This $44 million Ferrari is at the center of a legal battle over its $25,000 gearbox—take a look

$44 million 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO at the middle of a legal battle
John Collins, Talacrest

The Ferrari GTO is considered "the Holy Grail in collectible cars," according CNBC's Robert Frank — only 36 were ever made.

In June of 2018, a 1963 silver Ferrari GTO reportedly sold privately for $70 million and it's believed to be the highest price ever paid for a car.

$70 million Ferrari tweet

In August of 2018, a red 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was sold at auction for $48.4 million.

And in October 2017, Washington, D.C.-based lawyer Bernard Carl sold his blue 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO to British classic car trader and former race driver Gregor Fisken for $44 million.

Now Carl and Fisken are in the middle of a $500,000 legal battle over the car's gearbox.

John Collins, Talacrest

Fisken says he bought the Ferrari knowing it didn't have its original gearbox (which is part of the transmission), but with the understanding that Carl would eventually give it to him, according to The Telegraph.

That didn't happen.

Fisken sued Carl, for breach of contract, demanding that Carl immediately hand over the original gearbox. And Carl sued Fisken, saying he didn't retrieve the part because neither Fisken nor Carl would pay a $25,000 fee to the U.S. auto dealer who Carl says has it. Carl is also asking for $500,000 from Fisken to cover the cost of his search for the original gearbox.

The case is ongoing, and in the meantime, neither man actually owns the vehicle anymore. Fisken flipped the Ferrari to a "wealthy anonymous collector," says The Telegraph, for an undisclosed price in 2017.

So what's so amazing about the car at the center of the controversy?

John Collins, Talacrest

Part of the appeal of Ferrari GTOs is their racing history. The GTO at the center of the law suit was used in many races throughout the 1960s, including two particularly well-known contests.

John Collins, Talacrest

In 1962, legendary drivers Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien drove this Ferrari during the "12 Hours of Sebring," a famous endurance race, and placed second.

John Collins, Talacrest

The same year, Hill and Gendebien won perhaps the most famous endurance race, "24 Hours of Le Mans," in the Ferrari.

John Collins, Talacrest

As a race car, its parts were often removed and replaced to maximize the likelihood of success on the track. This, according to Forbes, is why the vehicle's original gearbox was removed and not put back.

The 250 GTO was built with a 3-liter V12 engine, according to Ferrari, that features 300 horsepower at 7,400 rpm. It has a cable-operated handbrake to the rear wheels, and was available as both left- and right-hand drive.

John Collins, Talacrest
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