Home Entertainment Ferrari 1961 250 GT Berlinetta: Is It the Holy Grail of Cars & Why It’s Valued at $9M

Ferrari 1961 250 GT Berlinetta: Is It the Holy Grail of Cars & Why It’s Valued at $9M

by Scott Kacsmar
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1961 Ferrari Berlinetta

Ferrari has long been the gold standard in luxury sports cars from Italy. But one of its lesser-known pieces is set to make a mint when the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB goes up for auction in Monaco this May.

An offshore sportsbook like BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review to learn more) is setting the auction price high as the over/under for this one-of-a-kind Ferrari is set at $9 million. That would hardly make it the most expensive car ever bought, but that is still serious money for a car that many fans are only hearing about for the first time this year. 

So, how does such an obscure Ferrari earn a reputation as the “Holy Grail of Cars” and have a chance to be sold to a near 8-figure bid? Let’s look at the history of this 250 GT Berlinetta.

The History of the 250 GT Berlinetta

Ferrari’s most successful line of cars in the early days was the Ferrari 250, which was produced in a few variants from 1952 to 1964. These cars were known for their 3.0 L Colombo V12 engines, and they could be used for road travel or sports car racing.

The grand tourers (GT) were soon introduced, and the original 250 GT Berlinetta was known as the “Tour de France” after it completed the Tour de France Automobile race, a competition that lasted 10 days.

The first 250 GT Berlinetta SWB was made in 1959. This model had a short wheelbase, hence the SWB, to improve the handling. This became a very popular variant for racing, and it won the Tour de France Automobile in 1960, 1961, and 1962.

The 250 GT was a beloved car with appeal to many actors and celebrities for its beauty in design and performance. But the one about to be auctioned in May by French-based Artcurial Motorcars is not sought after because of a famous owner from the 1960s or anything like that.

Details on This 250 GT Berlinetta SWB

The most recent owner of this 250 GT SWB who has brought increased attention to it is Staffan Wittmark, the CEO of Swedish clothing company Gant. Wittmark, who only bought this car in the 2010s, is offering up several of his restored Ferrari’s for auction, and this one-of-a-kind model from 1961 figures to be one of the key bidding frenzies in May.

Matthieu Lamoure, the director of Artcurial Motorcars believes this will be the first time many motor enthusiasts will have even heard of this model’s existence. “It is the holy grail of Ferraris. It is really one of the most beautiful cars in history – not only of Ferrari, but in automotive history,” said Lamoure, the director of this upcoming auction.

What makes this car a true 1-of-1 model is the motor is the only one ever made in blue Tigullio 16639 Fiat 369, and it has a Pelle Rossa VM 3171 interior. The motor has matching numbers with the chassis and engine, so it has been proven to be the real deal.

The car comes with a 2-inch thick red book, so the new owner will have a detailed history of where the car has been over its lifetime. The car’s history and story are considered very important to connoisseurs and buyers of luxury vehicles like this. A car with a detailed red book will also have much more value to it than one without that history.


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How Much Will It Fetch at Auction?

At BetOnline, the over/under for the auction in May is currently $9 million (U.S. dollars). Under $9 million has -140 odds while over $9 million is +100.

Some experts currently expect at least $8 million to win this car in auction, but can it get over $9 million? There was a 250 GT Berlinetta SWB from 1961 that sold for $1.76 million at an auction in October 2006, which was considered on the low end at the time.

However, that was almost 18 full years ago, inflation has skyrocketed, and it is not clear if that model had the type of restoration or added red book value that this one has.

Some people go wild for cars like this with a history as past sales show:

  • A 1961 GT SWB previously owned by actor James Coburn sold for £5.5 million to DJ Chris Evans back in 2008.
  • Another 1961 GT SWB that was owned by French actor Alain Delon sold for $15.9 million in February 2015.
  • A different 1961 GT SWB sold for $17.16 million at an auction in 2016 where the pre-auction range was predicted to be $15-17 million.

There are going to be other cars to bid on at this event in May, but if this 250 GT Berlinetta SWB is truly the Holy Grail of sports cars, it should command top dollar and exceed expectations.

That is why we’ll take the value with the underdog odds of this one going over $9 million in May’s auction.

Pick: Over $9,000,000 (+100) at BetOnline

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Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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