By on October 5, 2013

1963-ferrari-250-gto

An “unidentified buyer” in a “private transaction” reportedly acquired the 1963 TdF (not the bike race) winning Ferrari GTO for fifty-two million dollars.

Other GTO owners are fielding offers in the $40M to $50M range for their cars. If you are one of those people, this sale amounts to brilliant news and will no doubt give you an even greater sense of satisfaction at having purchased at prices ranging from $7500 (out of an old R&T classified) to $6M (the “ridiculous” price set during the previous collector-car bubble). For the rest of us, this is bad news — but not just because it means you’ll never see a LeMans Ferrari in LeMons.


Bloomberg broke the story on Friday, quoting various investment-type people who said that the price was “probably not sustainable” and whatnot. It’s not that $52M for a GTO is obscene or beyond human imagination, it’s just that compared to the known market of $40M or thereabouts, it seems a little high. It’s easy to think of many reasons why this feverish market is bad news for people who truly love cars for reasons other than investment value, but here are five of them… and because this is TTAC and not a “normal” website, we won’t make this a slideshow.

Reason #0: It Distorts The Market In Both Legitimate And Ridiculous Ways

You can easily make the argument that the price of every collector car in the world — in other words, the price of everything that isn’t currently depreciating through normal use — can be expressed as a fraction of the value of a 1960s GTO. Obviously, this is explicitly true for things that are effectively substitutes for a GTO, like Ferrari-based GTO replicas and other racing Ferraris of that era, but it’s also true for anything else that a GTO “intender” might consider. Because when you price a GTO out of reach for a guy who can “only” spend thirty million bucks on a car, he becomes a buyer for something else, which raises the price of that. Other LeMans racers from other manufacturers. Astons. Ford GT40s. As the price for those cars soars, the normal buyers for those cars start looking at other stuff. Seventies racers. Street Ferraris. Miura SVs. The dominos keep falling until all of a sudden the price of a 308GT4 is $40,000 instead of $20,000. No additional value is delivered to the buyer of that 308GT4, and he certainly isn’t competing directly with the Fifty Two Million Dollar Man, but he’s on the end of a long string of dominos. Which sucks, because the GT4 is a surprisingly nice car.

Reason #1: It Is A Stab In The Eye To Normal People And It Promotes Some Unpleasant Thoughts And Behaviors

It’s hard to argue that there’s no “one percent” in this country or elsewhere when you consider that a) the real-world unemployment rate in America is at near-Great Depression levels and b) somebody just paid fifty-two million bucks for a car. We’ve entered a mirrored funhouse where returning Afghanistan veterans can’t find work and children are going hungry and real-world wages have been worse than stagnant for a decade and above us the Gilded Age party just keeps roaring louder. This sort of thing causes Black Bloc protestors to spring out of the ground and it lends potent ammunition to those who advocate for a forceful redistribution of wealth. It promotes class-warfare rhetoric and excuses extreme behavior and in the end it’s the small businessman with a used F355 who winds up taking the brunt of that resentment when some yahoo boots his store windows in during an “Occupy” protest.

Reason #2: It’s The Most Pansy-Assed Way Possible To Acquire A Race-Winning Car

If you have fifty-two million bucks and you want a beautiful car with a race-winning pedigree, why not do something admirable and, oh, I don’t know, start a race team? Why not put your own name on the side of a prototype and create racing history in 2013 instead of buying the sixty-year-old accomplishment of better men than you? When a GTO was a used car and cost less than the entry fee for LeMans it made sense to buy one. Today, it’s a rolling declaration of tastelessness. It’s unlikely that the private buyer of this car is a man both young and fit enough to run LeMans in his own car, but remember: John Wyer was sixty-five years old when he won the big one. His name will be remembered as long as people remember the event.

