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1957 Ferrari sells for record $12.1 million at auction

Sun, 17 May 2009

A 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa once again blew away the competition, setting a world record for cars sold at auction when it fetched an eye-popping $12.1 million on Sunday at an event on the grounds of the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy.

The Testa Rossa was one of just 22 produced from 1957 to 1958, and the Scaglietti design is marked by prominent pontoon fenders. The cars also were successful racers, winning 10 of the 19 international races they entered from 1958 to 1961.

The car sold Sunday wears chassis No. 0714TR, and it finished fourth at the Buenos Aires 1,000-kilometer race in 1958--its debut in competition. The car was then sold to an American collector, who raced it extensively in SCCA events.

The Testa Rossa, which translates to "red head" in Italian, beat the price set by another Ferrari, the 1961 250 GT SWB California Spider. That car was formerly owned by actor James Coburn and fetched $10.9 million last year.

The Testa Rossa was sold at an auction run by RM Auctions and Sotheby's, called the Leggenda e Passione.

By Greg Migliore