When 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO #3413GT rolls across the auction block this August in Monterey, California, it could well end up being the most expensive car ever to have sold at public auction. That’s what RM Sotheby’s, the consigning auction house, predicts, anyway, calling the car “the most valuable motor car ever offered for public sale.” The car is reportedly estimated to bring $45 million (and possibly a whole lot more) after all the bids are in.
Ferrari 250 GTO #3413GT is one of the more storied of its breed to come up for sale. We recently took a look at the private sale of #4153GT for $70 million, along with other GTO sales from the last decade to show these cars’ growing value and how important provenance is in the final sales price of any GTO. The car offered by RM Sotheby’s is an early Series 1 GTO, the third one produced of 36 250 GTOs (and just three more 330 GTOs). Originally a test car at Ferrari, it was entered in the 1962 Targa Florio Italian open-road race with American Formula 1 World Champion Phil Hill at the wheel. Subsequently, the car was sold to privateer driver Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi who would campaign the car in 10 races that same year, winning all but one where he finished second in class. The successes easily won Lualdi-Gabardi the Italian National GT Championship in ’62.
In 1963, no doubt helped by his racing success, Lualdi-Gabardi secured a brand new 250 GTO in 1963, selling #3413 to new owner, Gianni Bulgari of Bulgari jewelry company fame. Bulgari and the next owner took the #3413 to class wins at both the 1963 and ’64 Targa Florio races. In total, the car entered 20 races in its competition hey-day and not only did it finish every race, the car was miraculously never crashed. In 1964, sometime subsequent to its Targa Florio win, the GTO was rebodied with sleeker Series 2 coachwork by the factory at Scaglietti. Today, the car retains that bodywork, along with its original engine, gearbox and rear axle.
Since its racing days, the GTO has been owned by a chain of enthusiasts, and has participated in many of the exclusive GTO reunions held every five years at venues throughout the world. Will this GTO shatter all expectations in Monterey and exceed its $45 million estimate? We’ll be there to tell you.
The RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction will take place August 24 and 25 at the Monterey Conference Center at the Portola Hotel and Spa.