It’s now one of the top ten most valuable cars ever sold at auction.
This isn’t the first time a ridiculously rare vintage Ferrari has been sold for an eight-figure sum at an auction, and it almost certainly won’t be the last. At last week’s RM Sotheby’s LA auction held at the Petersen Automotive Museum, a 1956 Ferrari 290 MM racer sold for a staggering $22,005,000, which was enough to earn it a rank in the top ten most valuable cars ever sold at auction. What made it worth such an astronomical amount of money?
Chassis number 0628 was originally a factory race car and was driven by revered racing drivers such as Phil Hill, Juan Manuel Fangio, Peter Collins, Olivier Gendebien, Sir Stirling Moss, and Wolfgang von Trips. It still has its original bodywork, engine and transmission, which is rare for a heavily used race car from this period. It made its racing debut in the 1956 Mille Miglia, where it won second place. Back then, the car was fitted with a four-cylinder, 3.5-liter 860 Monza-type engine.
This was then replaced with a new 3.5-liter 290 S engine in 1957, which enabled the car to finish third in the 1957 1000 KM of Buenos Aires. The engine was replaced again the same year for the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring with a 290 MM V12 with single overhead camshafts. Unfortunately, the car was forced to retire the race due to a battery failure. This was the last race the car campaigned as an official Scuderia Ferrari car.
Its last owner bought the car in 2011 and restored it to its original 1957 Sebring racing spec. Just four Ferrari 290MMs were ever built, only three of which survived.
Other high-value sales at the Petersen Automotive Museum auction included a 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone, the only Miura SV originally finished in Bleu Medio, which sold for $2,205,000, a 279-mile 2015 Porsche 918 ‘Weissach’ Spyder in Factory Matte Black wrap and Martini livery that sold for $1,534,000, a 350-mile 2015 McLaren P1 accessorized with a host of McLaren Special Operations options, which achieved $1,435,000, and a 2,400-mile 1989 Ferrari F40 that fetched $1,545,000.