The man charged with driving the 250 GTO – which has been owned for the last 18 years by ex-Microsoft software architect Greg Whitten – onto the stage in front of the jam-packed saleroom was none other than five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell. That was before RM Sotheby’s auctioneer Maarten ten Holder opened the bidding at 30m dollars. A tense 10-minute spell of bidding ensued, the hammer ultimately dropping at 44m dollars (48.405m incl. buyer’s premium) to a rapturous applause.
The third GTO built, chassis #3143GT is one of the better examples in existence. It has a strong (albeit Italian) competition history with two class wins at the Targa Florio and retains its original engine, gearbox, rear axle, and Series II bodywork, the latter of which was fitted by Scaglietti in 1964. Despite eclipsing the previous world record held by another 250 GTO, chassis #3851GT which was sold by Bonhams for 38m dollars in 2014, the sale did not surpass the recent reported 70m-dollar private exchange for the silver ex-Pierre Dumay and Léon Dernie car.
The price achieved by the car is over 10m dollars more than the previous auction record holding 250 GTO, sold by Bonhams in 2014. And a further 21.5m dollars shy of the reported 70m dollars for which the silver ex-Pierre Dumay and Léon Dernie Series I GTO recently traded, making it the most valuable car ever sold. Regardless, whoever sealed the winning bid has joined an elite group of people lucky enough to say they own one of, if not the most special motorcar ever built.
Photos: Stephan Bauer for Classic Driver © 2018