August 20, 2011 – A Ferrari breaks the record for highest price paid at auction

On this day in 2011 a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, the first one to be built, was sold at the Gooding auction in Monterey for $16.39 million (with premiums), the most ever paid for a vehicle at a public auction up to that date. The car has quite a history, aside from being the first 250 Testa Rossa. It was campaigned by Scuderia Ferrari when new and driven by several infamous racers including Masten Gregory and Phil Hill. Luigi Chinetti bought it to be used as part of the NART team at the 1958 Le Mans where Dan Gurney and Bruce Kessler would be at the wheel. At Le Mans Kessler almost destroyed the car after a collision with a Jaguar D-Type. The car went through a factory rebuild and Chinetti sold the car shortly thereafter. The car returned to Le Mans the next year and was raced through 1964. At one point it was separated from its original engine and set afire during the 1960s. It has since been reunited with its original engine, gone through two restorations and has twice taken first in its class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Today the most paid for a vehicle at a public auction is $38,115,000.00, including the buyer’s premium, for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, which sold at auction August 14, 2014. It is suggested that the most paid for a vehicle in a private transaction is between $30 million and $40 million in which a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic was purchased by the Mullin Automotive Museum. However there a have been private transactions regarding a Ferrari 250 GTO in the $38 million range. PhotosThe 1957 250 Testa Rossa sold on this day in 2011The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, the most expensive car sold at auctionA Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic at the Petersen Museum in LA, a model similar to what is possibly the most expensive car sold in a private sale. Photo by Brian Corey

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