Friday, June 22, 2012

$35m Ferrari Moss never drove

The 1962 Ferrari GTO

Now, I love a sports car as much as the next guy, especially a Ferrari but is the world of classic cars going bonkers?
I mentioned in a previous post the red 1957 Testa Rossa that sold for $16.4m at the Pebble Beach auction last year, that's seven times more than a new Bugatti Veyron, the world's fastest and coolest sports car. That Ferrari ran at Le Mans and never won but an anonymous rich guy fancied it - and the gavel came down at a world record price.

But that's chicken droppings compared to the $35m paid by US car collector and billionaire Craig McCaw in a reported private transaction with Dutch owner Eric Heerema (see anamera.com). It is said Heerema paid $8.5m for the GTO 10 years ago. The fascinating fact, to me was that the race car, painted in the apple-green colours of UDT-Laystall race team, was made for Stirling Moss to drive, England's most celebrated racer never to win a world title - and my personal hero as a sixteen year old.

Sadly for Moss, he suffered career ending injuries in a crash at Goodwood in April 1962 and thus never got to drive it. But still, it's sold as Moss's GTO. In fact, it was raced by British driver Innes Ireland at the 1962 24 hours of Le Mans, but did not finish. Ireland took it to a win at Goodwood subsequently in the Tourist Trophy, so it was Ireland's GTO in reality, but, hey, the Moss name sells for more.

footnote. I achieved a lifetimes ambition, driven round Brands Hatch in a Lister-Bristol by the great man before I was too gaga to enjoy it.

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