The record for the most expensive car sold in an online auction has been broken for the second time in just over a week.
A 2001 Ferrari 550 GT1, built by famed motorsport engineering company Prodrive, now holds the crown.
When the virtual hammer fell at the RM Sotheby’s sale, the rare race car had achieved a price of $4.29 million (£3.28 million).
Rapid record breaker
Such a huge amount is a substantial leap from the previous record. That was set at the Gooding & Co Geared Online auction, by a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose. That virtual sale closed at a considerable $3.08 million (£2.35 million) on 7th August 2020.
Prior to that, the bar had been set by another Ferrari in June 2020. A 2003 Enzo sold at the RM Sotheby’s Driving Into Summer auction for $2.64 million (£2.01 million).
Yet the 2001 550 GT1 blew past those amounts, aided by being the last V12-powered Ferrari to win a 24-hour race outright. That victory at the 2004 Spa 24 Hours helped this car go on to win the 2004 FIA GT Championship, driven by Luca Cappellari and Fabrizio Gollin.
A winner both online and on-track
It is testimony to the work of Prodrive, and the aerodynamic revisions made by Peter Stevens, that the Ferrari 550 became such a competitive endurance racer. The twelve 550 GT1s built would take 50 wins during the racing programme.
This particular car is noted to be the most successful chassis of all. It took 14 wins and 29 podiums from 49 races entered, only failing to finish on six occasions.
Following the end of its racing career, the 550 GT1 has been comprehensively overhauled and rebuilt. It now wears the livery from that special victory at the 2004 Spa 24 Hours.
Having been developed from a road car, it even comes with the original V5 issued by the DVLA.
Such an illustrious history, backed by Ferrari-certified provenance, will have helped push the special GT1 racer to the auction record.