Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

The Ferrari 250 GTO's luxury lineage

Recently, car collector Greg Whitten's 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO went under the hammer for $44 million

Published: Aug 31, 2018 03:24:54 PM IST
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 05:58:26 PM IST

The Ferrari 250 GTO's luxury lineageImage: Patrick Ernzen/Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Any time a Ferrari 250 GTO comes up for auction it’s an event. Not only is it one of the most lusted-after sports cars in history, it’s also one of the rarest. Only 36 were produced, all from 1962 to 1964—and amazingly, collectors can account for all of them. (Ralph Lauren owns one, as does tech billionaire Craig McCaw.) In August 2014, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO set a record at auction when it sold for $38.1 million. Another 1962 GTO—the third one ever built—will come up for sale at RM Sotheby’s in August. In addition to a storied racing career, this Ferrari (below) has an extraordinary provenance and is expected to speed past the auction record, with a pre-sale estimate of $45 million.  

The Ferrari 250 GTO's luxury lineage
Image: Patrick Ernzen/Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

The final iteration of Ferrari’s 250 model, the 250 GTO was built to race but was also a road car—GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato, or Grand Touring Homologated. The body was essentially a 250 Testa Rossa and had a 3-litre V12 engine capable of 300 hp. The price for such a beauty was $18,000 (about $150,000 today), and each owner was personally approved by Enzo Ferrari himself

Long before it was considered a classic, a 1962 250 GTO sold privately for a steal: $5,400


A year after Ralph Lauren bought chassis 3987 for $650,000, and with Ferrari fever raging, collector Frank Gallogly bought a 1962 250 GTO—which had rusted in a field for 15 years before being restored—for a then-record $1 million. Two years later, he sold it for $4.2 million

MAY 2012
In a private sale reported to be worth $35 million, cellphone pioneer Craig McCaw bought a 1962 250 GTO originally owned by racing legend Stirling Moss  

The Ferrari 250 GTO's luxury lineage
At Bonhams’ annual Quail Lodge auction, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO set an auction record, selling for $38.1 million to Carlos Monteverde, son of billionaire Brazilian philan­thropist Lily Safra  

JUNE 2018
A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO sold privately to WeatherTech founder and CEO David MacNeil for a reported $70 million (the equivalent of about a million car mats)  

After an impressive racing career, chassis 3413—a 1962 250 GTO—was sold to jewellery heir Gianni Bulgari in 1963. Six years (and a few owners) later, billionaire Sir Anthony Bamford purchased it, and after changing hands a couple more times, the Ferrari was sold in 2000 to Greg Whitten, former chief software architect of Microsoft, for $7 million. Now he’s putting the car up for sale at RM Sotheby’s, where it is expected to shatter the auction record. “I’ve had the GTO a long time,” Whitten says of his decision to sell. “There are other cars I want to buy.”

(This story appears in the 14 September, 2018 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)