The most expensive car purchase in recorded history – $35 million for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO race car built for Stirling Moss – was reported today by Bloomberg News.
The apple-green GTO, one of 39 made by Ferrari between 1962 and 1964, was bought by U.S. car collector Craig McCaw within the past two weeks in a private transaction from Dutch-born businessman Eric Heerema, according to the car-dealer website Anamera.com accessed by Bloomberg, which also confirmed the sale through two independent traders.
The previous sales record was held by Peter Mullin, owner of the Mullin Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, who reportedly paid between $30 million and $34 million in 2010 for a 1936 Type 57SC Bugatti Atlantic.
Read: World's 'oldest running motor car' sells for $4.62 million
McCaw, a Seattle resident, was a co-founder of McCaw Cellular that was acquired by AT&T for $11.5 billion in 1993. According to the Forbes ranking of billionaires published in March 2012, McCaw has a net worth of $1.8 billion. Heerema, owner of the Nyetimber vineyard in Sussex, England, reportedly purchased the GTO 10 years ago for $8.5 million.
The Ferrari GTO has long been considered the most desirable and valuable of any cars built by the Maranello, Italy, automaker because of its iconic styling and V12 performance. In 2010, the nearly $18 million sale of a Ferrari 250 GTO by British TV and radio host Chris Evans made headlines, and it reportedly has since been resold in the upper $20 millions, Bloomberg said.
In January, the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO numbered 5095 was sold by British businessman Jon Hunt for about $32 million,
The GTO sold recently, chassis number 3505, was painted in the pale-green color of Stirling Moss’s UDT-Laystall race team. The car was never driven by Moss, however; he suffered career-ending injuries in an April 23, 1962, crash at the Goodwood circuit in Sussex just before he was to race the new Ferrari.
The car was subsequently raced by British driver Innes Ireland at the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, although it did not finish. Ireland subsequently ran the GTO at Goodwood to famously win the 100-lap Tourist Trophy.
Bob Golfen, Automotive Editor for SPEED.com, is a veteran auto writer based in Phoenix, Arizona, with a passion for collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. SPEED.com fans can email Bob Golfen at email@example.com