A vintage Ferrari owned by a late millionaire named Preston Henn, who made a fortune in flea markets, could become the first car to sell at auction for more than $100 million.
The car in question, according to Bloomberg, is a 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale that is indeed considered speciale because, while all 275 GTBs are desirable and can fetch about $2.4 million, the C (for Competitizione) Speciale variants were lighter and more powerful, with the 3.3-litre V12’s specific output of 100 hp/L (for 330 total) being a big deal at the time. In the Speciale, that dry-sump motor was mounted lower in the chassis for better handling.
Sweetening the story surrounding Henn’s car is the fact it won its class in the 1965 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
Henn, who was apparently a decent driver in his own right and at one point owned a racing team, was quite attached to the car, refusing an offer of something close to 40 million euros and even turning down Ferrari when the company asked if they could display the car at their museum. Instead, Henn displayed the car at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida flea market and drive-in theatre he owned, called Swap Shop.
Officially, experts Bloomberg spoke to said the car is probably worth between $50 and $75 million, and that one of the other three just like it sold a few years ago for a bit less than $30 million. Brian Rabold of the Hagerty Group, which is in the business of insuring vintage cars, told Bloomberg that Henn’s car is ultimately worth “what someone is willing to pay for it.”
But a bigger question is whether we’ll ever find out what kind of coin some wealthy collector might drop the buy the car, because Henn is on record as stating he intended for the car to remain on display at his business “long after he is gone.” A good friend of his said Henn at one point wanted to be buried in the car.
Is there someone out there who can convince Henn’s widow and four children to sell the car? We’ll have to wait and see.