1963 Ferrari GTO sells for record-breaking $52 million

The identity of the new owner is not known.

A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO has changed hands for the jaw-dropping sum of $52 million, earning it the distinction of being the world's most expensive car. The previous record was held by a 1962 250 GTO sold for $35 million in June of 2012.

Wearing chassis number 5111GT, the record-breaking GTO was purchased new by French pilot Jean Guichet and driven to victory in the 1963 Tour de France Automobile. Hemmings reports Road & Track's Henry N. Manney III purchased the car from Guichet in 1965 and held on to it until 1971.

Where it went after Manney sold it is a bit of an enigma but it eventually wound up in the collection of Paul Pappalardo and was treated to a full restoration. Pappalardo regularly used the car to compete in historic races and had it shipped to Ferrari conventions worldwide until he sold it to the Torrota Collection in Spain in 2008.

Pappalardo refused to confirm the sale and the identity of the new owner has not been disclosed.

Although the GTO is rare and generally considered desirable, its value has reached nonsensical heights over the past few years and analysts are wondering how high prices will go until they level out.

"Nothing goes up like that in the mid-term,” said analysts Dietrich Hatlapa. "Price rises of 55 percent aren't sustainable in any market. We're not saying the market is going to collapse, but it will probably average out over time.”

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