A rare and historically significant 1962 Ferrari 330 LM, which was originally owned and raced by Ferrari’s factory team, is set to go under the hammer at an RM Sotheby’s auction in New York City on November 13th. This highly sought-after car is expected to fetch around $60 million, potentially setting a new record for the highest price ever paid for a Ferrari at auction.
While the estimated price may seem steep, it is in line with the amounts paid for other rare and iconic classic cars. For example, a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO sold privately in 2018 for a rumored $70 million, and last year a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR sold for over $140 million. The Ferrari 330 LM is in the same league as these legendary cars, making it an extremely valuable and collectible piece.
The 330 LM is a special and significant car in Ferrari’s racing history. It was developed as a further evolution of the iconic 250 GTO, built to comply with the changing regulations set by the FIA. Only four 330 LMs were ever produced, as Ferrari was moving towards a mid-engine platform at the time. Out of the four, only two were built with bodywork resembling the 250 GTO, and the car up for sale, with chassis number 3765, is one of those two.
One of the distinctive features that identify this particular 330 LM is the signature bulge in the hood, which was necessary to accommodate the larger 4.0-liter V-12 engine. Unlike the 3.0-liter engine found in the 250 GTO, this powerful V-12 engine produces 385 horsepower and enables the car to reach a top speed of 174 mph. The elongated floorpan of the 330 LM also allows for the positioning of the larger engine.
The car’s mechanical components are equally impressive. It features a tubular steel chassis with independent front suspension and a live axle at the rear. The bodywork was designed by Scaglietti, and later models of the 330 LM had bodywork by Pininfarina, resembling the 250 Lusso but maintaining the iconic 250 GTO design elements.
The 330 LM had a successful racing career, particularly at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it earned the LM suffix in its name. Chassis number 3765 retains the same livery it wore during the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it qualified in seventh place but unfortunately failed to finish. Its greatest achievement was in a 1,000-kilometer race at the Nürburgring in 1962, where it finished second overall and first in its class.
After its racing days, the car was sold in 1964 to Ferdinando Latteri, who outfitted it with a 3.0-liter V-12 engine to compete as a GTO in Italian GT racing. It went through several ownership changes before eventually ending up with its current owner, Jim Jaeger, an Ohio resident, in 1985. Jaeger managed to locate the original engine and commissioned a full restoration, ensuring that this historic Ferrari remains in impeccable condition.
The car’s provenance is thoroughly documented, with copies of the original factory build sheets, period racing coverage, and owners’ correspondence included in the sale. This level of documentation further enhances the car’s exceptional value as a collector’s item and a significant piece of Ferrari’s racing legacy.
In conclusion, the upcoming sale of the 1962 Ferrari 330 LM presents a remarkable opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to acquire not only a rare and historically significant car but also a potential record-breaker in terms of price. With its connection to Ferrari’s factory team and its impressive racing history, this 330 LM stands as a symbol of automotive excellence and a testament to Ferrari’s enduring legacy in the world of motorsports.