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1963 Ferrari 250 GTO sells for $38m, smashes world auction record

The Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta owned by Formula One driver Jo Schlesser has brought in a record $38,155,000 at auction in the UK.


A 1962-1963 Ferrari has broken the record for the most expensive car ever auctioned -- bringing in a record $38,115,000 ($34,650,000 plus buyers' premium) at an auction at Bonhams Quail Lodge on 15 August.

The 250 GTO Berlinetta, one of only 39 ever made, was once owned by French racing car driver Jo Schlesser, who was killed racing only his third Grand Prix in 1968. He entered the car in the 1962 Tour De France, to be co-driven by his partner Henri Oreiller, but pulled out of the race when Oreiller was killed racing the Linas-Montlhéry autodrome that year.

The auction breaks a record also set by Bonhams, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 R F1 Racer previously owned by Formula One driver Juan Manuel Fangio that sold for $31,561,205 in August of last year.

"It's been a genuine privilege to represent this outstanding car and we are absolutely delighted with today's results," said Bonhams chairman Robert Brooks. "We've always maintained that we would exceed the current world record and that the car would bring between $30 million to $40 million and today the GTO did just that."

Included in the auction were nine other important Ferraris from the Maranello Rosso Collection, three of which also sold for amounts that put them in the top 100 most expensive cars of all time. All together, the cars brought in $65,945,000.