This 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is the most expensive car in the world. The 250 GTO is revered by Ferrari collectors, a private sale last month broke all previous price records, proving how much people are willing to slobber over a piece of artistically crafted machinery.
Only 39 250 GTO’s were produced, so the aging cars’ prices were bound to skyrocket. But when this one last changed hands ten years ago, it fetched a measly $8.5 million. But Seattle based collector Craig McCaw saw fit to fork over four times that much to get his hands on the car that was built by Ferrari for U.K. driver Sir Stirling Moss.
Moss never even got a chance to race it. A horrible crash at the Goodwood Circuit in Sussex in April 1962 put an end to his career. Innes Ireland, his teammate, raced the car at the 1962 LeMans. It never raced again, but instead entered the shadowy world of private car collectors, where it racked up few miles, but a lot of value. Hence today’s alarming, but not surprising figure.
Morethan eight collectible Ferraris have sold over the past couple of months, racking up a total of $135 million for the sellers.
While saying about the 250 GTO !
This model had no tail spoiler, but one was added before its competition debut at the Sebring circuit in America in March 1962. On its maiden outing in the 12 Hour Race, driven by Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien, the 250 GTO finished second overall to a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sports racing car. It also won the GT category comfortably, an impressive debut performance upon which it would build during the next three years.
The model was built on a 2400 mm wheel base, as had been the 250 GT ‘SWB’ from which it was derived. Although the chassis was built along the same lines, it used smaller section tubing, with additional bracing for increased torsional rigidity, and was given factory type reference 539/62 Comp., and then 539/64 Comp. Like the earlier 250 GT ‘SWB’ Berlinettas, four wheel disc brakes were fitted, with a cable-operated handbrake to the rear wheels, and it was also available as both a left- and right-hand drive.
Early development of the new model was shrouded in secrecy, with Giotto Bizzarrini charged with developing a car to take on and beat the Jaguar E Type. In various interviews over the years he has said he was given an old 250 GT Boano chassis as a basis for the project. However, internal factory records show that he was provided with a 250 GT ‘passo corto’ (chassis 1791GT) on which to base the new car.
On its first outing at Monza in September 1961, prior to the Italian Grand Prix, the 250 GTO earned the nickname ‘Il Mostro’ (The Monster), due to its rough-hewn and ill fitting prototype body. During test sessions, Stirling Moss drove the car to record times far better than those ever achieved by a 250 GT ‘passo corto’. A ‘palace revolution’ followed later in the year, and Bizzarrini found himself on the outside, with refinement of the GTO body entrusted to Sergio Scaglietti, who created its definitive shape.
The 250 GTO Berlinettas continued the run of successes of the preceding ‘passo lungo’ and ‘passo corto’ models, and with the manufacturers’ championship being transferred to the GT category from 1962, gave Ferrari a hat trick of victories between 1962 and 1964. They were virtually dominant in their class, and were only being caught by the AC Cobras (with much larger capacity V8 engines) during their last competitive year. Amongst the numerous international successes of the 250 GTO were wins in the Tour de France in 1963 and 1964; GT class wins in the Targa Florio in 1962, 1963 and 1964; victories in the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in 1962 and 1963; with GT category wins at Le Mans in 1962 and 1963, and in the Nurburgring 1000 km in 1963 and 1964.
The 250 GTO was the ultimate expression of the Ferrari 250 GT car. It was equally at home on the road or track – perhaps the last dual purpose road/race car produced – and has achieved legendary status amongst aficionados of the marque. With only a relatively small production run of thirty-six cars, and with many of the examples produced having a great race pedigree, it has become one of the icons of Ferrari production history, with a revered position in collector’s circles.
REMOVABLE ‘D’-SHAPED PANELS
All of the examples produced, apart from the ’64-bodied cars, had three removable ‘D’-shaped panels, retained by quarter turn fasteners, on the upper face of the nose, for increased radiator air throughput, the pattern being repeated with three similar uncovered openings in the underside of the nose panel. The ’64-bodied cars and re-bodies again have detail differences between individual cars, but these relate more to the roof shape, which was either long, short with integral spoiler, or short without spoiler and the bonnet, which either had a long slim bulge tapering into the nosepanel or a cold air intake. A number of cars were modified during their competition careers, notably with the addition of a third front wing exhaust air slot, and occasionally louvres were added to the bonnet to aid heat dissipation. Apart from these main points, there were numerous individual differences between the various cars, i.e. some had the rear lights mounted on raised ‘bridges’, while others had them fixed directly to the tail panel.
Source from : Ferrari Official Site and Jalopnik