Fri Jan 31 2014 03:45:08 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
The best Ferrari, now quickly becoming the most expensive. £24 million . . .
Fri Jan 31 2014 16:57:40 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
A classic Ferrari has become the most expensive car ever sold in Britain after it was bought for more than £24million.
The Ferrari Testa Rossa, a 1957 model and the second prototype ever built, was sold by Derbyshire dealer Tom Hartley Jr who has described it as “the greatest car in the world,” to an anonymous buyer.
The car, which has an impressive race history including competing at 12 hours of Sebring whilst being piloted by legendary American F1 World Champion Phil Hill, is rumoured to have sold for £24.1 million.
This makes it the most expensive car ever sold publicly and tops the £22.5 million paid in 2012 for a Ferrari 250 GTO.
The 12 hours of Sebring is a motorsport endurance race for sports cars held at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida. It is seen as part of the informal crown of endurance racing which links the three largest sports races.
Mr Hartley said: “I can confirm that the car has sold, although due to client confidentiality we will not disclose the buyer or the price achieved.
The Ferrari Testa Rossa, a 1957 model and the second prototype ever built (SWNS)
"This Ferrari is without question one of the most important cars on the planet if not the most important because of its originality.
"While I won't go into the terms of the sale, I am sure it will prove to be a great investment for the new owner.
"Now it is done, my only disappointment is the fact I don't think it can ever be bettered as I truly think it is the greatest car in the world."
The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, which is Italian for 'red head', is powered by a 3-litre V12 engine which develops 300bhp. This gives the road-legal race car a 0-60mph time of around six seconds and a top speed of 167mph.
It was the second prototype and factory team car for two seasons with Ferrari then making a further 19 customer cars.
Marcel Massini, a Ferrari historian with an encyclopedic knowledge of the famous marque, described the model as "one of the top five Ferraris on the planet".
He said: "It is so valuable because it is totally unmolested and not restored, genuine and very original. It also comes with a fantastic history which is most important.
"I believe the Ferrari market will continue to go up as more and more wealthy people need to reinvest their cash but there are not many more top quality cars available.
"It's simple supply and demand. Classic cars as hard assets are just one of several asset classes nowaday."
The Ferrari Testa Rossa appeared on the racetrack in 1957 at Le Mans and ran as high as second place, but did not finish the race.