The most expensive car ever sold at auction recently went for $48 million and its none other than a classic Ferrari.
The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was sold at RM Sotheby’s last month for a record $48.4 million as part of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The seller of the vehicle was former Microsoft employee, Greg Whitten, who joined the tech giant in 1979 as its 15th employee. According to Whitten, the car has been a better investment since he bought it for one-tenth its selling price in 2000.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance included five days of auctions, parties, unveilings, tours, and races around Monterey and Pebble Beach in California. The last day of the event had the Concours d’Elegance awards for best car restorations.
Hagerty, a classic car insurance and research firm, had said the sale of the Ferrari 250 GTO pushed total sales for the collectible car auctions to about $368 million, a 12 percent increase over last year. It was also the first rise since the car market peak in 2014.
“Heavyweight bidders rose to the challenge posed by so many A-list cars, but the rest of the buyers weren’t so bullish,” remarked Hagerty.
CNBC reported that a GTO sold in a private sale this spring for more than $70 million.
Whitten said he bought the car to race in vintage car races and even got it up over 155 mph at one point. He commented, “It’s a beautiful car, but it’s not whole until you are racing it.”
The American computer engineer, investor and car collector, had said that he had a hard time racing the car against more powerful, newer cars. According to Whitten, less expensive cars could become careless on the racetrack around the far more valuable GTO, so it became not as fun to race and own.
“Some of these people don’t have respect for the car,” he said. “If they crash it it’s not a big deal.”
Whitten said he still has “about a dozen” other Ferraris and is hoping to buy more classic race cars.
When asked how a car could fetch this much money, he answered, “It’s very hard to fathom. But you’re in a space where you have collectors, and Ferraris are the most collectible car and the GTO is the pinnacle of Ferrari. You’re really in rare territory and there are collectors who want to have one.”
As far as whether Microsoft or the car was a better investment, he said from 2000 (when he purchased the GTO), it was a “far better investment” but from 1979, Microsoft “was a much better investment. But the GTO is much more fun.”