At 8pm on Saturday August 25, one of the greatest heavyweight contests in history took place. It didn’t take place in a boxing ring or an octagonal cage, but on the Monterey auction block of RM-Sothebys, the collectible car auction company that has sold more elite automobiles than any other company in the world over the last decade. The contest was for the ownership of the world’s most coveted collectible car – a Ferrari 250 GTO.
The Ferrari 250 GTO is the “Holy Grail” for car collectors. Over the course of the last half century, the Ferrari 250 GTO has emerged as the most desirable and potent blend of style, exclusivity, performance, heritage and status of any automobile.
Statistics unquestionably show that Ferrari is already the most desirable collectible car marque. At any point in time, Ferraris make up more than half the top 100 most valuable cars sold at auction, and the prices paid for Ferrari 250 GTOs over the last three decades would make up the vast majority of the highest outright prices paid (including dealer sales and brokered private sales) for any automobile.
The world car auction record of US$38.1 million was set at Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Sale in August, 2014 by a 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO, but many unverified private GTO sales have far exceeded that figure, with the outright world record for a private sale of a car believed to have been set by a 250 GTO at $70-$80 million in May, 2018.