An Italian court has officially recognized the Ferrari 250 GTO as a work of art, thus protecting the design from companies building replicas or fakes.
The Ferrari 250 GTO is regarded as the Holy Grail of classic cars, a claim supported by the people who drive and buy them, and backed up by its status as one of the most expensive cars in the world.
The last 250 GTO to hit the auction block, a 1962 model with upgraded Series II bodywork, sold for a staggering US$48,405,000
'It's the first time in Italy that a car has been recognized as a work of art,' a Ferrari spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph
. 'It's not just its beauty that makes it special — it also has a long racing history.'
Ferrari started a petition to have the design and intellectual property rights of the GTO recognized after a company claimed it was going to start building 250 GTO replicas in Modena, Italy, Ferrari's hometown.
Only 36 original GTOs were built, and all of them survive today.
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Under the hood of a Ferrari 250 GTO is a 3.0-litre 'Colombo' V12, which produced somewhere around 300 horsepower; that doesn't sound like a lot, but keep in mind the body only weighed 850 kg. The low weight and high power for the time allowed the GTO to take numerous victories in almost every aspect of European road racing, earning it much praise.
Ferrari has always been a stickler for blocking imitators and recreations, famously destroying a Ferrari replica used in Miami Vice
in order to give the main character a real Ferrari. More recently, the automaker asked the owner of a Ferrari F40 that had been transformed into an open-top race car to remove all Ferrari badges from the body, because of its modifications.