, eventually reaching a hammer price of $44 million—just slightly short of its $45-million estimate. An additional 10 percent commission was added on top of the winning bid, netting an out-the-door price of $4,405,000.

RM Sotheby's

This particular 250 GTO is chassis number 3413 GT and it was the third vehicle built by Ferrari. It was driven in the 1962 Targa Florio by reigning Formula 1 world champion Phil Hill, and in the hands of Gianni Bulgari the following two years. This particular car was last sold in 2000 to Dr. Greg Whitten, a software lead at Microsoft during the company's ascent. Whitten raced it on multiple occasions.

"My journey with the 250 GTO has come to an end, but I am excited to see how this fantastic car is enjoyed by the new owner," Dr. Whitten told Auto Classics. "They will have seen the seemingly unbelievable list of superlatives that are used to describe it—legendary, historic, holy grail—but I can assure them that once they get behind the wheel, they will understand that every one of them is true."

RM Sotheby's.

"This marks just the third time that a GTO has been offered for public sale in the new millennium," said car specialist for RM Sotheby's Shelby Myers.

Another 250 GTO was sold privately earlier this year for an alleged $80 million to the CEO of Weathertech. It's believed that the 250 GTO—the most valuable model of car in the world by far—may cross the $100 million threshold within the next few decades. We can only wait to find out if that'll be true.