Reason #3: It Could Effectively Take These Cars Out Of Circulation

Will the fellow who insisted on buying this car privately show it publicly? Or will it be like the hundreds of 1959 Les Pauls or other pieces of great artwork that hide in locked safes because their owners are afraid of theft or damage? Say what you like about Nick Mason — I’ve never thought any of the drumming on any Pink Floyd album was exactly brilliant — but the guy brings his GTO out and lets people see, photograph, and drive it. This was considered to be a slightly stupid idea when the car was worth five million bucks. What about now, when it’s worth fifty? At what price level do these cars simply disappear from view permanently?

Reason #4: It’s An Insult to 2004 Pontiac GTO Owners

Think, for a moment, of the poor bastards who bought a brand-new 2004 Pontiac GTO. Most of them paid wayyy over sticker for the car. Then they had to watch open-mouthed as GM put the bad-ass LS3 in it for 2005 and the dealers sold ‘em cheap. They didn’t get hood scoops. Those benighted early adopters didn’t get the big wing. They didn’t get the “6.0″ badge. They got nothing. Now they’ll have to explain to all their neighbors that despite what they’re hearing about the price of a “vintage GTO”, their cars are still worth about ten stacks, yo. And the depreciation train still has a ways to go over at GTO Station. Within five years we’ll start seeing the first auto-tranny Aussie Goats in the 24 Hours of LeMons. When one of them wins, the owner of that car will have one more race win to his name than the guy who bought the $52M Ferrari GTO. But let’s think about what $52M could have done for the owners of the approximately 13,000 2004 GTOs still in circulation. It would be about four thousand bucks a car, which would cover two-thirds of the price of a ProCharger kit. Not that the relatively “slow and crappy” ’04 Ponty needs a ProCharger to dust a Ferrari 250GTO, mind you.

I won’t cause a few of the B&B to have a heart attack by suggesting that “QE” has anything to do with this new fifty-two-million-dollar record, but it has to be said that there does seem to be a lot of folding money chasing a relatively low number of collectible cars. Even 3.2-liter Porsche 911 Carreras are regularly fetching twenty-five grand nowadays. If you’ve had your eye on, say, a Ferrari 328GTB, now might be the time to throw some of that Bernakified cheddar at one. Remember, you can’t pay too much… you can only buy too soon, right?

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71 Comments on “The Record-Breaking $52M Sale Of A Ferrari GTO Degrades Us All And Here Are Five Reasons Why...”


  • avatar
    doctor olds

    “The billionaires are pushing the millionaires out of the collector car market.” said a well heeled friend. I told him not to expect too much sympathy.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The biggest positive hasn’t been mentioned.

    This vehicle will most definitely be maintained better than most any other vehicle/artwork etc globally.

    This will help keep this vehicle around so in several hundred years it can be placed in the Lourve or a Smithsonian museum.

    The people in the future can look back and feel what we had. There will not only be photographs of these vehicles or holograms or whatever type of media they will have.

    This is also important. Saving the real deal.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Meh, whatever. It’s another classic car bubble, just like in the ’80s. It’s a billionaire penis size contest over a handful of cars. Whether the car is worth $5M or $50M matters not in the least, because in either case nobody on here can afford one. As far out of my bailiwick as the space shuttle.

    On the other hand, maybe the trickle-down means my Spitfire might hit 5 figures someday – wheee!

    Ultimately, when cars get this expensive, you might as well just drive them – you could make a brand new one from scratch for a tiny fraction of the cost of the real thing, identical in every way. You literally can’t write one off. Most of these old war horses were raced and wrecked so many times the only thing original is the chassis number anyway.

    Jack, you sure like to get on your high horse about the oddest things.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-X

      Meh too.

      I find myself having a growing urge to find and destroy this car with a sledgehammer, bullets, fire, and zebra seat covers, while the owner is tied up and watching.

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        These guys may try and do that themselves with the one they have:

        http://www.autoblog.com/2011/10/10/ferrari-250-gto-vs-polaris-ranger-rzr-xp-900-is-the-most-absurd/

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Reason #4 is the most valid one on the board.

