The sale set a strong tone for the collectible car market as the auto auctions in Paris get underway. RM Auctions on Wednesday sold a 1955 Jaguar D-Type for 3.69 million euros, or just over $5 million. Its total sales for the day were 17.7 million euros, with 80 percent of its cars sold.
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In the fourth quarter, collectible car sales and prices surged along with stock markets. The Blue Chip Index of collectible cars from Hagerty, a collectible car insurance company, surged 10 percent in the quarter.
The sale of the 1957 Testa Rossa, however, offers the latest proof that Ferraris have now entered a different stratosphere from the rest of the car market. Hagerty's Ferrari Index staged its biggest move of the past six years, with some Ferrari models surging 31 percent in price.
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The Testa Rossa was so prized for two reasons. It has a vaunted race history and it's unrestored, meaning it hasn't been rebuilt with new or fabricated parts. The car also has top provenance, having been stored in the Henry Ford Museum outside Detroit for 30 years before landing in Britain.
"It's the most original unrestored 250 TR in the world," said Marcel Massini, a Ferrari historian and top expert in vintage Ferraris. "It's also got perfect provenance. Fantastic car."