A beautiful Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta has set a new global auction record this week, with the 1962 coupe seeing bidding hit $38.1m. The sale - which eclipses the previous record holder, a Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 racer dating back to 1954, on which the hammer dropped at $29.7m last year - took place in California at Bonhams auction house.
Only 39 cars of the type were ever built, of which 35 had the 1962-63 bodywork. Various modifications for different race seasons saw the number of near-original cars dwindle, with Bonhams describing this particular example as "the 17th of the 3-liter true 250 GTOs."
As well as setting a price record, the Ferrari is also the longest individually-held Berlinetta, having been owned for 49 years by the same family. Fabrizio Violati bought the car in 1965, at which point it had already had a varied racing history, kicking off with the Tour de France Automobile in 1962.
Since the remaining GTO Berlinetta models have all undergone tweaks and tinkering to repair race damage over the years, the $38.1m car has ended up with an aurally striking side-exit exhaust system, different from the regular long tail-pipe on other similar Ferraris.
Bonhams had estimated that the final sale price would be somewhere in the $30-40m bracket.