250 GTO to Be Sold at Bonham at Quail
Bonhams announced that ten important motor cars from the famed Maranello Rosso Collection in San Marino are to be sold at its annual Quail Lodge auction on the Monterey Peninsula, California, in August 14-15.
Leading the sale will be a 250 GTO, s/n 3851 GT, the first time a GTO has come to the auction block in over a decade. The car is to be offered at no reserve, which should be no problem since the last GTO was rumored to have sold recently for $60 million.
This GTO was the 19th built, completed new on September 11, 1962. It was delivered to the leading French racing driver Jo Schlesser, to be co-driven with French ski Champion Henri Oreiller in the 1962 Tour de France Automobile. The pair challenged for victory and finished an honorable second overall. The car was then crashed during a race at Montlhery Autodrome, just south of Paris, France. It was repaired immediately by Ferrari in Italy and was sold to the Italian gentleman driver Paolo Colombo in time for the start of the 1963 competition season. Paolo Colombo enjoyed a very successful season in Italian national mountain-climb events, before selling it to Ernesto Prinoth for 1964, who used the car in both mountain-climbs and circuit races, again with fine results.
In 1965, a young Fabrizio Violati bought the car. He would recall: “I saved the car from scrap and hid it from my parents. I only drove it at night so nobody would see me”. For almost forty more years, Fabrizio Violati then enjoyed his 250 GTO in classic car and Historic racing events. This is probably the world’s longest single-ownership 250 GTO, which has effectively been in one family’s care for no fewer than 49 years from 1965-2014.
It was the centerpiece of his Maranello Rosso Collection, which encompassed many rare and unique Ferraris (See Cavallino 178), but also a huge collection of Abarths. Fabrizio Violati passed away in 2010, and there was much speculation as to what would happen to the Collection. Bonhams has the lead on ten of the cars at least. The GTO has been announced but the other nine have not, as of this writing.
Source: Info from Bonhams. Images from Keith Bluemel.