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Bonhams Auctions sells Ferrari 250 GTO for record-breaking £22.8 million at auction

Published 15 August 2014

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO has set a new world auction record after selling for £22,846,768 at Bonhams’ Quail Lodge sale on 14 August. The ex- Fabrizio Violati Ferrari becomes the most valuable car ever sold at auction, surpassing the £19,601,500 paid for the ex-Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196 in 2013.

The Ferrari 250 GTO has long been a favourite for classic investors, with a UK-based businessman paying £22.7 million at auction for the ex-Stirling Moss 250 GTO; however, this falls short of the reputed £31 million paid for chassis 5111, which was sold privately in the USA in 2013.

The Quail Lodge result means that Bonhams now holds world records for Aston Martin (£3,200,000), Austin-Healey (£843,000), Bentley (£5,000,000), Maserati (£4,033,500), Ferrari (£22,846,768) Mercedes-Benz (£19,601,500) and Rolls-Royce (£4,700,000).

Chassis 3851GT was previously owned by French racing driver Jo Schlesser who drove the 250 GTO to second place in the 1962 Tour de France. The car was raced throughout 1962, but required a complete factory rebuild after French ski champion Henri Oreiller crashed and died while racing at Montlhéry.

The Ferrari subsequently passed through the hands two other amateur racing drivers before being bought by Fabrizio Violati in 1965 for £1400. Violati continued to race the car at historic events and owned the 250 GTO until his death in 2010.

Robert Brooks, Bonhams chairman, said: “We are delighted with the results. We’ve always maintained the 250 GTO would bring in $30-$40 million and today it did just that.”

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