The bright red GTO had belonged to an American collector for the past 38 years but was sold on Monday for $51.7 million after just a few minutes of bidding. Sotheby’s did not identify the winning bidder.
Despite the high price of the sale, the auction house said the car sold for a lower price than expected with an estimate of $60m placed on it.
The vehicle was previously used as a race car for competitions on the Italian mainland and in Sicily before it was sold and exported to the US in the late 1960s.
The car was then restored and modified, and changed American owners several times before ending up in the hands of an Ohio “dedicated collector” in 1985.
“This stunning GTO offers its next caretaker further touring and vintage racing enjoyment, or display at major concours d’elegance and marque gatherings worldwide,” Sotheby’s said.
Its sale is only dwarfed by that of a Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe that went for 135 million euros in 2022, the auction house added. That would be $144 million at today’s exchange rate.
It was the most expensive car ever sold worldwide, whether at auction or privately, AFP reported, citing a Sotheby’s spokesperson.
Prior to the sale of the Ferrari on Monday, a Sotheby’s spokesperson said: “Whatever happens in the financial markets, a car of this caliber is a collector’s item, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
They added that the Ferrari can be compared to a work of art that “can be touched, felt and heard.”
Meanwhile, in April, the auction house said a 1967 Ferrari used by Hollywood star Steve McQueen would be auctioned for around seven million dollars later on in the year.