The $70 million recently paid for a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO has set a new record for the publicly reported selling price of an automobile.
The 250 GTO in question, chassis number 4153GT, was previously best known for winning the 1964 Tour de France – its only outright win – with Lucien Bianchi and Georges Berger driving for Marquis Philippe de Montaigu. According to Barchetta.cc‘s file on the car, that win came after a number of prior outings, including a fourth-place finish at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans for original owner Pierre Dumay and a couple second-place finishes for Brussels-based Ecurie Francorchamps, to which Dumay sold the car not long after he bought it.
Montaigu campaigned 4153GT through 1965 and, aside from a hillclimb early the next year, that appeared to be the end of the car’s in-period racing career. Then in the early 1990s, after changing hands a few times, 4153GT began to appear in vintage races and tours before selling for $6.5 million in 2000. Three years later, Christian Gläsel bought it and, in addition to its track appearances, began to enter it in concours events, including the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Not long after, the prices of Ferrari 250 GTOs began to spike, starting with the private sale of 3505GT in May 2012 for $35 million, another private sale of 5111GT in September 2013 for $52 million, and the no-reserve sale of 3851GT in August 2014 for $38.115 million (the latter an auction record).
As Barchetta.cc noted, by December of 2012, Gläsel had submitted 4153GT to Ferrari Classiche for documentation. That process presumably informed Keith Bluemel’s book, “Ferrari 250 GTO: The autobiography of 4153GT,” published last August, which expanded on the car’s previously unreported late 1960s racing career in Spain. Sometime around 2015, Gläsel also replaced the silver car’s yellow stripe for the French tricolore.
Initially reported at $80 million, the sale was confirmed at $70 million over the weekend even though it apparently took place in late April. The new owner, Chicago-based David MacNeil, founded WeatherTech in 1988.
Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, who confirmed the sale, told Fox News that 4153GT is “one of the top three or four GTOs in the world” and predicted that a GTO would sell for nine figures within the next five years.
The $70 million price tag, for what it’s worth, exceeds the GDP of at least one small country and equates to about 1.3 million $55 WeatherTech floormats.