Updated: Sep 5
What is the Ferrari 250 GTO, and why is it so expensive?
It is the prancing horse par excellence, produced in just a few dozen units. Under the hood, it has Gioachino Colombo's twelve-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower. Thanks to its 880 kg, it was able to easily reach 280 km/h. It debuted at the 1962 Sebring 12 Hours, triumphing. From that moment on, it is one of the most well-known and appreciated cars ever, as well as the most expensive of all time. Yes, because in 2018 a private individual won the chassis 4135GT, never crashed - for the astronomical sum of over 60 million euros. The same price paid for 'The Empire of Light', one of René Magritte's most famous paintings. And this is not at all an isolated case, every Ferrari 250 GTO sold recently has stunned enthusiasts. How is it possible that a car, albeit wonderful, albeit winning, albeit rare, has reached such high estimates in sixty years?
RARE GEM. The Ferrari 250 GTO was born - and developed in every detail - solely for racing use. The FIA rules for the 1962 season required the construction of 100 examples of a specific model to be granted homologation for Group 3 Gran Turismo racing cars. Only 36 units were produced with the 3000 cc V12 and three with the 4000 cc V12 - a model that is often referred to with the improper name of 330 GTO, due to the different unit displacement - for a total of 39 units, which allowed Ferrari to be very selective towards potential buyers. Maranello eluded the FIA rules thanks to a non-sequential numbering of the produced chassis, and the Gran Turismo Omologata immediately became a protagonist of competitions.
PALMARES. This purebred Cavallino, in the GT Class, won the highest step of the podium in almost all the races it took part in during its golden triennium, namely 1962-1963-1964. There were also overall victories, where it often annihilated opponents who were much more performing than itself on paper. In the first year, it excelled at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Targa Florio, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Tourist Trophy - where it also won overall - the Bridgehampton Double 400 and the 1000 Km of Paris. In 1963 it overwhelmed the fierce competition at the 3 hours of Daytona - where it also won overall - the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Targa Florio, the 500 Km of Spa-Francorchamps, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 1000 Km of the Nürburgring, the Tourist Trophy - where it also won overall - the Coppa Intereuropa and the Tour de France - where it also won overall. In 1964, instead, it obtained the first place at the 2000 Km of Daytona - where it also won overall - the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Targa Florio, the 500 Km of Spa-Francorchamps - where it also won overall - the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Reims, the Tour de France - where it also won overall - and the 1000 Km of Paris.
"In 1962, the Ferrari 250 GTO was sold exclusively to drivers and businessmen favored by Enzo Ferrari, at a price of around 10 million lire in Italy and $18,000 in the United States. In 1965, when the car was retired from official racing, the price of used GTOs ranged from $2,500 to $9,500. In the 1970s, the market began to recognize the value of this "four-wheeled sculpture," and the price of GTOs reached $250,000 in 1982. In 1989, the Japanese Takeo Kato purchased a GTO for $13.3 million.
In the 1990s, the value of GTOs decreased significantly, but since 2004 the market has started to recover thanks to the help of the internet and the awareness that the Ferrari 250 GTO is an artistic masterpiece. The sale price of the GTO has skyrocketed in recent years, with sales records such as the $70 million paid by David MacNeil in 2018 for the 4153GT chassis GTO."