Million-Dollar 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Breaks Down at Car Show, Needs a Push To Get Going

As of September 2023, the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Unhlenhaut Coupe is the most expensive car ever auctioned at $143 million. And this record isn't going to fall very soon. However, a quick look at the next most expensive classics sold at auction reveals that vintage Ferraris remain the most desirable rigs.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO 8 photos
Photo: TFJJ/YouTube
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO1962 Ferrari 250 GTO1962 Ferrari 250 GTO1962 Ferrari 250 GTO1962 Ferrari 250 GTO1962 Ferrari 250 GTO1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
In short, eight of the ten priciest classics are wearing "Ferrari" badges. And they crossed the auctioned block for a whopping $257.2 million combined between 2013 and 2023. Or an even more impressive $307.3 million if we adjust all the figures for inflation.

What's the most expensive Ferrari? Well, that prize goes to a 1962 250 GTO (chassis no. 3413GT) that found a new home for $48.8 million in 2018. The second-most expensive Ferrari ever auction is also a 250 GTO. Chassis no. 3851GT changed hands for $38.1 million in 2014.

However, there's an even more expensive GTO to talk about. A 1963 version sporting chassis no. 4153GT was sold at a private event for $70 to $80 million. It's still nowhere near as expensive as the Uhlenhaut Coupe, but it speaks volumes of how desirable the 250 GTO is today. What makes collectors throw tens of millions of dollars at this car? Well, the 250 GTO has it all.

Built in only 36 units from 1962 to 1964, the GTO is super rare. It's also regarded as one of the most beautiful cars ever designed. It hails from an era when Enzo was still calling the shots, and it's linked to other famous folks like Sergio Scaglietti and Giotto Bizzarrini, who penned the car. It also packs one of the most iconic engines of all time, the Colombo-designed V12.

It was also a successful race car. It helped Ferrari win the FIA International Championship for GT Manufacturers three years in a row. It also dominated the Tour de France and scored class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1962 to 1964. In all, the 250 GTO won more than 100 races (overall and class wins), and it was driven by the era's greatest drivers—no wonder so many people worship this car.

But while they seem supernatural, 250 GTOs are still motor vehicles with combustion engines that can break down occasionally. And that's precisely what happened to a 1962 example that recently attended the 2023 Hampton Court Concours of Elegance.

The V12 refused to fire up as the Ferrari was heading toward its display area, and the white GTO had to be pushed into the show. The engine eventually agreed to run, and spectators could hear the mighty Colombo V12 purr.

At least this one didn't burst into flames like the silver example raced at 2023 Lavant Cup at Goodwood.

Chassis no. 3729GT, this car is one of only 25 GTOs built in 1962 and one of only nine manufactured with a right-hand-drive setup. Originally shipped to John Coombs in the UK, it's the only example finished in Bianco (white).

The car was raced extensively between August 1962 and September 1964, winning the GT class at Brands Hatch and scoring second places at Goodwood and Castle Combe. It was raced by aces like Roy Salvadori, Graham Hill, Jack Sears, and Richie Ginther. The white GTO has been publicly traded since 1998 when it changed hands for $6 million, but it's now worth more than $30 million.

Check it out in the video below, where it's showcased alongside other legendary 1960s classics, including the Lamborghini Miura and the Shelby Cobra.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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