Skip to main content

If you consider yourself a car aficionado or appreciate classic cars, this one is for you. A Ferrari 250 GTO comes up for auction every few years, and it always seems to be an all-out event. Not only is it the most coveted and maybe even most revered of all sports cars in history, but its rarity is astounding too.

Fewer than 40 were produced from 1962 through 1964. And of these limited examples, all are accounted for by collectors. If you’ve ever wondered how much a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO might fetch in today’s market, stay tuned. Gems this rare command a pretty penny.

You might not believe this 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO price

A red 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO at the Goodwood Revival in September 2015
A red 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO at the Goodwood Revival in September 2015 | Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images

It was June 2018 when CNBC reported the mind-blowing news. A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO wowed readers when the media reported some of the sale details between two Ferrari enthusiasts. And it’s believed this privately negotiated sale might be the highest price of any automobile transaction in history.

This 1963 250 GTO went home with its new owner for an eye-popping $70 million (more about that later). And sales numbers like this keep the public intrigued about the comings and goings of these legendary cars.

The 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO cost much less when it first came out

So, where did this incredible car come from anyway? Legend has it that Enzo Ferrari was looking for a response to the Jaguar E-Type. Digital Trends says that explains why the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO oozes style and charm. But ultimately, this car is built for racing.

“GTO” stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato,” which translates to “Race Homologation Special.” Since then, the GTO title has been associated with speed, performance, and serious racing chops. This original 250 GTO came out of the gate hot and won the 1963 Tour de France. 

Looking back, the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO was always a relatively expensive car. The production model originally cost about $18,000, equivalent to $153,000 in today’s dollars. And buyers had to be evaluated and approved by Enzo himself as part of the process.

There is some controversy over how many of these classic Prancing Horses were produced, with numbers ranging from 36 to 39, Road & Track reports. However, Ferrari confirms it ultimately made and sold 39 examples.

Over the years, various Ferrari 250 GTO examples varied price as they exchanged owners. In 1962, and before all the hype, a 250 GTO sold privately for only $5,400. Fast-forward 20 years, when Ralph Lauren’s restored GTO sold for $4.2 million. In more recent years, the Ferrari 250 GTO price only skyrocketed even more, with a private sale in 2012 recorded at $35 million for a 1962 model. And another 250 GTO set an auction record when it sold for $38.1 million in August 2014, Forbes reported.

Sure, limited production can drive a vehicle’s value through the roof. But what really makes the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO price so astronomical? And how does this legendary collector car compare to other high-priced rides out there? As it turns out, there’s much more to explore about the Ferrari 250 GTO.

Why is the Ferrari 250 GTO so expensive?

Let’s start with what everyone knows about the Ferrari 250 GTO. Only 39 of these supercars were produced, making them ultra-rare. And it’s even harder to find current owners who are willing to part with their unicorns. But other important factors contribute to the Ferrari 250 GTO price. For example, at the time, this car presented unique and revolutionary styling. And it was so different that the press called the 1961 prototype the “anteater” during first looks, Road & Track reported.

Winning in a few road races also helped propel this car into the spotlight. You don’t see a 500,000% increase in value with a loser, Arnold Clark suggests. The Ferrari 250 GTO earned praise for winning the 1963 Tour de France event, with legendary driver Jean Guichet at the helm. And the third 250 GTO ever produced — the example sold in 2018 for $70 million — won the 1962 GT Championship and earned more than 15 other race wins from 1962 to 1965.

Considering each car is hand-crafted, each Ferrari 250 GTO is uniquely distinct from the others, making it even more valuable. Attention to every detail makes a difference, especially when you’re buying a classic racecar. Additionally, securing Enzo Ferrari’s approval to buy one of these cars made it even more desirable. If there’s one thing that ultra-wealthy people can’t stand, it’s someone telling them they can’t own something.

Various Ferrari GTO models over the years

Ferrari may have limited production with the 1962 to 1964 250 GTO, but it certainly wasn’t done crafting GTOs in general, SuperCars reports. In the mid-80s, Ferrari introduced the 288 GTO Group B racing car. Like the 250 GTO, the 288 GTO is rare, with only 1984 to 1987 model years available.

