Ferrari only built 39 of these racers, and they have been million-dollar cars for years. One reportedly sold privately for $52 million last year, and one built for Stirling Moss went for $35 million privately in 2012.
While the spectacle of seeing a 250 GTO drive across the auction block with no reserve and then set a record price was certainly amazing, it wasn't the only rare Ferrari up for sale during the evening. Bonhams also handpicked some of the most collectible Ferraris in the world and brought them to the stage. The ten cars included a 1962 250 GT Short-Wheelbase Speciale Aerodinamica that went for $6.875 million, a 1953 250 Mille Miglia Berlinetta driven to racing victory by Phil Hill for $7.26 million and even a 1978 312 T3 Formula One car for $2.31 million. All told, the group of them sold for $65.945 million.
Scroll down to read Bonhams' press release about the auction, and check our gallery to view these very valuable Ferraris.
A New World Auction Record At Bonhams Quail Lodge Sale
The Maranello Rosso Collection of Ten realizes a combined total of $65,945,000 (£39,522,440)
14 Aug 2014, Quail Lodge Auction
The Ex-Jo Schlesser/Henri Oreiller, Paolo Colombo, Ernesto Prinoth, Fabrizio Violati
1962-63 FERRARI 250 GTO BERLINETTA
Chassis no. 3851GT
Engine no. 3851GT
Carmel, California – Thursday, 14 August 2014 – The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta has become the most valuable car in history to be sold at auction when it realized $38,115,000 (£22,843,633 or €28,528,626) moments ago at Bonhams' Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California.
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 been the subject of intense international 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 happenings live on the numerous television screens. After the start of a passionate bidding war that at times resembled a tennis match, complete with moments of silence interrupted 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."
Demonstrating the confidence in the collector car market and the strength of the Ferrari brand, today's new world record also reaffirms Bonhams' position as one of the world's leading auctioneers of rare and important motorcars.
Other cars from the very special Maranello Rosso Collection of ten important Ferraris also sold extremely well for a combined total $65,945,000 (£39,522,440 or €49,359,559).
Tomorrow promises to be another extraordinary day as Bonhams hosts the second day of its two-day auction at Quail Lodge. Another 107 exquisite automobiles of numerous British, European and American makes and models and every vintage will cross the auction block starting at 11:00am local time. Complete details can be found atBonhams.com/Quail.