  • avatar
    JDavis

    “This sort of thing causes Black Bloc protestors to spring out of the ground and it lends potent ammunition to those who advocate for a forceful redistribution of wealth.” I disagree. The on-going wealth redistribution and class warfare policy is the real reason for despair, envy, lack of jobs, and loss of upward mobility.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      “The on-going wealth redistribution and class warfare policy is the real reason for despair, envy, lack of jobs, and loss of upward mobility.”

      Well then the wealthy should stop their wealth redistribution and class warfare. I’m tired of paying taxes so that welfare queens like defense contractors, agribusiness and for-profit university execs can buy Ferraris.

      There is a lot of waste, fraud and abuse. In the military and Homeland Security at the federal level, and everywhere at the state and local level. In terms of everything from fat lazy local cops retiring at 45 with six figure pensions then getting another government job to double dip pensions to state universities with fat, bloated redundant administrations and high six figure presidents. But the “Occupy” guys aren’t getting any of that. They just want to get an almost free education from a state university. Like Dick Cheney did.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    To much cash chasing to few cars.

    We saw it the late eighties, early to late nineties with the Dot Com boom, them again in the 2000′s when people used their home equity as a cash machine, now the new, unchallenged, economic paradigm is minting new multimillionaires and billionaires exponentially as the one per-centers are piling up the cash.

    When a person can throw around millions in a night of gambling, getting something tangible for their play money is an easy decision, even at stratospheric prices.

    We shouldn’t worry about not being able to buy that classic or new exotic or collector car, a growing number of us will never be able to afford any kind of automobile.

    How do we know this is a verifiable figure and confirmed sale? This may have been a manipulation of the market. A guy holding a lot of Ferrari’s buys one at way above market adding value to the rest of his holdings.

    I have been in the collector car market for over 40 years owning everything from a 27′ Oakland to a 365 GTB/4, and specializing for a time in Sting Rays/Stingrays, I have seen it all, and know some of the major players.

    Lately, high end collector cars prices have been escalating rapidly. This sale, if bonafide, will put additional spin on the market. It will be interesting too hear what Keith Martin of Sports Car Market Magazine’s take on this sale is. I’m sure it won’t include the comment ‘Well Bought’, but time will tell. The fallout will be interesting.

    http://www.sportscarmarket.com/

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      I remember seeing muscle car values skyrocket during the late 90s and early 2000s, presumably because people who had a lot of equity in their homes, whose values went up a lot, could take out a HELOC or second mortgage and buy their dream car.

      Curious to hear what your take on the recent bump up in value of E30 M3s (and soon, probably the 190E 2.3-16V) is!

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Nearly all E-30′s are jumping up in price. I recently made a $25,000 offer on a 88+ point M3 and was turned down. Nice example, but not that nice. We are not to far away from a $50,000 M3, we might have already eclipsed that figure. The M’s have cachet and rarity, everything you need to build collector interest and value.

        I’m reluctant to say this, but the E-30 to look for that you can still buy reasonably and enjoy, is the 91′ 318is. A good example can still be bought for under $10,000. I picked up like new low mileage one(keeper), last year for $5,500, and felt like I stole it. And I’m looking for more to turn.

        The other hot BMW is the Zed-3 coupe in any guise. In the past two years, I have purchased a 3.0L coupe and an ‘M’ Coupe and nearly doubled my money on both.

        Look for good examples of all M’s(E-30/E-36) to go up, and gen-11 944′s especially the turbo’s and ‘S’s to go up. 928′s are slowly moving up.

        The Merc’ 190E 2.3-16V, is a pretty cool car, but relatively unknown in the US, their now and future market is probably Europe where iterations of it were raced in the DTM. I know of one, recently shipped to Germany.

        Grab either while you still can, Hgrunt.

