May 18, 2009 / 1:55 PM / in 9 years

Vintage Ferrari sets auction record

MILAN (Reuters Life!) - A 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa has set a new world record for the most expensive car ever sold at auction, costing the buyer 9.02 million euros ($12.15 million), according to RM Auctions, which organized the event.

The price, which includes a 10 percent buyer’s premium on top of the “hammer price,” is nearly 2 million euros more than the previous record set at a similar auction at Ferrari’s headquarters a year ago, it said in a statement.

“The historical significance of this car attracted a bidding war as collectors from around the world -- both in the room and on the telephone -- competed to secure one of the most alluring ... Ferrari racing cars,” RM Europe Managing Director Max Girardo said in the statement.

An undated photo of a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa offered for sale at an auction in Maranello, Italy on May 17, 2009. REUTERS/Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions

RM declined to identify the buyer or the seller.

The auction took place on Sunday at Ferrari’s factory and test circuit at Maranello, a small town near Modena in the north of Italy. Between 1957 and 1958, only 22 examples of the open-topped “pontoon fender” model were made, according to the statement.

Examples of the open-topped two-seater model entered 19 international championship races from 1958 to 1961, claiming 10 victories, it said.

The example sold on Sunday has a black body and a red nose. Inside, the leather seats are red.

Ferrari is part of Italy’s Fiat industrial group, best known for small, economical cars.

Writing by Nigel Tutt; Editing by Steve Addison

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