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This $38M Ferrari 250 GTO Is The Most Expensive Car Ever Sold At Auction

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The most important classic-car event of the year has started, and this year, the annual car week in Monterey and Pebble Beach, California, kicked off with a startling, record-setting auction.

This 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was auctioned at the Bonhams sale at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering--and when the hammer finally went down, the classic sports car went for a cool $34.65 million, the most ever paid for an automobile at auction.

With the 10 percent buyer's premium, the final purchase price was $38,115,000, shattering the previous auction record of $29,650,000 paid last year for the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula One car once raced by Juan Manual Fangio.

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Just 39 examples of the Ferrari 250 GTO were built. A high-water mark for Ferrari design and engineering, the car was equally adept on the road and on the track.

This example, chassis #3851 GT, was the 19th car of the 39 examples to be built, and was completed in September of 1962. Delivered to French racer Jo Schlesser and driven to a second place in the 1962 Tour de France, it was later involved in an accident and sold two more times after it was repaired.

The car has been in the possession of one family since 1965.

Some estimates for the auction ranged as high as $50-$60 million, in the wake of the private sale last year of a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO that went for $52 million. Classic-car experts like Hagerty Insurance CEO McKeel Hagerty have speculated that a sale of one of these Ferraris could reach $100 million within the decade.

The elite pool of 250 GTOs could produce another record-setter before long. Another example is currently being offered for sale in Germany, for nearly $63 million. If it sells, it would become the most expensive car ever sold.

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