Rare Ferrari Sells for $38 Million to Set Auction Record

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta sold at auction Aug. 14, 2014, one of only 39 of the cars ever made.

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta sold at auction Thursday for $38 million, including a buyer’s premium -- the highest auction price ever realized for a car.

The car was auctioned through Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California, part of Monterey Car Week. According to Bonhams, the price topped the previous record -- $30 million paid for a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 R F1 Racer at auction last year.

Ferrari only manufactured 39 of the cars, which were designed with racing in mind.

The Ferrari GTO auctioned Thursday was originally owned by French racer Jo Schlesser, and it was used in the 1962 Tour de France automobile race, according to the auction house.

That year, driver Henri Oreiller -- an Olympic skier -- crashed the car and died. The car was returned to Ferrari and restored.

During the mid-1960s, the car was sold to Fabrizio Violati for $4,000. That would equate to about $30,000 today.

"I saved the car from scrap and hid it from my parents,” he once said, according to Bonhams. “I only drove it at night so nobody would see me.”

Violati developed a Ferrari museum, and the GTO served as a centerpiece to the public collection. But after his death in 2010, his family decided to sell his collection.

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