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Tom Hartley sells 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa for world record price

An unrestored, ex-Works Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa was recently sold by Classic Driver dealer Tom Hartley for a sum rumoured to be around $40m – which would make it the most valuable car ever to be sold in the public domain…

The $16.4m sale of a Testa Rossa by Gooding & Co. in 2009 drew its fair share of headlines at the time – but now, UK-based dealer Tom Hartley has eclipsed that figure by selling an ex-Works car (chassis 0704) for a sum thought to be at least double that. Tom Hartley Jr. would not comment on the terms of the sale, but told Classic Driver: “It’s very rare that a car of this importance comes up for sale – and when it does, part of the reason for it not being sold at public auction is to keep the details of the sale confidential. We had the car in stock for around a month and, although it was never offered publically, those in the market for this type of car would have known where to come purely via word of mouth.”

Believed to be the sole Testa Rossa to remain unrestored, the 1957 factory prototype still has its original engine, gearbox and bodywork. It raced at Le Mans in 1957 (running as high as second but ultimately withdrawing before the finish), and picked up wins at the 1,000km of Buenos Aires and 12 Hours of Sebring a year later – both with racing legends Phil Hill and Peter Collins behind the wheel. Hartley Jr. explains: “This is possibly the greatest car in the world, driven by the greatest drivers in the golden era of sportscar racing, yet remaining unrestored and completely original. I’m sure that if you were to take a swab of the interior, you’d find DNA traces of Phil Hill, Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn still present. For me, none of the GTOs even compare.”

"I’m sure this car will prove to be a great investment for the new owner,” adds Hartley Jr., "and I hope they will take it to both Pebble Beach and the Grand Tour later this year."

Photos: Tom Hartley

Tom Hartley’s stockist can be found in the Classic Driver Market.