For the latest classic car news, features, buyer’s guides and classifieds, sign up to the C&SC newsletter here
A rare Ferrari brochure has sold at auction for an incredible €127,000 (£107,000), in the process setting a new world record for an item of automobilia.
The promotional pamphlet is for the Ferrari 250 Europa – one of Ferrari’s first big success stories as a road car – and changed hands at German auction house Ni-Cola Classics’ sale on 30 November.
And amazingly, given the price, it’s no glossy production packed with period photos and information; in fact, it’s only four pages long.
The English brochure was published in 1954 and is thought to be one of only three in existence.
And the reason for that exclusivity is due to Enzo Ferrari’s legendary perfectionism: “It is said that Enzo Ferrari had stamped down on the edition because he didn’t like the brochures,” explains Ni-Cola Classics’ founder Tobias Friedrich. At that time only a few copies had already been sent to interested parties – hence why they’re so rare today.
As with classic car prices in general, values have clearly risen steeply in the past decade: the last time a brochure from this series appeared at auction, in 2007, the highest bid was €17,000 – and that was considered impressive.
The brochure was offered with a starting price of €25,000 and immediately sparked a fierce battle between bidders in the room and on the telephone, which ended three minutes later with the hammer falling at €110,000; with the auction house’s premium, the total was €127,600.
The buyer, a collector from the USA, wants to stay anonymous.
“This automobile brochure is by far the most expensive that has ever been auctioned,” adds Friedrich. “This world record sets a new benchmark.”
However while €127,000 might sound like a lot for a four-page brochure, it’s a bargain compared to the car itself: the last time one sold at auction, in 2017, it made €2,871,000.