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          anyone who would actually pay that much for a 1980s BMW has rocks in his head.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Reg; “anyone who would actually pay that much for a 1980s BMW has rocks in his head.”

            If your referring to me, ‘JZ’, then you obviously don’t understand the market… but it sounds like you have a prejudice against BMW’s.

            Except for the few cars I keep for a while, I make money off those guys like me, who have rocks in their head. They can enjoy a great car and watch its value go up annually. You can buy your whatever and watch it depreciate by the thousands.

            I made the offer on the E-30 ‘M3′, because I saw money to be made at an all in $27,000 or so, with taking care of its minor issues, and a detail, freshening its overall presence and delivering it to a new owner with nothing to do but appreciate it. It took a while, but the car sold for near the $35,000 asking price… $32.500 And price wasn’t the issue, its condition was.

            A few rocks can go a long way.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Having owned 2 ’91 318is’, and deeply regretting parting with the second one in a moment of stupidity, you are spot on with this. 90% of the fun of an M3 at a fraction of the cost, they are going nowhere but up. Congrats on even finding a nice one, I’ve been looking for the right car for years. Simply fantastic cars. The Z coupes are pretty darned special cars too.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            I have found and bought several for resale, always worth a grand or more in the flip, when tuned and fluffed a bit.

            Best hunting seems to be in Northern California. The Bay area to Redding, seems to have a decent selection as does the Portland(Or.) and Seattle areas, though, it is harder too find an inexpensive one in the NW, as they really like their 2002′s, E-30′s, and ‘M’s’.

            Why do I like the 318is. As close as you can get, in a sedan, to a Miata. Great MPG if you work it. And a fun little weekender with the capacity to hold luggage and clip an apex with verve. A light, delightfully toss-able car.

            Ode’s to the 318is
            http://bringatrailer.com/2011/10/19/1991-bmw-e30-318is/

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Always cracks me up the idiots who denigrate then for having only 4 cylinders and not as much “powah” when they have never driven one. Truly a car that is greater than the sum of its parts. Both of mine brought out the ‘red mist’ when driving like nothing else until I got my FIAT Abarth. The FIAT is much the same sort of fun.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        I don’t think the 2.3-16v has any hope of even staying in the shadow of the e30 – and I own one.

        Fun car, horrifyingly expensive to maintain, and to slow for anyone born since it was made.

  • avatar

    There were only 39 of these built, and this one is one of a kind based on its racing history. If buyer and seller were both satisfied with the deal I don’t see a problem.

  • avatar
    twotone

    In 2006, Jackson Pollock’s “No. 8, 1948″ sold for $161,700,000 (2013 adjusted dollars). Have you seen it? It’s damn ugly. The Ferrari GTO is gorgeous and a much better deal than the Pollock. I’d trade the Pollock for three of these cars in a heartbeat. I don’t see a problem here.

  • avatar
    April

    Re: Reason number one.

    Translation: We rich people should not show off our arrogance, power and money in front of the poors. Well, not to that extent.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    “If you’ve had your eye on, say, a Ferrari 328GTB, now might be the time to throw some of that Bernakified cheddar at one.”

    The Ferrari 328GTB is on the wrong side of wealth polarization.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    firstly, gorgeous picture of a gorgeous car

    i dont think its that much of a big deal – there are more billionaires in the world than there ever was and there’s global wealth inequality

    i remember billionaires 20-30 yr ago buying $100 mil.+ van goghs and other impressionists

    someone like ralph lauren has been buying and over-restoring classic cars since year dot

    i understand baruth’s politics and i do agree with him but the 1% have always done this and whether its $20 mil. or $50 mil. its all ridiculous numbers

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    The various fixed asset bubbles are not a good sign for the economy. They indicate that people are not investing in productive resources, because the poor are too poor to buy anything, so they are just bidding up beach houses, wine bottles, etc. with their profits. But the fact that cars are holding their own against other fixed assets (e.g. the paintings others have mentioned) is a good sign for enthusiasts. It means wealthy, powerful people still appreciate cars.

