What's a '57 Ferrari worth? $12 million

1957 Italian racing car sets a record for a public auction. The 250 Testa Rossa is one of only 22 ever made.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Catherine Clifford, CNNMoney.com staff writer

ferrari_rm_auction1.03.jpg
A 1957 Ferrari race car set a record at public auction Sunday, fetching more than $12 million.
To buy or not to buy?
From a 1997 Mercury Cougar to a 2009 Honda Pilot, 8 readers tell us why they decided to buy a new car or keep their old wheels.
How are you responding to the recent spike in gasoline prices?
  • Driving less
  • Considering a more fuel-efficient vehicle
  • Taking mass transit
  • Not doing anything

Find your next Car


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A 1957 Ferrari race car was sold at auction in Italy on Sunday for a record $12 million, according to the Italian automaker.

The sale of the 250 Testa Rossa - for 9.02 million euro - blew past the previous auction record scored by a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT, which sold last year for $9.6 million in current exchange rates. The identities of both the buyer and seller were not made public.

"Ferrari prices have absolutely defied gravity for the past few years," said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Insurance, a company that insures high-value collectable cars in Europe and North America.

Private sales of Ferraris have fetched such premium prices before, but this is a record for a public auction. "That is what makes this pretty remarkable. It is a pretty special sale," said Hagerty.

Ferrari, headquartered in Maranello, Italy, made only 22 of the 250 Testa Rossa racecars. The car sold at auction first hit the track at the 1958 Buenos Aires 1000 km, where it came in fourth place.

All 22 models of the Testa Rossa were entered in 19 international championships between 1958 and 1961 and won 10 victories, according to a release from auction house RM Auctions.

The auction for the race car lured bidders from across the globe.

"The historical significance of this car attracted a bidding war as collectors from around the world - both in the room and on the telephone - competed to secure one of the most alluring and iconic of all Ferrari racing cars," said Max Girardo, managing director of RM Europe, in a statement.

Last year, the 1961 Ferrari California Spyder set the record for a price paid at auction.

Big-ticket auction sales are usually kept confidential. But last year's Spyder sale was different because the car had been owned by actor James Coburn, who died in 2002, and was purchased by British television and radio personality Chris Evans.

The market for collectable cars has been dented by the recession, but buyers are willing to pay top dollar for rare race cars like the Testa Rossa.

"It is literally the Van Gogh or Picasso that someone wants to have over their mantle," said Hagerty.

The record-setting auction for the Italian luxury automobile comes in the middle of a global recession that has sent U.S. automakers into a tailspin, forcing them to adhere to strict restructuring plans.

Chrysler has had to shutter 789 dealerships, or roughly 25% of the current number, as part of its bankruptcy filing. On Friday, General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) said it would be terminating contracts with 1,100 of its 6,000 dealerships.

Chrysler was forced to file for bankruptcy and entered into an alliance with Italian automaker Fiat, which owns 85% of Ferrari.

Piero Ferrari owns 10% of Ferrari and Mubadala Development Company, based out of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, owns another 5% of the company. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
For sale: Steve McQueen's 1967 Ferrari The red 1967 sports car is expected to fetch millions at auction. More
The 13 most WTF gadgets From the weird to the gross, these 13 gadgets will make you wonder why they even exist. More
Best-loved cars in America These cars and trucks topped J.D. Power's APEAL survey, which measures how much owners like their new vehicles. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.