Ferrari may not be beating Mercedes on the track this season in Formula One but a car from the stables of Maranello managed to upstage the German manufacturer at an auction in California.
A rare 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta, once raced by F1 driver Jo Schlesser and one of only 39 ever made, fetched a record $38 million in a sale conducted by auction house Bonhams to an undisclosed bidder.
The transaction outdid the previous record, also overseen by Bonhams, set by the $30 million sale of Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 last year.
The Ferrari was originally delivered to Schlesser, who partnered ski champion and Olympian Henri Oreiller, to race in the 1962 Tour de France Automobile.
Oreiller, unfortunately, crashed the car in its next outing later that year and lost his life. The car was rebuilt, raced again and then eventually sold to a wealthy Italian, Fabrizio Violati, who owned the car since 1965.
Schlesser died in 1968 when he crashed in his Honda during the French Grand Prix in only his third F1 race. Violati passed away in 2010.
Reports say that the $38 million total price — including ten percent buyer fees — is half of what experts reckoned it could fetch.