    Jack does make an interesting point about creating new race winners instead of buying old ones, but how much would it cost to field a winning LeMans team (likely a multi-year effort), instead of just paying the entrance fee?

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @racer-esq – first up, you won’t be able to compete for an overall victory. Your odds as a privateer entry of beating the Audi, Toyota, and now Porsche factory teams is essentially non existent. Your best chance for a class victory would come in either the LMP2 or GTE-Am category. I don’t have hard numbers for those, but R&T ran numbers for lmp1 and this was what they had:

      http://www.roadandtrack.com/go/news/racing/what-does-it-cost-to-go-sports-car-racing-38144

      “…make sure you have $2.5 million sitting in your bank account before handing over your ATM card to purchase Honda Performance Development’s ARX-03a…
      …If you’re keen taking your 03a to run the FIA’s jet-setting World Endurance Championship–with the 24 Hours of Le Mans serving as the cornerstone event on the eight-round calendar, one 03a team is reportedly spending $7.5 million to field its HPD this season.”

      LMP2 cars are cost limited to $570,000 per chassis ready to run, and will be less expensive to operate due to having less exotic and expensive parts and aero bits (this is how they get the chassis and engine cost down vs LMP1). So you could field a 2 car 5+ years LMP2 effort for the cost of the GTO. If you manage to find a sponsor to help pay the bills, you can go even longer.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      For a GT-Am class effort, at Le Mans, you’re probably talking 3-5 million for a chance at the win. Of course, if you just want a seat, rather than the whole team, it could be cheaper.

      If you want to start a proper GT race team, and do well, probably $5-10 million a year depending on series.

      • 0 avatar
        Morea

        The “Paying for Racing” series of articles at The Last Turn Clubhouse breaks down the costs very well:

        http://lastturnclub.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=600&Itemid=88

        The articles are 5 years old so the costs will be a bit greater.

        • 0 avatar
          juicy sushi

          Yup, TK did a very good job with that article, although I remember at the time that he got a fair amount of flak from certain individuals for posting numbers outside their dearly held beliefs…

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Agree on every point, but would like to remind you of the drums on the intro to ‘Time’ on DSOTM. I think I’ll go and try to build some GTO replicas now, 70′s (big block) Corvette chassis would work right ? :)

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      All that you touch
      All that you see
      All that you taste
      All you feel.
      All that you love
      All that you hate
      All you distrust
      All you save.
      All that you give
      All that you deal
      All that you buy,
      beg, borrow or steal.
      All you create
      All you destroy
      All that you do
      All that you say.
      All that you eat
      And everyone you meet
      All that you slight
      And everyone you fight.
      All that is now
      All that is gone
      All that’s to come
      and everything under the sun is in tune
      but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

      As brilliant at the Ferrari itself.

      • 0 avatar
        olddavid

        Then, I would turn it over and listen to “Seamus”. Perfect coda at 5 a.m. Sunday morning.

      • 0 avatar
        OldWingGuy

        Greatest album ever. And that’s from a die hard Stones fan.

        Here’s my car connection – when on a late-night, long drive, I click thru the MP3′s to Time. The alarm clocks alone are like three cups of coffee.

        • 0 avatar

          Once, thinking out loud, I said to my now ex, “How come we’ve never bought many Pink Floyd albums?” and then we simultaneously both said, “Because they’re too depressing”.

          As a freshman in college, just about every night hanging out with friends we ended up listening to Dark Side of the Moon or Ummagumma, Machine Head by Deep Purple, and Workingman’s Dead by the Grateful Dead in order to satisfy everyone’s taste.

