Bidders, clutch your paddles: One of the first Ferrari 250 GTOs ever built will be offered up for auction during Monterey Car Week, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s. Initial estimates say that this GTO, chassis #3413 GT, will fetch in excess of $45 million when it goes up for sale in August.
Why is the 250 GTO such a special beast? For starters, it was born to race. With a 300-hp 3.0-liter V-12 and a curb weight of only 1,940 pounds, it had a formidable power-to-weight ratio. The body was fine-tuned through wind tunnel testing to make the most aerodynamic shape possible. Then there’s the introduction of an iconic Ferrari hallmark: a transmission lever nestled in a polished metal gate.
Finally, there’s the rarity: Only 36 GTOs were produced between 1962 and 1964. And of those 36, every single one is still surviving, a feat made even more amazing given its extensive racing involvement.
As a highly-original, numbers-matching example, tracing the timeline of this particular GTO reveals a storied history. Chassis 3413—the third one ever produced—started out as a Series I test car, driven by Phil Hill in the 1962 Targa Florio road race. From there, the GTO was sold to Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi, known for racing (and winning) his privately purchased cars. In 1963 the GTO once again traded hands to Gianni Bulgari, whose grandfather was the founder of the Bulgari watch company.
Bulgari was also a renowned racer, and took the GTO to a trophy in the 1963 and 1964 Targo Florio along with fellow driver and owner Corrado Ferlaino. During its racing years, 3413 retained its original engine, gearbox, and rear axle, and was never involved in an accident. In 1964, 3413 received a new Series II body by Carrozzeria Scaglietti.
In 2000, its current owner, Greg Whitten, acquired it. Not content to keep it just as a showpiece, Whitten raced it in vintage events around the world. This is the only the third GTO to be offered for public sale in the past 20 years, ensuring an extremely high-profile appearance at Sotheby’s in August.
Way back in 2005, we ranked the GTO as the greatest Ferrari ever built. If the fervor surrounding this auction is any indication, that ranking hasn’t changed.
Photo source: RM Sotheby’s
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