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Rare Ferrari sells for $US52 million

Speed racer: The $US52 million handed over for the Ferrari 250 GTO beats the previous record of $US35 million set for the same model in 2012.

Ferrari 250 GTO racer enters record books as most expensive car ever sold

8 Oct 2013

A RARE 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO racer has become the most expensive car ever sold after a mystery buyer handed over $US52 million ($A55.1 million) for it last week.

US news service Bloomberg reported the purchase was confirmed by three specialist traders and marks a 49 per cent increase on the price of the previous record-breaking car sale.

The car was previously owned by US-based private collector Paul Pappalardo, who acquired it in 1974 before restoring and racing it at a number of historic events, including the Le Mans Classics in 2002. Since then it was sold to a Spanish collector who was the owner of the Ferrari until last week.

The Ferrari sold last week has a decorated racing history, having won the 1963 Tour de France road race, with Frenchman Jean Guichet behind the wheel.

Just 39 examples of the 250 GTO were specially built in 1962 to compete in the Le Mans 24-hour race, and other grand tourer races.

Because of its limited numbers and high performance, the 250 GTO is considered to be one of the most desirable and expensive cars on the planet.

In 2012, a green GTO built especially for British race driver Stirling Moss sold privately for $US35 million. This vehicle held the world record until this week.

Classics such as the Ferrari 250 GTO are growing in popularity as an investment opportunity, with some owners, including Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, being offered between $US40 and $50 million from potential buyers.

Mason joined a who’s who of business leaders including Goldman Sachs banking chief Peter Sachs, Tommy Hilfiger financier Lawrence Stroll and Wal-Mart chairman Rob Walton, at a GTO owners event in July last year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the racer.

The Historic Auto Group in London reported in August that its index of private and public sales of rare Ferraris was up by 54.5 per cent for the year.

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