1963 Ferrari 250 GTO - Most Expensive Car in the World of All Time
1963 Ferrari 250 GTO - Most Expensive Car in the World of All Time

What is the most expensive car in the world of all time?

The 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO was purchased for a staggering $70 million by the WeatherTech founder and CEO in June, 2018.

Ferrari's ingenuity in their 1963 250 GTO separates it from almost every other motor vehicle in history. So much so that it won the famed 1964 Tour de France Automobile.

Only 36 versions of the of the series were ever made, making the vehicle extremely rare.

The 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO that MacNeil purchased was restored roughly two decades ago. By today's superficial standards, the car isn't the flashy adrenaline thrill of some of the hypercars being produced. 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 Model S or the Italian-designed Corbellati Missile).

1963 Ferrari 250 GTO. Photo: Twitter
1963 Ferrari 250 GTO

1963 Ferrari 250 GTO - Car is No 1 in the World

For the most expensive car of all time, we turn to history. After all, if you’re investing in a gorgeous supercar, it should be one that can tell you a good story.

In 1964, the 250 GTO won the Tour de France Automobile – marking the ninth year in a row that Ferrari won that race. Only 36 of these cars were made between 1962 and 1963; the specific Ferrari that’s the most expensive in the world, at an unbelievable $70,000,000 price point, was victorious not only in the Tour de France, but it also placed in the Le Mans.

The vehicle, with the chassis number 4153 GT, is believed to be the most expensive car in the world.

With a top speed of 174 miles per hour and an acceleration of 0-100kph (0-60mph) in 6.1 seconds, its stats certainly don’t thrill today’s auto enthusiasts by itself. However, in the ‘60s, it was the fastest in the world – and, now, decades later, it remains the most expensive car in the world of all time by a long shot.

Some term this beautiful car the Picasso of the Motoring World; others, the Holy Grail of Ferraris. What is the most expensive car ever? The 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO; and, frankly, that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. The current owners of the most expensive car of all time include American fashion designer Ralph Lauren, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, and Jon A. Shirley, the former President and COO of Microsoft.

Designed for racing

1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 4153 GT. Photo: Ferrari
1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 4153 GT. Photo: Ferrari

GTO is an abbreviation for “Gran Turismo Omologata” – or “Grand Touring Homologated” in English. The car was designed to compete and powered by the 3L Tipo 168/62 Colombo V12 engine producing approximately 300 PS (296 bhp). On the track, its competitors included the Shelby Cobra, Jaguar E-Type and the Aston Martin DP214. In some respects, the car was conservative with parts and components taken from other race-proven models, but it also included many innovative elements. The aerodynamics of the car was improved for stability and speed and this included a body design test in a wind tunnel at the Pisa University.

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What's the most expensive car in the world – of all time?

On the inside, the interior reflects the car’s racing purpose with a very minimalistic design. There is no speedometer, the upholstery is made from cloth and there is no carpeting, nor a headliner installed. The goal was to keep the weight as low as possible and the 250 GTO scales at just 880 kg.

In 1962, The FIA regulations required at least 100 examples of a car to be built in order for it to be ‘homologated’ for Group 3 Grand Touring Car racing. As only 39 cars were built (including three 330s with a four-liter engine), Ferrari eluded FIA regulations by skipping numbers in the chassis sequence and shuffling the same cars between different locations. The illusion worked as FIA confirmed 100 examples of the car.

What's the most expensive car in the world – of all time?

Why $70 million?

For ordinary folks, paying $70 million for a car is sheer lunacy. But this kind of deal needs to be seen differently. Concretely, the 250 GTO model, equipped with a V12 engine, is considered to be the ultimate masterpiece produced in Ferrari’s long history, on a par with a master painter’s most acclaimed work. The 250 GTO carries an aura; and since only 39 copies of it were produced, its value has skyrocketed.

The car will be tucked safely away in the buyer’s private collection, and like a sound investment it will gain in value over the years.

Of a hyper-desirable crop, 4153GT is especially attractive thanks to its extensive history in motorsports, including a first overall at the 1964 Tour de France with Lucien Bianchi and Georges Berger at the wheel.

List of 15 most expensive cars of 2021

Rank Model Price (USD)
15 Maserati MC20 $200,000
14 Bentley Flying Spur Speed $215,000
13 Aston Martin Lagonda EV $250,000
12 Rolls Royce Ghost $315,000
11 Ferrari SF90 Stradale $625,000
10 Aston Martin Valhalla $1,300,000
9 Mercedes AMG One $2,700,000
8 Koenigsegg Jesko $3,000,000
7 Gordon Murray T.50 $3,080,000
6 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ $5,740,000
5 Bugatti Divo $6,000,000
4 Bugatti Centodieci $9,000,000
3 Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta $17,600,000
2 Bugatti La Voiture Noire $18,700,000
1 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO $70,000,000

1963 Ferrari 250 GTO seems like a very solid contender for the hypothetical nine-figure club.

It presents an interesting case in car-collecting dynamics: With either 36 or 39 built, depending on how you count, they are hardly the rarest of Ferraris; they do offer that desirable combination of classic GT car looks and legitimate racing provenance ... but so do a lot of other scarcer prancing horses of the era. What they do pack is cachet. In some ways, they appear to be Veblen goods -- the desirability of the 250 GTO only seems to increase with price. Buy one and you're instantly part of a very exclusive club. With a permanently constrained supply, prices can only head in one direction.

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