CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. - The 17th annual Bonham Quail Lodge Auction is proving once again it's making history in the auction world with a Ferrari 250GTO selling for $34.65 million Thursday evening, but not reaching expectations of $50 million.
With the auctioneer's 10 percent sales commission, that comes to a price tag of around $38 million.
It's believed to be a record public auction price for a classic car, topping the nearly $30 million paid for a Mercedes W196 last year in England.
It's all happening during the world-renowned Monterey Peninsula Car Week.
On a vast green lawn in Carmel Valley Thursday, close to 120 classic and historic cars were parked, shined to the nine.
But the one red race car stood out above all others after making headlines around the world.
The best-known and most often raced GTOs of them all was part of the sensational Maranello Rosso Collection. It's one of just 39 Ferrari GTOs produced.
The Ferrari was acquired by young Italian enthusiast Fabrizio Violati 49 years ago, in 1965. He was scion of a wealthy family with considerable business interests in agriculture and mineral water bottling and distribution under the brand name Ferrarelle.
But before that, French privateer Jo Schlesser owned the car with olympic skier Henri Oreiller. Oreiller was a national celebrity in the 1940's and 50's, winning two gold medals and a bronze, to become one of the Olympic Games' most successful athletes.
At the age of 26, he went on to pursue his alternative interest in motor racing and rallying, but died after crashing the Ferrari on October 7, 1962.
People like Bob Farino came from far and wide to check out this one of a kind car. Farino, from New Jersey, has been coming to the auctions since the late 1990's.
"As expensive as they are going to be, to me, they are with it, and it's more than a painting on a wall for three times as much," said Farino, who added he wouldn't be bidding on any cars, but has owned a Ferrari before.
Mark Osborne, with Bonham Auctions, said the Monterey Peninsula is the place to be.
"it's the most important area to sell your car, there is racing at Laguna Seca, there is the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and people are flying in from all over the world and hopefully will bring their pocketbooks and come play with us," said Osborne.