1963 Ferrari Sells For $70M At Auction

by Bamidele Ogunberu Posted on June 7th, 2018

A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO was recently sold in a private auction for a reported $70 million likely making it the most-expensive car in the world. The staggering $70 million was reportedly paid by WeatherTech founder David MacNeil.

The private nature of the transaction leaves some details unknown, though auto publications are widely reporting that the Ferrari has left the garage of its former German owner and is now in the possession of David MacNeil, founder of the Illinois-based WeatherTech custom floor mat maker.

Reports of the sale first bubbled up on the always-interesting FerrariChat forum (in a thread about Lamborghini Miuras, no less) before being picked up by the duPont registry. Apparently David MacNeil of WeatherTech fame purchased the car from a seller in Germany, prompting the obvious question: Will custom-fitted 250 GTO floor mats be added to WeatherTech’s extensive catalog, and if so, will they finally give skittish Ferrari owners the confidence to drive their treasured stallions in the rain and snow?

Already counted among a very desirable Ferrari crop, this 4153GT chassis specimen has racing provenance. It was first overall at the 1964 Tour de France. Only 36 versions of the series were ever made, making the vehicle extremely rare.

Previously the highest price for a car was $52 million, paid for another 1963 Ferrari GTO in 2013.

“It’s conceivable that other, rarer cars may have changed hands for greater sums in the past between owners who like to keep eight- (or even nine-) figure transactions quiet,” wrote Autoweek columnist Graham Kozak.

“Still, there’s something that feels significant about that rapidly approaching $100 million threshold, which would put a category, a car — for the first time that we know of — into a realm of high-rolling collectibles previously only occupied by fine art,” Kozak said.

MacNeil as the new owner, joins an elite “GTO Club” that includes Ralph Lauren and Walmart WMT, +0.46% heir Rob Walton.

The curvy design is so iconic even Architectural Digest chimed in.

“By today’s superficial standards, the car isn’t the flashy adrenaline thrill of some of the hypercars being produced,” wrote Nick Mafi, the motoring columnist at the magazine.

“This Ferrari can hit a top speed of 174 m.p.h. while sprinting from zero to 60 m.p.h. in roughly six seconds (a far cry from Tesla’s TSLA, -1.07% Model S or the Italian-designed Corbellati Missile),” Mafi said. “Yet the buyers in this exclusive club don’t look at those types of numbers. It’s the engineering, and design, and rarity from a bygone era that, for some, is nearly priceless.”

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Bamidele Ogunberu

Bamidele Ogunberu

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