RM Sotheby’s Is Marking Ferrari’s 70th Birthday With An Astounding Auction This Weekend
Ferrari was founded in September of 1939, but due to a few complications with the geopolitical climate of the day, it wasn’t until 1947 that the first officially-badged Ferrari, the 125 S, left the now-fabled factory gates in Maranello. Just two weeks later, that car won its first race and put Ferrari on a path toward the iconic status it’s had ever since.
This year, then, marks the 70th anniversary for Ferrari as a manufacturer of automobiles. As part of the festivities marking the occasion, Ferrari is teaming up with RM Sotheby’s to present the “Ferrari—Leggenda E Passione” auction. Some of the finest machines to ever wear the badge will be sold this coming weekend at the Maranello factory, with plenty surpassing the million-dollar mark, and of those a couple that could garner eight-figure bids. We featured the incredible alloy Daytona last week, and here is another taste of what’s to come to the block in a few days’ time.
The selection below is just a handful of the Prancing Horses being offered on September 9th, and if you’re curious (trust us, you should be), you can find photos and information on the rest of the lots at RM Sotheby’s.
Expected Auction Price: $3,850,000 – $4,750,000
The 288 GTO’s place in Ferrari’s timeline can’t really be overstated. Developed as a homologation special—hence the GTO nomenclature—to qualify as one of the FIA’s legendary Group B cars (slated for use on tarmac stages), the 288 GTO never raced in any official capacity due to timing coincident with the demise of the racing category. However, it marked the beginning of a new branch on the Ferrari family tree, one that spawned the F40, F50, Enzo, and now LaFerrari; this is the beginning of a remarkable lineage of Ferrari supercars. Ferrari produced just 272 examples during the 288 GTO’s limited run, and this one, with just 453 miles on the odometer, is likely the most preserved of them all. Further adding to its value, it’s estimated that just 19 were ordered as an unofficial “lightweight” model without power steering or a radio. This is one of them. In other words, it might be the best 288 GTO on the planet, and since even the worst examples of the model are things to covet, this car surpasses special to sit comfortably on the summit of ’80s supercars and homologations alike.
Expected Auction Price: $8,950,000 – $11,330,000
This is the 35th of just 50 long wheelbase 250 GTs built by Ferrari. It was originally painted white, with a black interior, but the monotone scheme has long since given way to the classic Rosso and tan combination you see today. That’s fitting, because this car has undoubtedly one of the more colorful histories of any 250 GT LWB. The original buyer was a Venezuelan gentleman by the name of Dr. Otto Rodriguez Vincentini. From there, the story gets murky. Some say a group of men robbed him and left him for dead inside his car. Others say it was an assassination by a group of men that he had previously paid for sex, including one who went on to become a prominent Venezuelan broadcaster. Regardless, the bullet holes were fixed and the car made its way to the United States. It was extensively restored (and painted in its current color) nearly 30 years ago, and went on to win numerous awards, including a first in class win at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1988.
Expected Auction Price: $3,340,000 – $3,940,000
The 333 SP was built for IMSA racing in the United States, and it was massively successful. In its first year of competition, it delivered five wins in seven races. Year two saw victory at Sebring, as well as championships for both the driver and manufacturer. In 1998, the 333 SP won overall at the 24 Hours of Daytona—Ferrari’s first victory there since it’s legendary 1-2-3 in 1967. It was powered by a derivative of Ferrari’s V12 Formula 1 engine from 1990, producing upwards of 600hp, and furthermore, it featured a wishbone front suspension adapted from the Scuderia’s F1 efforts. All told, 40 were produced, and this one never turned a wheel in anger. It’s suited to historical competition now, though, and was very recently rebuilt. There’s just one hour of use recorded on the engine since, when it was used for a shakedown run at Ferrari’s private Fiorano circuit.
Expected Auction Price: $10,140,000 – $11,930,000
Ferrari built 165 SWB Berlinettas, with a mere 74 of them sporting alloy bodies, as this one does. The red and black combination on this car is all original, and the engine, while the correct specification, is actually from a 250 GT LWB California Spider Alloy Competizione. It was originally installed in 1983, and then fully rebuilt in 2010 by one of the top shops in England. Notably, neither Ferrari nor any of its customers raced this car in its prime, so while it may not having racing history, it also doesn’t display the blemishes of one. It never received the kind of damage that so many others that competed did. However, it is run in historic events, and currently features a roll cage for safety reasons, making it well-suited to use at an event like the Le Mans Classic for instance.
Expected Auction Price: $298,000 – $418,000
When your grandfather is Gianni Agnelli, and you’re the heir to the Fiat fortune, you tend to get to do whatever you want. Such is the case here, with Lapo Elkann’s 458 Italia “Army” edition. Elkann’s business, Tailor Made, specializes in customizing vehicles, and it certainly spared no expense here. The camouflage isn’t a vinyl wrap, it’s paint. It’s only the beginning, too. The brake calipers are also painted in camouflage. So is the engine’s intake manifold. Even the dashboard and the leather seats are given the leafy treatment. On the fenders, where the bright yellow prancing horse should be, peace signs reside. It’s nothing like the car above it, but it’s a unique car all the same.