Ferrari 250 GTO Hits $38 Million As Bonhams Bests Its Own Record

Photo: Peter Gadsby

“Little GTO, you’re really lookin’ fine…

C’mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO.”

—Ronnie & The Daytonas

CARMEL, CALIF. — That iconic song may have been penned about a Pontiac GTO but it seems equally apropos for the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta that just broke previous car auction records when it attained $38,115,000 at Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction on Thursday, August 14 — and certainly the biggest buzz during Monterey Car Week.

Surpassing the current record of the most valuable car sold at auction, which was also set by Bonhams with the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 R F1 Racer that sold for $30 million at Bonhams’ Goodwood Festival of Speed Auction last year, the Ferrari GTO had drawn intense presale interest.

Bidders from around the world were in attendance in the audience and on the telephones. The auction pavilion was filled to total capacity with overflow on the lawns watching the action. After the start of a passionate bidding war that at times resembled a tennis match, complete with moments of silence in-terrupted by cheers, the audience erupted in applause when the fall of the gavel confirmed the final price.

Says Robert Brooks, Chairman of Bonhams, “It’s been a genuine privilege to represent this outstanding car and we are absolutely delighted with today’s results. We’ve always maintained that we would exceed the current world record and that the car would bring between $30-$40-million and today the GTO did just that.”

Other cars from the Maranello Rosso Collection of ten important Ferraris also performed well for a combined total of $65,945,000.

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