This one-of-four 1967 Ferrari 412P could sell for US$40 million at auction

In 2018, a Ferrari 250 GTO sold for a staggering US$48.4 million, holding the auction record for a vehicle then. This Prancing Horse, produced in the 1960s, is not only an automobile icon but officially a work of art – declared as such by an Italian court. 

For this season's Monterey Car Week, Bonhams presents car lovers with another Ferrari classic: the ultra-rare 1967 412P Berlinetta. One of Ferrari's most coveted prototype racers, this one of four examples of a 412P is expected to fetch between US$35 and 40 million – let's see if it will knock 250 GTO off its throne. 

Ferrari 250 GTO sold for a then-record US$48.4 million in 2018

Lot 67P | Ferrari 412P Berlinetta
Manufactured in 1967
Chasis Number: 0854
Engine Number: 0854
Estimate on request (Expected to fetch between US$35 and 40 million)

Auction House: Bonhams
Sale: The Quail Auction
Venue: Carmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club
Date: 18 August 2023

Introduced in 1967, this 412P was built at the height of the epic rivalry between Ford and Ferrari for endurance racing supremacy, the story of which has inspired the critically-acclaimed film, Ford v Ferrari (2019). 

Back in the early 1960s, Ford was suffering from a major sales slide. Desperately looking to turn the tide, they came up with a plan to purchase Ferrari, already one of the most revered sports car manufacturers then. 

Yet, as an agreement seemed to be near, it turned out that Ferrari was never serious about putting a deal with Ford, but had only negotiated with them to pressure another automaker to raise the price.

Ford v Ferrari was inspired by the epic rivalry between the two automotive titans

Insulted and enraged, Ford decided to humiliate and pay Ferrari back on the race track, sparing no effort to create a car that would win in the world's most prestigious car race, the Le Mans 24 Hours, which the Prancing Horse had long dominated. 

And there came the birth of the Ferrari Killer, the legendary GT 40. In the 1966 season, all of Ford's hard work paid off – not only did they win, but they also secured a 1-2-3 finish, crossing the finish line together in triumph, while Ferrari did not even have a car that completed the race. 

The iconic photo of the Ford GT40 dominating the top three places in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans

Three Ferraris crossed the finish line together in the 1967 24 hours of Daytona. The car numbered 26 was a 412P.

To make up lost ground, Ferrari came with a new competition car in the 1967 season, the 330 P4. At the same time, four "customer versions" of the successful P3 and P4 race cars were built for Ferrari's favoured private race teams – a move to secure more championship points but not beat the factory cars.

These cars, known as the 412 Ps or 330 P3/4, are essentially P3 nestled in the body of the P4 – they had P4 bodywork, suspension, brakes and wheels, but P3 chassis and a different specification for their 4-litre V12 engines, with two valves per cylinder instead of three, traditional carburettor instead of fuel injection. 

Of these four, two had started life as P3s and later brought up to 412 P specification for 1967, meaning just two were made as 412Ps from the outset, and this present car is one of them, chassis 0854. 

While the Prancing Horse failed to bounce back at Le Mans that season, they did go off with a bang on American soil, with three eventually dominating the top three places in the 24 hours of Daytona, replicating Ford's dead-heat photo from the previous year. 

The car was delivered new to the British team Maranello Concessionaires and competed in the 1967 World Championship

The car is powered by a 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated V12, hence its name, 412P

Chassis number 0854

The car has been restored to the same state it was in during the 1967 racing season

Delivered new to Colonel Ronnie Hoare’s British Ferrari agency, Maranello Concessionaires Ltd, this 412P made its debut in World Championship Round 4, the Belgian Spa 1000 Kilometers, and finished third overall. The speed machine went on to compete at Le Mans, though failing to finish the race due to an oil pump failure.

As the Championship season drew to a close, Hoare decided not to continue running his racing team into 1968, due largely to adverse regulation changes, and he elected to part with the present car. Its long-term private driver, David Piper, then purchased the car for £15,000, campaigning it around Europe and South Africa.

In 1969, it officially retired from racing and was sold to its first US owner, who converted it into a road-legal street car. After passing through the hands of multiple top-tier collectors, it has been with its current custodian since 2005.

A passionate automotive entrepreneur, the unnamed US owner commissioned a painstaking restoration which took over nine years to complete, making it very likely the sole car of this prototype Ferrari that retains its original chassis, engine, gearbox and bodywork. 

The race car is now road-legal

This 412P has been actively demonstrated at shows around the US in recent years

In recent years, this 412P has been actively demonstrated at numerous heritage classic car shows, including The Quail Gathering in 2015, where the upcoming auction will take place, and more recently at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2019, where it received the ‘ArtCenter College of Design Award’. 

With a history of top-level period racing and an exceptionally high-quality restoration, it is truly a collector's dream of the ultimate sports-prototype Ferrari to own. And such a rarity, of course, doesn't come cheap – it is expected to sell between US$35 and 40 million. If it does sell within expectations, it will become the third most expensive vehicle ever sold at auction.