Can it be topped?
In a historic moment for the classic car world, a 1962 Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO by Scaglietti, an iconic masterpiece of Italian automotive craftsmanship, commanded a staggering $51.7 million at an RM Sotheby’s auction in New York City on November 13. This remarkable sale not only set a record for the most expensive Ferrari ever sold at auction but also marked it as the highest-priced classic car sold publicly globally in the current year.
Previously under the stewardship of Jim Jaeger, an esteemed collector from Ohio and co-founder of the company behind Escort radars, the Ferrari had been part of his collection for nearly forty years. The identity of the new owner remains undisclosed, as per RM Sotheby’s policies.
Though the auction closed at a final bid of $47 million, a buyer's premium of 10% escalated the total to an awe-inspiring $51.7 million. This figure, while record-breaking, fell short of pre-auction expectations, with RM Sotheby’s initially valuing the vehicle at over $60 million.
Described by Oliver Barker, Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, as having an "undisputed place in history," the Ferrari GTO's sale was a swift affair, concluding in under twenty minutes. Beginning at $34 million, the bidding was dominated by phone participants, culminating in a tense finale between two contenders hovering at $47 million.
Both the car and its eventual new owner were present at the venue, adding to the palpable excitement of the auction.
This Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO now leads the 2023 list of the most expensive cars sold, surpassing the previous record-holder, a 1967 Ferrari 412P Berlinetta, which fetched $30.2 million in August. The year has been particularly favorable for Ferrari, a brand synonymous with the pinnacle of automotive luxury and performance. According to Classic.com, a renowned platform for collectible cars, Ferraris comprised 12 of the top 15 auction sales this year.
Juan Diego Calle, founder and CEO of Classic.com, notes that the high-end market segment for classic Ferraris remains as robust as ever, underscoring the brand's enduring appeal and investment value.