          Pink Floyd are a talented bunch but a bit too dark for my tastes.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Mistah Jack, he say:

    “We’ve entered a mirrored funhouse where returning Afghanistan veterans can’t find work”

    But Mistah Jack, he say before:

    “But now the city of Gallatin will be confronting its citizens with a $658,000 armored military vehicle that, like many of the young men in this country’s increasingly militarized police forces, has seen serious action.

    and:

    “one has to wonder about what happens when you take young men who have already suffered through America’s foreign adventures, put them in the same kind of truck they used back in Afghanistan, and tell them to patrol the neighborhood and/or respond to a situation.”

    Maybe Mistah Jack, he forget. Or want different spin today?

    Mistah Hestah, he not forget.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    As an appraiser (of businesses not cars) let me just say that:

    1. A single transaction is not a market. Any smart investor would look to the values of multiple transactions (for the same type car and similar rare-mobiles) over the time he thought representative of a stable market. For the super wealthy, who are very insulated from variation in the economy, this could be 2 years, 5, or longer.

    2. The transaction price is probably bullshit: An “unidentified buyer” in a “private transaction” ‘My boy just sold his GTO for $X, I’ll let you have mine for ….’ It also sounds like asset flipping. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/land-flip.asp

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Not aware of Occupy movement kicking in business windows. Kindly substantiate. Literary license can be revoked if driver being careless or worse. Perhaps case of drinking and writing?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t have a problem with this, at least this car will stay original. People are collecting everything, even old tractors. Look at the price paid for the 58 Chevy Cameo, 140k.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      At least nobody is going to drop a SBC under the hood and try to turn this into a fugitive from “American Graffiti”, or, worse, why the owner tries to believe he drove in high school.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    The post-2005 6.0 found in the GTOs was the “LS2″ not “LS3″ as suggested in the article. The advertised horsepower of the LS2 was around 400. The LS3 (found in the latest-generation Camaro) is advertised at 430.

    Of course any of the Aussie GTO’s could easily wax the Ferrari GTO in any metric of performance, including gas mileage.

    With the $6,000 Pro Charger kit and a $10,000 purchase price (if true), the Aussie GTO could be the cheapest 700 horsepower car in the history of the world.

    The GTO, since it was made, and worst of all marketed by GM, recieved a scorching review from Robert Farrago.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      So? something isn’t “true” just because a particular person said it. I’m a bit worn out from this attitude. Just like Top Gear fans (who are rapidly catching up to Apple fans for the title of “Most Annoying Yet Least Knowledgeable”) positing that anything Clarkson says is automatically correct.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Reason #0 sounds like it was lifted from the lectures I had to endure from one Dr. Khol at Defiance College.

    For this latest collector car bubble allow me to say (as many wise people have said): This too in time shall pass.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    If there’s one thing I can’t stand is someone trying to tell me how to spend my money or make me feel guilty about it. Now, compared to my contemporaries I’m not a rich man, but, compared to everyone on the planet, I look pretty good. I wonder if there are people out in the world who would be upset to know I paid over 30K for my last car? Do they have a right to be? I don’t think so, so what right does anyone have to begrudge this guy from spending his 52m on anything he wants? Zero!

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I honestly believe “zero” interest rates create bubbles like this.

    People have been sitting on the sidelines with large cash positions that’s earning nothing and despite the stock market that’s been steadily rising, everyone knows it’s artificially being stimulated by central banks and will crash as soon as the punch bowl is taken away.

    Suddenly, expensive cars, art, collectibles, etc start looking appealing as at least it’s something tangible AND there’s a lot more pride in ownership.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Some guy buys an old racing Ferrari for a ton load of money? Alright, good for them, I hope they take care of it.

    If anything car auctions like that huge farm field Chevy auction are doing more harm to used car prices, people are gonna start taking basket-case Monzas, rolling the odometers the 7 miles, and claiming that they were from that auction.

    Doesn’t help that it was televised on the History channel either, a channel devoted to aliens, rednecks, and money-grubby weasels ripping people off in staged scenarios.

