Once-crashed Ferrari tops $38 million, setting an auction record

August 15, 2014, 12:52 PM UTC

The insurance on this car could be a little tricky.

A Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta was sold in a California auction for $38.1 million Thursday, making it the most expensive car ever sold at a public auction, according to the New York Times. The hammer price for the car was $35.65 million (before the buyer’s premium). The previous record was the $31.6 million paid for a Mercedes-Benz racer last summer.

A little bit of context: For that much cash, you could buy around 120 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinettas, the most priciest new Ferrari on the market according to Motor Trend. You could also buy 407 Tesla Model S Performance Sedans, or you could invest in a whopping 2,089 2014 Honda Civic LX Coupes.

The Ferrari, reportedly one of 36 built in 1961-64, is something very special. It was owned for many years by Italian Ferrari enthusiast Fabrizio Violati. Former French Olympic ski champion Henri Oreiller died in a car crash when driving the car in 1962, the Times said.

The $38.1 million price tag is the biggest check ever written for a car that we know of. Most collector cars are sold privately, and it is expected that the estate of Violati, who died in 2010, may have sold the car to a group of investors for north of $100 million, according to CNBC.

Other auctions are also taking place at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, although so far nothing quite so historic has occurred.

WATCH: The most expensive car ever sold at auction
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