Ferrari 250 Le Mans up for auction: The greatest Ferrari ever?

Is the 1964 250 LM Ferrari’s GOAT?

That question may be decided — to the satisfaction of some, but probably not to all — when this ultimate race car, the 22nd example of only 32 ever built, goes to auction

at Monterey Car Week in mid-August.

Expecting to sell for an estimated $18 million to $20 million, this complete restoration to original specifications by Ferrari Classiche raced in the 1966 24 Hours of Daytona and, later, the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans

. While this particular example did not enter Le Mans in 1965, another 250 LM did: the NART-entered chassis No. 5893 driven by Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt
. It took the checkered flag, bringing Ferrari its sixth consecutive Le Mans win, and sealing the 250 LM’s legend.

The legend was burnished early the next year, when the Ferrari that’s to be sold was entered at the 24 Hours of Daytona as No. 24, to be driven by Innes Ireland, Mike Hailwood, and then-owner George Drummond. The car was forced to retire after 90 laps with a gearbox failure. But over the following two years, chassis No. 6053 recorded at least eight more starts, and among these appearances, Ferrari factory driver Michael Parkes took the wheel at the Austrian Grand Prix

in September 1966.

It’s a heady history for a car that some may argue is the greatest Ferrari of all time. This 250 LM reportedly was never involved in a significant crash, according to RM Sotheby, which is handling the sale. It was sold and resold after it was retired from racing, most recently in 2018 to the current consignor, a collector. It was presented at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

last summer.

The 250 LM model range (“LM” for Le Mans) was officially introduced at the 1963 Paris Salon, and it was perceived as an introduction to the wave of large-displacement rear-engine supercars that would follow.

The car being sold at Monterey displays six huge Weber 38 DCN carburetors topped with velocity stacks and enclosed in a cold air box; the alloy Borrani wire wheels, and the correct Rosso Cina paint over Bleu cloth upholstery.

Among the dozens of luscious cars set for Monterey to entice the Ferrari tifosi is the so-called Lost & Found Collection: a fleet of 20 vintage “lost” Ferraris, some nearly destroyed, others gorgeously refinished, that were rescued when the barn in which they were stored collapsed during a hurricane. Among the finds was 1956 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina,

formerly owned by King Mohamed V of Morocco.

“Most of these lost Ferraris remain untouched, preserving their purity and original condition since the day they were acquired — a true embodiment of the ‘barn find’ concept,” said Rob Myers of Sotheby’s.