    Don’t even get my started on Barett Jackson auctions, oui.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    It doesn’t mean much for average guys who enjoy cars. For car guys wanting to start a car museum, the price went up. For enthusiasts, chances are you were never going to get to hoon that Ferrari GTO anyway, and hooning a 2004 GTO might actually be more fun.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Brilliant article, Jack.

    It only makes me thankful for the used cars I’m driving; at least my cost per mile is much lower than the $52 MM GTO.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    It does make you think, if you could afford it, would you still buy it? Something I’ve given much thought too, because, hey, it might happen right?…. right?

    I really like the idea of starting your own racing team, become successful, take winnings and start your own line of super cars. Or become a failure and loose it all.

    Me, I’d buy a mint 1964 Chrysler Imperial crown coupe for $15k, spend a few hundred grand on a kick ass recording studio, and never “work” another day again; while looking cool as fuck doing it.

  • avatar

    We already have a 2004 GTO in the 24 Hours of LeMons; the team bought a bashed up example for a few grand from an insurance auction and sold off (an alleged) $4000 worth of parts. I gave it two billion penalty laps (the all-time record) the first time I saw it at a race, but since that time I’ve come to understand that their accounting seems legit plus 30-year-old Supras usually eat it up in races.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Thanks Jack.

    Just to put this in perspective, I went to see the art auctioned at Christies and Sotheby’s in NYC last spring In toto, the art sold for $750 million.

    The top price was about $58 million bucks for a very important Jackson Pollock painting. There were less than a handful of paintings in the $40 million range. THAT was described as a “bubble”

    We are talking about a friggin’ car that will probably never be driven again.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Does it affect brand new Lexus GS pricing?
    No?
    OK, I am fine then.

  • avatar
    baconator

    I want to be on Baruth’s side with this post, as he’s usually bullseye-accurate in his social commentary, but no, the only reason that might stand up here is #2. And even there, I’ll bet him $1000 of those Bernankefied U.S. dollars that the buyer of this car *also* sponsors or runs a racing team.

    Look, someone buying a $52M Ferrari is almost certainly a multi-billionaire with more than one collector-grade Ferrari. The Venn diagram between that group and guys who are either sponsoring or participating in a racing effort has near-complete overlap. Just looking at the list of 250 GTO owners as of last year, 4 of the first 5 sponsor professional racing efforts through the corporations they control:
    http://jalopnik.com/5974535/here-is-a-list-of-all-the-people-that-own-ferrari-250-gtos

    Googling the rest of them is left as an exercise for the reader; I’ll just note the remainder of the list includes Lawrence Stroll, who sponsored the Mercedes Formula 1 team while heading up Hugo Boss, and Christian Glaesel, who has won a couple of FIA GT championships as a driver. Pansy-ass factor: Zero.

    Furthermore, you’re missing the obvious upside to this sale: It aids all of us in our attempts to convince our wives/girlfriends/etc. that whatever leaking heap we want to hoard in our garage is an “investment.”

    • 0 avatar
      Morea

      baconator, thanks for the link.

      I can add detail to another name on the list:

      Lulu Wang was featured in the New York Times magazine a few years ago. She regularly races and rallies her cars. I have seen her race her silver GTO at VIR.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      Very true, the GTOs aren’t really being sold to “collectors,” in the sense that is being used here.

  • avatar
    The Soul of Wit

    Justice would be if the buyer decided he’d take it out on the track…you know, just once…because after all, you can’t pay $52 million for a car and then go to parties and sheepishly have to admit you don’t know how it runs or drives….so I hope he takes it out to the track and puts it into the wall….not enough to total it, but enough to take it’s value down by….90% or so…

    That would be justice.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    Meh, I had already figured out that my dream classic cars were going to be lottery win events anyway. This changes nothing. As long as prices for NA/NB Miatas and E36 BMWs don’t go through the roof I can still keep saving up for fun toys on the side. Perhaps not collectible, but that’s ok…

  • avatar
    EspritdeFacelVega

    Well, it just makes me sad about the $10k Facel Vegas, $8k Dinos and $7500 Benz 190SLs I let get away in the early 90s. But there are lots of undiscovered “future Concours” bargains out there, even today (not the 2004 GTO, alas).

