Starting price after production of the road legal Ferrari 250 GTO was set at less than $20000 precisely $18000, and since then this piece of contraption has a record sale of $70 million today.
With just 36 250 GTOs manufactured between 1962-1964, although another figure of has 39 250 GTOs been certified by Ferrari.
Anyway, the 250 GTO has gone on to take over the hearts and minds of collectors with deep pockets.
Guess what, one time long before been considered as a classic car, a 1962 250 GTO sold privately for a steal $5400.
A car without a name when it first was rolled out in 1962 with staffers at Ferrari calling it “II Mostro” Italian for “the monster”- because of its weird look. Although the II Mostro chassis was that of Ferrari 250 GT SWB; without paint and an awkward looking front end with intake that makes it look like a monster seeking who to devour.
The chief engineer was Giotto Bizzarrinni, the man in the fore front of the development of the 250 GTO prototype and also the Testa Rossa.
The 250 GTO designed to compete in Group 3 GT racing, with rivals including Shelby Cobra, Jaguar E-type and Aston Martin DP214.
The engine of 250 GTO would be the Le Mans-winning Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa‘s 3.0L V12 engine delivering 300hp. Note that the Testa Rossa earned Ferrari a reputation of victory and sophistication; with Enzo Ferrari saying, “all we wanted to do was build a conventional engine. Only one that would be outstanding.”
With a fully developed car, the II Mostro would be named 250 GTO- 250 for the cubic-centimeter displacement in each of the 12 cylinders, GT for Gran Turismo, and O for Omolagato, Italian for homologation.
When 250 GTO was rolled , the racing press having a first look at this piece of contraption had reactions that was unfavorable.
The 250 GTO had characteristics of being quick, powerful, easy to drive and loud as hell.
No one actually could tell what the 250 GTO would turn out to be today.
The first prototype of 250 GTO chassis was derives from earlier 250GT Berlinetta SWB with a competition gearbox and a Tipo 168/61 3L engine.
The first prototype was entered into 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans driven by Fernando Tavano and Giancarlo Beghetti who retired from the race due to engine failure. The prototype was driven by Stirling Moss in 1962 Daytona Continental 3 Hours where he places 4th overall and 1st in the GT class.
The second prototype was tested in Monza 1961 by Stirling Moss in which results were promising.
On September 10,1961- one month after the GTO’s prototype first shakedown run- Phil Hill, the first American F1 world champion. On that day, teammate and rival Count Wolfgang Von Trips lost control of his car with his Ferrari scything through a crowd of spectators. Accidents happen but this was quite different for Ferrari because the captured by a television camera.
The next couple months were very stressful after the bloodbath at Monza, and in November the whole charade died.
Giotto Bizzarrinni was fired alongside seven others after Bizzarrinni’s argument with Enzo Ferrari, although Giotto Bizzarrinni the chief engineer of the GTO 250 (later hired by a tractor maker named Ferrucio Lamborghini to build a V12 engine for his first car).
Being one of the most troubled time for Ferrari, with the departure of the 250 GTO’s chief engineer, a 26 year old, Mauro Forghieri was employed as the new chief engineer with Enzo stating, ” we got rid of the generals, now you corporals must take charge.”
250 GTO’s shape was refined and it’s aerodynamic Scaglietti built body was an enigma, and also Stirling Moss helping with one-track development of the prototype.
The 250 GTO made it’s racing debut at 12 Hours of Sebring in 1962,driven by Phil Hill and Belgian Olivier Genbedien who finished overall second behind Ferrari Testa Rossa.
Going on to win the overall 2000cc class of the FIA’s international championship for GT manufacturers in 1962,1963 and 1964. The 250 GTO also won the 1963 and 1964 Tour de France Automobile and taking a 9 year dominance for Ferrari. Ferrari 250 GTO gradually became obsolete following the 1964 season.
Hands changed after being obsolete for racing entirely and car collectors becoming more into rare cars that are special.
Collector Frank Galloly, bought a rusted 1963 250GTO- that had rusted in the field for 15 years before being restored for $1million and selling it for $4.2 million after 2 years. In a private sale, Craig McCaw a cellphone pioneer bought a 250 GTO for $35 million originally owned by Stirling Moss.
Record sale at a private sale to Weathertech CEO David MacNeil for $70 million.