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Here comes a 60-million Holy Grail

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It’s time for another stunt. On November 13th, in New York, RM Sotheby’s will offer for sale this 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. The estimate ranges between 60 and 80 million dollars (55 – 73.5 million euros).

It’s time to stunt once more for RM Sotheby’s, after the 142-million-dollar (135M euros) sale of the ‘Uhlenhaut’ Mercedes 300 SLR. That became the most expensive car ever sold on auction in 2022. It looks like RM Sotheby’s might be trying to claim the same title for this Ferrari 250 GTO. In 2018, RM hammered a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for 44 million dollars (40 million euros), a world record at the time.

Photo RM Sotheby’s

What’s a 4-litre GTO?

From the look of things, 60 million might even be considered low for this specific GTO. This one is chassis #3765 LM, built in 1962 as a 4-litre GTO. Total GTO production hovers between 36 and 39 cars. Of these, just three were 4-litre GTOs, and some say just one or two of these were ever built.

Photo RM Sotheby’s

Whatever, the 4-litre GTO – designated as 330 LM / 250 GTO – got its engine from the 330 LM race car and was fitted in a 250 GT body. It got a bugger bulge on the bonnet to create more room for the engine and air intakes. The bigger capacity – a ‘regular’ 250 GTO is a 3-litre V12 – made Ferrari opt to run it in the prototype class. The car was a Ferrari works entry for the 1962 Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Parkes and Lorenzo Bandini ran it, but Parkes got stuck in the sand at the Mulsanne corner, losing lots of time digging it out. Because of that, the engine overheated and #3765 LM retired from the race.

Ferrari sold it to Pietro Ferraro, who came fifth in class in the Trieste-Opicina hill climb. For that, the engine was reverted to a 3-litre spec. Also as a 3-litre, it participated in the 1965 Targa Florio (DNF) and the Sicilian hill climb championship with Ferdinando Latteri, who claimed three overall wins with it.

Photo RM Sotheby’s

Sold, for 8000 dollars

As of 1967, this GTO moved to the US. It was painted yellow and was sold through the factory, for the sum of 8000 USD. Under James Jaeger, chairman of the Ferrari Club North America, it was restored. Jaeger even had a 4-litre engine made for it, even though he ran it with the 3-litre as well. The car won Best of Show in the 2011 Amelia Island Concours of Elegance.

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Photo RM Sotheby’s

Looking at its rarity, even among GTOs, one would be inclined to think that this car will rewrite history for the GTOs, come November 13th. Be it at 60 million, be it more, this auction will probably bring the GTO’s public sales figure one step closer to the 100-million mark. GTOs are rumoured to have already gone past the 100-million mark in private, non-disclosed sales.

More on that car here.

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