Let’s make an attempt to measure how much a win at Le Mans is worth. Not in terms of notoriety and publicity, but more simply by analysing how much Ferraris that have won go for on the market today. Nine overall victories and 27 class wins along with two second places overall, thanks to the unbeatable GTO.
The news that Ferrari will officially return to Le Mans in 2023 is significant. An important decision that will breathe life back into the legendary French race as it celebrates its centenary that same year. What is really interesting for the car collecting world is that Ferrari’s return will be in the new Hypercar class, or in other words, with a real Ferrari, made in Maranello and the sister of a road-going model that will receive the very best of this imprimatur: racing.
Scrolling through the long list of victorious cars, very few have come onto the market. A very significant case from 2020 was the 550 Maranello GT1 Prodrive that won the GTS Class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003 and set the record for the first car sold at an online auction that exceeded the $4 million threshold, changing hands for $4,290,000.
Since they are unique examples, there is so much demand that they tend to change hands privately without the need for intermediaries. But in many respects, this makes it even more interesting because in almost every case, a victory reverberates onto all models of the same type. If we take a Testa Rossa from the family of versions that won from 1958 to 1961, we’re looking at quotations in excess of $16 million. In the same ballpark, we find the 375 Plus which was sold in 2014 for $18.3 million.
There are no surprises when it comes to the 250 GTO: the last one sold at auction in Monterey in 2018 went for $48,405,000. It is one of four transformed into a GTO 64, that is to say aesthetically similar to the 250LM, Ferrari’s last overall Le Mans winner, driven to victory in 1965 by Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory. Even the LM, with its mid-mounted engine, is no joke: at $17,600,000 million it’s at the very high end of the market.
The idea that Le Mans enhances the value of even less famous cars is confirmed by the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione that obtained the highest price in 2016 at $13.5 million.
If we want to get our feet back down on the ground, we have to move forwards in time: the 333SP, class winner in 1998, went for what was the highest price paid at auction of $2,365,000, more than double the 512 BB LM which changed hands for $990,000 in 2014.
Finally the small 430 GTC which won the GT2 class in 2008 and 2009, was sold by RM Sotheby’s in Monaco for $624,844
Our conclusion? Thank you Ferrari for deciding to return to Le Mans: the market will reward you handsomely for it. This shade of “French red” has a guaranteed value. History proves it.
Ferrari successes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, year by year
- 1949 Selsdon / Chinetti – Ferrari 166MM
- 1954 Gonzalez / Trintignant – Ferrari 375 Plus
- 1958 Gendebien / Hill – Ferrari 250 TR
- 1960 Gendebien / Frère – Ferrari 250 TR
- 1961 Gendebien / Hill – Ferrari 250 TR
- 1962 Gendebien / Hill – Ferrari 330 TRI/LM
- 1963 Bandini / Scarfiotti – Ferrari 250 P
- 1964 Guichet / Vaccarella – Ferrari 275 P
- 1965 Rindt / Gregory / Hugus – Ferrari 250 LM
- 1957 – Bianchi / Harris – Ferrari 500 TRC (S2.0 class victory)
- 1959 – “Beurlys” / “Eldé”- Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta (GT3.0 class victory)
- 1960 – Tavano / Dumay – Ferrari 250 GT SWB (GT3.0 class victory)
- 1961 – Noblet / Guichet – Ferrari 250 GT SWB (GT3.0 class victory)
- 1962 – Guichet / Noblet – Ferrari 250 GTO (GT3.0 class victory and second place overall)
- 1963 – “Beurlys” / Langlois van Ophem – Ferrari 250 GTO (GT3.0 class victory and second place overall)
- 1963 – Sears / Salmon – Ferrari 330 LMB (P+3.0 class victory)
- 1964 – Bianchi / “Beurlys” – Ferrari 250 GTO 64 (GT3.0 class victory)
- 1965 – Mairesse / “Beurlys” – Ferrari 275 GTB (GT4.0 class victory and third overall)
- 1965 – Rodriguez / Vaccarella – Ferrari 365 P2 (P5.0 class victory)
- 1966 – Courage / Pike – Ferrari 275 GTB/C (GT+3.0 class victory)
- 1967 – Scarfiotti / Parkes – Ferrari 330 P4 (P5.0 class victory and second place overall)
- 1967 – Steinemann / Spoerry – Ferrari 275 GTB/C (GT5.0 class victory)
- 1972 – Ballot-Léna/ Andruet – Ferrari 365 GTB/4 (GT class victory)
- 1973 – Ballot-Léna/ Elford – Ferrari 365 GTB/4 (GT5.0 class victory)
- 1974 – Grandet / Bardini – Ferrari 365 GTB/4 (GT class victory)
- 1981 – Andruet / Ballot-Léna – Ferrari 512 BB/LM (IMSA GTX Class Victory)
- 1998 – Taylor / van de Poele / Velez – Ferrari 333 SP (LMP1 class victory)
- 2003 – Kox / Enge / Davies – Ferrari 550 Maranello GT1 Prodrive (GTS class victory)
- 2008 – Melo / Bruni / Salo – Ferrari F430 GTC (GT2 class victory)
- 2009 – Kaffer / Melo / Salo – Ferrari F430 GTC (GT2 class victory)
- 2012 – Fisichella / Bruni / Vilander – Ferrari 458 Italia (GTE Pro class victory)
- 2014 – Bruni / Vilander / Fisichella – Ferrari 458 Italia (GTE Pro class victory)
- 2015 – Bertolini / Shaitar / Basov – Ferrari 458 Italia (GTE Am class victory)
- 2016 – Sweedler / Bell / Segal – Ferrari 458 Italia (GTE Am class victory)
- 2017 – Smith / Vanthoor / Stevens – Ferrari 488 GTE (GTE Am class victory)
- 2019 – Pier Guidi / Calado / Serra – Ferrari 488 GTE Evo (GTE Pro class victory)