- The 1962 Ferrari 330 LM/250 GTO sold for a record $51.7 million at RM Sotheby’s but didn’t break the highest car auction record.
- Originally a 330 LM, it was uniquely converted to a 250 GTO, notable for its racing success, including at the 1962 Nürburgring 1000km.
- Maintained for 38 years by a single owner, the car has won numerous awards, including at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
In a spectacular showcase of automotive heritage and luxury, a 1962 Ferrari 330 LM/250 GTO, known as ‘The One’, commanded a record-breaking $51.7 million at an RM Sotheby’s auction in New York. This staggering figure sets a new precedent for Ferrari auction prices, although it fell short of the initial $60 million estimate and did not surpass the all-time auction record for a car – held by a Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe at $143 million.
This Ferrari, chassis number 3765, is no ordinary car. It’s a unique blend of engineering marvel and racing legend, originally starting life as a 330 LM, one of Ferrari’s rarer models. In an extraordinary transformation, it was later converted to the highly coveted 250 GTO specification, making it the only GTO Tipo raced by the Italian carmaker’s own Scuderia Ferrari team. All other 250 GTOs were raced by privateers, not by Ferrari itself.
The car’s engine is a remarkable feature in itself. Initially equipped with a 4-liter engine built with the Colombo-style architecture, it was later converted to a 3-liter unit with five-speed transmission during its transition to a 250 GTO.
The Ferrari’s racing history adds to its allure. It celebrated a class win and an overall second place at the 1962 Nürburgring 1000km and participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans the same year. Later, in its 250 GTO form, it secured a second-place finish in the 1965 Sicilian Hillclimb Championship.
The vehicle’s ownership journey is equally storied. Once owned by a Sicilian surgeon who purchased it for just $6,000 in 1964, it was later acquired by Fred Leydorf, chairman of the Ferrari Club of America. Leydorf’s tenure saw the car fully restored to its former glory. This unique Ferrari has been decorated with numerous accolades, including an FCA Platinum Award and a second place in the 250 GTO class at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It also won Best of Show at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance that year and participated in the 60th anniversary 250 GTO tour in September 2022.
The car’s recent sale marked the end of a 38-year period of diligent upkeep by its previous owner, showcasing its pristine condition and well-documented history. RM Sotheby’s described this Ferrari as nothing short of a legend, emphasizing its eligibility for major events worldwide and its appeal as a centerpiece at major concours d’elegance.
This Ferrari’s story is a testament to the enduring allure and prestige of classic Ferraris in the automotive world. Its unique attributes and storied past not only make it a piece of automotive history but also a symbol of luxury and exclusivity in the collector’s world.