    Yes, QE combined with zero-bound rates have led to immense amount of liquidity being driven into the financial system (note I didn’t say the US economy, because that’s obviously not really happening). This leads to asset-price bubbles in anything collectable, as it does in RE…At one level I’m chagrined at my hobby getting so distorted. But I’m more concerned about the level of distortion in the wider economy and how we ever get out of this mess.

    Having said that, the rising tide hasn’t affected all car values, as fashion drives a lot of it. Muscle car values have revived in part due to Barrett-Jackson and other TV-fuelled auctions, but as most of these cars don’t have major historical or global significance I’m thinking the muscle car market will stabilize and possibly even decline over time…Look at how values of 55-57 Chevys, 55-57 T-birds, 53 Skylarks etc. have softened due to generational shifts. For classic Detroit iron, the best cars will always have high values, but “average” collectors will, I suspect, always be able to find a way in. Ditto the nascent world of 70s and 80s Japanese classics, which is just getting started (Finally! I’ve been predicting this for 10+ years!)

    Meanwhile, the historically significant global cars, exotics etc. will stay in the stratosphere, unlike in the early 90s, as I do think very wealthy collectors now see these as akin to great art and not just as hobby toys (sad, in a way, as too many won’t be owned or enjoyed by car people).

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      Pretty much agree, to a degree with everything you said regarding the collector auto market.

      Reg’ “muscle car market will stabilize and possibly even decline over time…” Like Rock & Roll, Muscle cars will not be effected by generational interest. The new/younger collector car enthusiasts have a great, well informed, appreciative interest in the cars from every era, but the Muscle era cars stand on their own and will always command significant prices. The swings will be temporary adjustments, corrections of bubble markets and sour economies.

      Other cars will have some generational value changes, but as the ability to own a significant collector car diminishes, others will be drawn in to the market, and cars in decline will find new standing and rise in value.

      For example the late 20′s and very early thirties, Nash’s, Studebakers, Buicks, Pontiacs, Olds, etc., declined significantly in value in the late eighties early nineties and are now enjoying a growing resurgence in values.

      Regarding Skylarks. My uncle bought a new one in 53′, in 55′ he bought a new 54′(nos), at the time, even at the ripe old age of eight, I questioned his wisdom on trading the 53′ for a 54′. Twenty years later I found and bought his old 53′. In the late nineties, I reluctantly sold it back to his family, who returned it back to him on his 75th B-day.

      I have always considered significant cars from the great marques… Works of collaborative art. They are dynamic and visceral, and much more involved and evolved then other dimensional art.

  • avatar
    BMWnut

    It must be possible to build an exact replica/clone of a 250 GTO for way less than $52 million. Just saying.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Loot the Italian country side for aluminum signs to make the body. Get some NOS USSR square steel tubing for the chassis. Well, that would be the authentic way to do it, but I guess you could work with any aluminum and steel suppliers.

      The engine and tranny will be the tough part, but if the V12 doesn’t have to be exactly authentic you could try to find a V12 from a wrecked 456 GTA. That would probably be pretty cheap ($10 – $20K), and you would get a way better engine.

      Based on Shelby Daytona replica pricing a replica 250 GTO, with some kind of Ferrari V12, should be doable for about $150K. Roughly 1/347th of the price of this GTO.

      But it will not have won the 1963 Tour de France Automobile.

      Don’t worry. With some of the $51,850,000 that you save by making a replica 250 GTO you may be able to find and purchase the Opel Manta that won the Tour de France Automobile in 1983. And probably still have at least $51,800,000 left over.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_de_France_Automobile


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