Sold for $11,550,000 at 2014 RM Auctions at Monterey.
Chassis #: 6045
Engine # 6045
Although largely overshadowed by the exploits of Audi and Porsche there just wouldn't be Le Mans without Ferrari. However, since 1965, Le Mans would have to go without a Ferrari at the top of the overall standings. The last to achieve this honor would be a sports-prototype for which there would few equals.
Though intended for the GT class within endurance sportscar races, the replacement for the 250 GTO would be forced to compete within the prototype class as less than 100 would ever be made. This would prove to be a blessing in disguise as the 250 LM proved so strong it would go on to win at Le Mans in 1965. Seeing that it was intended to be made available for customers, it meant the 250 LM would be the day's ultimate expression of the supercar.
This particular chassis, 6045, would be completed in the summer of 1964 and would be the nineteenth of thirty-two 250 LMs ever produced. Complete in Rosso Cina livery, the car would leave the factory and would head across the Atlantic to the United States. Upon arrival in the States the car would make its way to Luigi Chinetti Motors and would soon be sold to Bill Harrah's Modern Classic Motors in Reno, Nevada.
Harrah would use the car to get around the streets of Reno and no doubt attracted a good deal of attention with the car. Some time in 1966 the car would be sold to Dr. Hart Isaacs. Dr. Isaacs would also use the car as his get-around vehicle and would also take part in some events at the same time. In 1969 he would enter the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and would end up winning Second in Class in Special Interest Cars. However, leaving the event the car would be involved in an accident that would result in a fire that would burn the thin aluminum skin terribly.
Unrepaired, Dr. Isaacs sold the car to Donald Simpson of Bellflower, California. Thorough inspection of the car revealed the damage wasn't as bad as what was thought. Simpson was encouraged and intended to restore the car. Sadly, he would not find the time and would end up listing the car for sale.
Ron Kellogg would buy the car but was not encouraged to do much with it. He would take the engine out of the car and would sell that. One year later, he would also sell the car. Dr. Hamilton Kelly would become the car's next owner and he already owned a 250 LM chassis. To haul the car away some of the tube framing, including the one that had the chassis number stamped into it, would be left behind. Kellogg would keep them. While this would seem sacrilegious, it would actually make for a compelling story.
It was now the mid-to-late 1970s and chassis 6045 would make its way to Charlie Betz and Fred Peters, noted Ferrari restorers. These men would actually take the car and would broker a deal sending it back to Italy. After a good deal of inspection to check its authenticity, 6045 would make its way to William Vaccari. It was here that the 250 LM had been built originally. Now, it was a place in which they came to be restored. Restoration commenced on 6045.
Not completed, the car was sold to Ulrich Guggisberg who commissioned Bachelli-Villas Carrozzeria Auto Sport to complete the restoration. It would take nearly half a decade and the restored 250 LM would embark on another spree of ownership that would include time in Europe, the United States and even Japan.
The current owner would come by 6045 in 2007. It had passed hands a number of times, even in the new millennium, but now, with its latest owner, it was time the car was restored to its full original state. This meant locating its original engine and numerous other items that had been removed from the car earlier in its life. This search and rescue would begin in 2009 and would be carried out by DK Engineering. Rather quickly they would find the car's original steering rack mount. While the search was on for its original components, DK Engineering also began work repositioning items to their original locations. This would include the brake ducts, driving lights and other features.
In time, the original engine would be located. When purchased decades back, the engine would become the centerpiece of a 250 LM replica. The engine was found, but there was a snag. In order to get the engine a deal had to be struck to purchase the replica as well. The purchase would take place in 2011. It was interesting to note that the engine also came with some of the remains of the car's original body. One key piece would be the chassis tube that had the chassis number tag on it. All of the pieces were there, they just had to be put into place.
The engine and frame tube would be restored to the car and all of the evidence would be put forward to Ferrari's Classiche Department in order to earn certification of the car. A thorough investigation and inspection process of the car would be done and the department would determine the car to be genuine and authentic. The coveted Red Book of certification would arrive some time later testifying as to 6045's elite status.
Not surprisingly, 6045's return to the public eye would be a successful one. Entered in the 13th Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach, Florida, the car would be awarded the Platinum Award in its class and would also receive the Ferrari Classiche Cup as well. Many other awards and honors would be bestowed upon this highly-original 250 LM.
Filled with originality and a well-noted provenance, 6045 remains a first-rate example of the unparalleled and renowned 250 LM.By Jeremy McMullen