Ferrari 250 GTO is world's most expensive car

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Ferrari 250 GTO is world's most expensive car

An extremely rare 1963 Ferrari has become the most expensive car in the world, after it was sold for a record-breaking $52million (£32million).

The Ferrari 250 GTO is a hand-built sports car, of which only 39 examples were produced to meet homologation rules for GT racing. It is amongst the most highly revered and sought-after cars on the planet, with even original buyers needing to personal approval by the marque's founder Enzo Ferrari.

The car, which was formerly owned by US collector Paul Papparlardo was bought by an unidentified party in a private transaction. The car has also recently been linked to a Spanish collector, who – given that such transactions often occur behind closed doors – has also not been identified.

The asking price is a whopping 49 per cent increase in the previous highest known sum paid for a 250 GTO, though this new record could feasibly be broken, with demand for classic Ferrari models from the 1950s and 1960s continuing to rise.

"Today the GTO is considered the top car to own," said Don Williams, a specialist California-based dealer.

"It's like the Mona Lisa. It has a mystique. If you have a GTO, you have a great collection."

When asked about the sale, Pappalardo, who acquired the car in 1974, before restoring and racing it, simply said: "We don't confirm these things, I have no comment."

Other notable Ferrari 250 GTO owners include Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and Walmart chairman Rob Walton.