The Ferrari 250 series has become the one of the most valuable gems set into the car company’s crown of achievements over the last fifty years. Classic models from the series have claimed some of the most impressive unofficial titles in the most expensive car category.
Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta – $38,000,000
1 of 39 models that was ever constructed, this particular Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta has now taken up the mantle of the most expensive car ever sold at auction. Reaching over $38 million at the Bonham’s auction in California, the ferrari classic sold at this price on 14th August 2014 despite its sombre past.
Henri Oreiller, the racing driver and former French skiing champion, tragically lost his life while racing the Berlinetta in 1962, when the car suddenly flipped due to a tyre blow out and crashed into a trackside building.
The car does have some impressive achievements under its bonnet, however. The 19th model of the Ferrari GTO to be constructed went on to win the world title twice in the 1963 FIA GT World Championship series.
Ferrari 250 GTO Racer – $52,000,000
The 1963 250 GTO racer was sold for a solid $52 million last year, by collector Paul Pappalardo to an unidentified buyer. The moment Paul Pappalardo completed the anonymous transaction of the 250 GTO racer, it became the world’s most expensive car ever sold. Pappalardo acquired the car in 1974, restoring it to its former glory and saw fit to return it to the racetrack. The vehicle competed in various historic races with its owner behind the wheel, such as the 2002 Le Mans Classic.
Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa – $40,000,000
This Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, sold to the supercar dealer Tom Hartley Jnr, who in turn, sold it on for $40 million. This bestowed on the model the title of the most expensive car ever sold in Britain.
The curved chassis disguises the 3.0 litre V12 engine, giving the car a top speed of 167mph, making it capable of going from 0 – 60 in six seconds. It was this power, in combination with Phil Hill and Peter Collins’ driving skill that brought the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa to victory at the 12 hours of Sebring in 1958.
As well as winning the 12 hours of Sebring, the model also won the 1000km Buenos Aires and came 2nd at Le Mans, sealing this Ferrari’s well-earned racing status.
The Ferrari 250 series overview
The Ferrari 250 series is considered to be the most successful of Ferrari’s early lines – the majority of which have the same lightweight V12 engine which gave the racing cars in the series their edge. It is a series of cars that has attracted a lot of attention from collectors and celebrities. Joe Macari, the London based Ferrari dealer, claims the GTO within the 250 series is “a cult car” and with people like Nick Mason from Pink Floyd owning one, who’s to argue?
Ferruccio Lamborghini was said to own three models that belonged to the Ferrari 250 series, but he had issues with Ferrari’s clutches, claiming that whenever the car was going at speed it would slip under acceleration. He complained to Enzo Ferrari about the problems he encountered with the brands clutch, who responded by informing Mr. Lamborghini that he would never be able to handle a Ferrari properly. It was this response that supposedly led to Ferruccio to move away from manufacturing tractors and forge his own car dynasty; Lamborghini.