A CLASSIC Ferrari that has had just one cautious owner in the last 38 years has sold for a record fee at auction.
The 1962 330 LM 250 GTO was one of just 34 ever made and has been dubbed the "holy grail" of collector cars.
Swathed in a deep red racing livery, this particular example was only made more expensive by the fact that it was the only one of its kind ever raced by Scuderia Ferrari.
It was used for 12 years by the iconic motorsport team, including participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in its production year.
Crowds were wowed by its striking colour and 174mph top speed.
The luxury sportster is in immaculate condition and still drives like a dream, according to its auction listing.
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After its racing career, it came into the ownership of Pietro Ferrari, today the only living son of legendary brand founder Enzo.
He had it restored and modified at the company's Maranello factory before selling it on to Mario Tosi, who had it sprayed yellow and exported to California.
Then, in 1974, it was sold to Fred Leydorf, who chaired the Ferrari Club of America, before being sold again to Ohio-based collector Jim Jaeger in 1985 for just over £1.1 million in today's money.
Since then, it has remained in Mr Jaeger's hands, with the 75-year-old maintaining it in near-new condition, including a full restoration and a respray in its original colour, complete with racing number.
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The beloved motor was sold by RM Sotheby's in New York yesterday, with the winning bid clocking in at a whopping £42 million.
Speaking before the monster sale, Sotheby's Chairman and President of the Americas, Mari-Claudia Jiménez, described the Ferrari as an "icon".
She said: "As the holy grail of collector cars, it is entirely fitting that Sotheby’s is presenting this icon of motor history and design during our Marquee sales of Modern and Contemporary Art this November in New York.
"The presentation of such an exceptional example of one of Ferrari’s most successful sports cars ever campaigned and their most sought-after collector car, marks an exciting chapter with our partners at RM Sotheby’s and solidifies our deep commitment to offer our clients universally desired masterpieces."
In the wake of yesterday's auction Gord Duff, Sotheby's Global Head of Auctions, added: "Celebrating this sale during Sotheby’s marquee week highlights the unparalleled stature of this Ferrari as one of the world’s most desirable objects.
"The result, achieved through collaboration between Ferrari, RM Sotheby's, and Sotheby's, echoes our mutual pursuit of perfection; mirroring the very ethos Enzo Ferrari embodied when designing this car.
"Fetching £42 million, this transaction adds a new chapter to a vehicle with an unmatched legacy.
"Now, it ranks among the most expensive cars sold at auction, a true testament to its singular place in history."
The premium price tag smashed the previous record for a Ferrari, which was held by another 250 GTO auctioned by Sotheby's in California in 2018 which fetched £39.5 million.
However, it barely touched the sides of the industry-wide record, which was raked in by a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe at Sotheby's sale in Stuttgart, Germany, last year.
That all-time great car went for an unbelievable £115.7 million.
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