Bertone Ferrari 250 GT fetches $16.5 million in Pebble Beach

According to Gooding & Co., it sold almost $70 million in cars at the Pebble Beach Auction on Saturday, including the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Bertone Berlinetta
Ferrari 250 GT SWB Bertone Berlinetta

PEBBLE BEACH, August 17, 2015 – The 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta “Shark Nose” previously owned by Nuccio Bertone shattered pre-auction estimates, selling on Saturday for $16.5 million during Car Week and the Concours d’Elegance on the Monterrey Peninsula.

The Concours d’Elegance was originally founded 65 years ago, with car lovers participating in a 17 mile drive and then displaying their cars for mutual admiration. It is now a week long and is one of the automobile world’s most prestigious events.

Gooding & Company, the auction house for the event, confirmed that the 2015 week was its most successful. And the 250 GT topped the proceeds with its enormous price tag.

The Ferrari now holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a car sold publicly.

The 1962 250 GT is a one-of-a-kind car, a unique collaboration between designers Nuccio Bertone and Giorgetto Giugiaro. Its value is further boosted by the fact that the car was made for and owned by Bertone, who commissioned the car to show off his company at the Geneva and Torin Auto Shows in 1962.

Giuseppe “Nuccio” Bertone was an Italian automobile designer whose Automobile Hall of Fame bio calls “a design genius.” Bertone was known for identifying and training promising young designers, including Giorgetto Giugiaro, and for his successful groundbreaking designs. Bertone is best known for designing the Lamborghini Countach, as well as Lamborghini Miura and Espada. He also designed Alfa Romero’s Giulietta Sprint and Montreal and the Fiat Dino Coupe/Fiat Spiders.

Bertone was highly successful in the early 1960s, but had failed to win rights to design a Ferrari, the holy grail for Italian auto designers. In 1962, he personally purchased a 250 GT SWB chassis from Ferrari. He and Giugiaro then designed the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale.

Bertone Ferrari 250 GT
Bertone Ferrari 250 GT

Auto aficionados note that the major selling point for the car is the involvement of Giugiaro. The Berlinetta Speciale was the third car Giugiaro had assisted in designing, and is the only Ferrari he ever designed. Giugiaro was inspired by the 156 F1 race car, designing a distinctive “Shark Nose” on the front of the car.

Giugiaro, also in the Automotive Hall of Fame, designed the Alfa Romeo Alfasud, Lotus Esprit, Volkswagen Scirocco, Isuzu Impulse, DeLorean DMC 12, Saab 9000, Subaru SVX, Lexus GS 300, Bugatti EB112, Daewoo, Laganza, Volkswagen W12 Syncro, and the Maserati 3200 GT.

In 1999, he was named “Designer of the Century” by more than 120 journalists around the world.

Bertone unveiled the car at the Geneva motor show in 1962, immediately winning media praise. However, he still did not win a Ferrari contract until 1973, when he designed the Dino 208 GT4. Unfortunately for Bertone, that car was so poorly received that Ferrari returned to designer Pininfarina. Bertone did not make another Ferrari.

Bertone personally drove the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale for several years before selling it. It eventually ended up in California, where a musician drove it daily for 13 years and over 100,000 miles. Until last week, it belonged to Mexican collector Lorenzo Zambrano, who owned it for over 30 years.

Zambrano has had it restored several times, but it has its original engine, transmission and chassis. The interior is burgundy leather with a metallic blue dashboard which matches the Blu Notte Metzllizzato (midnight metallic blue) exterior.

According to Gooding & Co., it sold almost $70 million in cars at the Pebble Beach Auction on Saturday.

Gooding will not disclose the new owner of the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale.

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