Then, in 2011, the Italian carmaker introduced the 599 GTO, another jewel in Maranello’s GTO crown. Despite the overwhelming success of these other models, none has quite matched the legendary status of the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO.

How the Ferrari 250 GTO price compares to other GTO models

So, there’s that previously mentioned $70 million Ferrari 250 GTO private sale in 2018. Forbes reported another sale in 2000 where an example exchanged hands for $7 million. Time shared the jaw-dropping auction price for a 1962 model of $48.4 million. So, how do 250 GTO prices compare with other GTO models?

The 288 GTO price varies based on availability and condition. However, guides estimate it takes about $305,000 to $585,000 to buy one if you were so inclined, Car and Driver reports.

And the 599 GTO is valued at around $450,000, comparable to paying for a new house.

And though these prices are still insanely high for anything on four wheels, none compares to that $70 million 250 GTO sale.

The 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO is extra-special for other reasons, including what it packs under the hood. Looking at the specs for this ultra-rare car, it’s easy to see why it continues to enthrall collectors and enthusiasts.

Ferrari’s most expensive car boasts impressive specs

To really appreciate what this collector’s trophy offers, you’ll have to see the specs. The 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO essentially had a body like the 250 Testa Rossa but housed something even more impressive under the hood. This car harnessed 300 horses with its 3.0-liter V12 engine, making the 250 GTO revolutionary for its time. 

This vintage ride continues to be the “ultimate collector’s car,” Digital Trends calls it, because of its incredible performance capability. Equipped with two valves per cylinder, this V12’s carburetors produced a compression ratio of 9.7:1. That translates to 300 hp at 7,500 RPMs and 217 lb-ft of torque at 5,500 RPMs.

These curve-hugging Ferraris also had five-speed manual transmissions, making them fun to drive, especially when reaching initial top speeds of 174 mph, Ferrari claims. Specs like these were groundbreaking for the early ’60s.

In terms of styling and aerodynamics, each Ferrari 250 GTO also came with three removable D-shaped panels. This design allowed for increased airflow through the radiator, ideal for extreme engine heat at high speeds. The 1963 250 GTO also featured an independent front suspension, live axle, twin radius arms, and telescopic shock absorbers in the rear. This car was clearly designed for agility, speed, and performance.

What other models can claim the title of the most expensive car in the world?

The highest-price car may very well be the Bugatti La Voiture Noire, in part because there’s only one. Mimicking the Bugatti Chiron’s 16-cylinder engine, this beast of a hypercar will set you back an estimated $12.5 million, MotorTrend reports.

With a $9 million price tag, the Bugatti Centodieci comes in as the second-most expensive car to buy right now. And the Bugatti Divo averages about $5.7 million. Other pricey contenders include the Ferrari LaFerrari and Pagani Huayra, costing at least $1.4 million each. 

But wait. Don’t forget about that $70 million 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO. Those other “most expensive” cars pale in comparison despite being newer and faster. 

Who bought the $70 million Ferrari?

So, who would drop $70 million on a Ferrari 250 GTO? The car’s new owner is David MacNeil, a loyalist to the legendary car. He’s known for founding WeatherTech. MacNeil was already an avid Ferrari collector and aficionado.

And though he didn’t offer a direct comment about his purchase at the time, no one questioned why he had to have it. The 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO is the ultimate trophy for anyone who knows anything about vintage cars, which is why MacNeil felt compelled to spend $70 million to own it.

Vintage cars tend to go hand-in-hand with extreme prices. But when you have a classic supercar with unique design elements, revolutionary racing chops, and limited production, the allure only deepens. The 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO might be the collector’s ultimate prized possession.

And clearly, this legendary Ferrari doesn’t plan to give up its high-priced reputation anytime soon. At this rate, the car will likely grow exponentially in value. As long as these cars continue trading owners, Ferrari 250 GTO fans will continue watching in amazement. 


Is Buying a Classic Car a Good Investment?