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Rare Ferrari breaks auction world record, collecting R555 million


CARS are often seen as nothing more than a means to get from A to B, which is a sad but true reality as worldwide interest in the motor vehicle diminishes year on year. And in fact cars seem even worse from a financial point of view because of rapid depreciation that comes with new car ownership.

However a lot can be said for classic car ownership as a class of assets for investment purposes, especially here in South Africa where the bug hasn't hit quite like it has in Europe and the UK -  thanks to our particularly weak currency. In fact there are classic car hunters trawling South Africa looking for prime examples which can be exported for restoration and resale because they come at a fraction of the cost.

Last week saw a world record broken for a price fetched at auction by a car - in this case a 1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti that comes steeped in racing history, a true one-of-a-kind. In a sale that generated interest from around the world, the car fetched 28 million euros plus premiums and taxes taking the overall price to just over 32 million euros.

The previous record was held by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold in 2014 for what was the equivalent of 28.9 million euros.

This specific 335 Spider finished sixth in the Sebring 12 Hours race in 1957 and second in the Mille Miglia road race in Italy. Later the car was returned to the factory where the engine was rebuilt, in the process increasing capacity from 3.6 to 4.1-litres. The resultant power boost meant it now sported 300kW and a top speed of 300 kilometres an hour.

Legendary British driver, Mike Hawthorn, drove the Spider in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1957, as if there wasn't already enough awe inspiring history. More recently it was homed in the family collection of late French racing driver Pierre Bardinon.

Granted not many of this kind of classic will be floating around our shores, but it just goes to show what mood the classic car world is in.

Article written by Miles Downard
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