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£22m Ferrari breaks car auction record

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Take a good look at the car photographed above. Admire the curves of the wheel arches and bonnet, the spoked wheels and flared rear spoiler. Imagine the booming roar of its V12 engine. Now try and process the news that, while pretty, this shiny hunk of metal has just been sold for £22,836,829.

This is red money-magnet is the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta - one of only 39 of what is widely regarded as one of the greatest cars ever made.

The 19th of its kind to roll off the Maranello production line in 1962, this 250 GTO was once the toy of French racing driver Jo Schlesser, who raced it in a Tour de France Automobile with fellow countryman and French ski champion Henri Oreiller. A tragic crash during the race saw the car spin from the road, the resulting injuries leading to Oreiller's death.

Repaired by Ferrari, it remained in the care of one Italian family since 1965. At an auction at Bonhams Quail Lodge on 15 August, it smashed the world car auction record set last year by a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 R F1 Racer (sold for £18,860,526) when a private buyer placed a winning bid of $38,115,000 (£22,836,829).

Whoever the new owner is, they're going to want to invest in one heck of an insurance package and a new set of ear plugs - according the auctioneers notes, the car "is rigged with side-exit exhausts rather than the standard long tail-pipe system, and upon recent start-up after expert inspection and assessment, its race-tuned exhaust note is distinctively crisp, sharp (and particularly ear-splitting)". Lucky tyke.

(Images: Bonhams)

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