Just six months ago, a green 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO built for Sir Stirling Moss traded hands for $35 million, making it the most expensive car ever sold. That record may not stand another month if an anonymous American seller gets his asking price of $41 million for his 250 GTO — a sign that the market for Enzo Ferrari's most famous race cars may soon overheat.
Offered for sale by a London broker, there's little public detail about which one of the 39 known GTOs has been put on the market. It's one of 29 Series I GTOs, and one of 22 left-hand-drive versions, and the broker claims it has "great provenence and a very well cared for history by past and current owners," which only means it likely hasn't been burned in a wreck on the track.
When Ferrari built the V-12, 170-mph GTOs to race, with wins at Le Mans and around the world, there was never a thought that the cars would someday turn into near-venerated objects. Even a decade after their heyday, GTOs were often considered worn-out sports cars by collectors. Only in recent years, as the world's wealthy have begun to see collector cars as pieces of art, profit and coolness combined have their prices risen to stratospheric heights. By comparison, the most expensive new car for sale in the world — the Bugatti Veyron, starting at $2 million — seems a downright bargain.
The world of people who keep track of GTOs and their owners will know if and when a buyer puts down the $41 million. If no one bites, the collector car world will know that there's at least a temporary ceiling to demand for the right cars. If someone does pay for it, the question then becomes where the top really is, and who else might be willing to pay tomorrow's price for a 50-year-old Ferrari today.