At an RM Sotheby’s auction held on November 13 in New York City, a prized 1962 Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO by Scaglietti was sold for a staggering $51.7 million, setting multiple records. This iconic Italian masterpiece claimed the title of the most expensive Ferrari ever sold at auction and clinched the spot for the highest-priced classic car sold publicly worldwide this year.
Previously owned for nearly four decades by Jim Jaeger, a distinguished collector from Ohio and co-founder of a company that ultimately manufactured Escort radars, the car’s new owner remains undisclosed, according to a spokesperson from RM Sotheby’s.
Although the final hammer price reached $47 million, a 10% buyer’s premium contributed to the total, culminating in the historic $51.7 million sale. Despite setting a record, the final sale price fell short of initial expectations. Preceding the auction, RM Sotheby’s had estimated the car’s worth to exceed $60 million.
Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, affirmed the car’s historic significance at the commencement of the sale, stating, “Its place in history is undisputed.”
The swift auction witnessed the car changing hands in less than 20 minutes, initiating at $34 million. Bidding ensued predominantly among phone bidders, culminating in a tense moment as two bidders vied around the $47 million mark. Both the car and the winning bidder were physically present during the auction, confirmed a spokesperson.
This V-12 racing marvel secured the top spot as the most expensive car sold this year, surpassing the previous record set by a 1967 Ferrari 412P Berlinetta sold for $30.2 million in August. Ferraris have notably dominated the top echelons of auction sales this year, with 12 out of the top 15 cars bearing the prancing pony badge.
Adorned in scarlet paint with the No. 7 racing livery, this particular Ferrari stands out as the sole GTO example originally fitted with a 4-liter engine and the only factory GTO Tipo 1962 raced by Scuderia Ferrari. Notably, in 1962, it achieved a class victory and secured second place overall at the Nürburgring 1,000 KM race. Furthermore, it received the prestigious Best in Show award at the 2012 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida.
While not breaking the record for the most expensive car sold at auction, this GTO Tipo exemplifies the robustness and resilience of the market for top-tier Ferraris, even amidst economic uncertainties. Noteworthy high-value sales in 2023 include the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider ($18 million at a Gooding & Co. auction in March) and the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM (sold for €15.7 million at an Artcurial auction in July).
Previously, the most expensive public sale of a Ferrari was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that fetched $48.4 million at an RM Sotheby’s auction in 2018. However, that particular GTO, esteemed for its rich racing heritage, is deemed by marque experts as one of the most genuine and original among all GTO examples, as per the RM Sotheby’s catalogue from that time.
Chassis 3765, the focal point of the recent sale, holds distinctive significance as a Ferrari factory entry in the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, coupled with its Nürburgring class triumph and multiple entries by Scuderia as a works car, making it exceptionally unique, confirmed a spokesperson. Reports suggest private sales of Ferraris have reached prices nearing $70 million.
While the collector car market has experienced a downturn, with overall classic car sales down by 23.4% compared to the previous year according to Classic.com, the resilient performance of select Ferraris, notably exemplified by the recent auction, underscores their enduring value amid market fluctuations.