A stunningly clean 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was auctioned off in a frantic flurry of offers for a record $48.4 million in California on Saturday, the highest price ever paid for an automobile at auction.
The super trim sports car — in classic Ferrari red, naturally — became the most expensive auctioned car to date, after Sotheby’s in Monterey, California, crushed a previous vintage auto auction record of $38.1 million for a 1963 model of the same design.
Originally thought to see a price between $45-60 million, the low-slung gas-powered beast now marks the highest auction price paid for a vintage automobile in history.
Seller Greg Whitten, the boss of Numerix Software Ltd. — and an early Microsoft employee — purchased the car in 2000 for an estimated $10 million, although neither the auction house or the seller would confirm Whitten’s original purchase price.
The auctioned 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is one of only 36 existing models of the elegant design, made between 1962-1964, and the cars have consistently fetched the highest price of any vintage automobile, in auction or out.
Earlier this year, a 1963 model of the same design was sold privately for an astounding $70 million, according to Sotheby’s, cited by Bloomberg.
When originally made available for purchase in the early 1960s in the United States, prospective 250 GTO buyers had to shell out some $18,000 — and be personally approved to own the car by Enzo Ferrari himself.