The colored history of this unassuming 1962 250 GTO Ferrari makes one question the predictions that it could break the all time 30 million dollar record for an automobile at auction: multiple wrecks, questionable after-market and homemade parts, multiple engine overhauls and a not-so-famous racing death find this Ferrari set to make history at the Monterey Car Week auction.
Those auctioning the car bought it from the estate of Fabrizio Violati, who paid the Italian equivalent of 4k for in 1965 for the Ferrari GTO. Only 30 years old at the time, Violati hid the car from his family and only drove it at night, due to their fear of him racing. Violati, however, won numerous championships in this GTO and other Ferraris in his collection.
The racing history of Ferrari is what at tracks so many collectors. Ferrari is well known for building many of the world’s fastest F1 and GT racing cars.
The investors bought the car from the estate of Fabrizio Violati, the scion of a wealthy Italian family. He’s the one who paid the Italian equivalent of $4,000 in 1965 for the GTO — and not to preserve it, at least at first.
Violati was 30 years old at the time. Fearing backlash from his parents, who worried about him racing, Violati long claimed he hid the car from them and only drove it at night. Years later, he kept the GTO in shape by entering it and other Ferraris in his collection in historic races, earning numerous championships in the process.
The racing pedigree is among the many factors that make the GTO, and Ferraris generally, appealing to collectors. Buying a 250 GTO grants entrance into one of the world’s most exclusive clubs. Owners of 250 GTOs meet regularly in the U.S. or Europe for road rallies or tours. The only way to get an invite is to buy a GTO.
Experts predict, despite its sordid history, this GTO could set off a bidding war.
UPDATE: The Ferrari 250 GTO sold for 38.1 million in California 8/15/2014.