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In photos: 1957 Ferrari sells for $50-million, but auction record in dispute Add to ...

A 1957 Ferrari 355 S Scaglietti sold at the Artcurial Motorcars auction for €32.075-million ($50-million Canadian) to an international collector after 'tense', 11-minute bidding battle in Paris Friday.

The car, designed by Scaglietti, has a 3.8-litre V-12 engine and is built just to race. The car's first race was the Sebring 12 Hours where it finished sixth. It would go on to finish second in the 1957 Mille Miglia, win the 1958 Cuba Grand Prix and break the lap record at the 24 Hours of LeMans before retiring in 1960 due to an engine problem.

That same year, the Ferrari was sold to an architect in Pennsylvania. Ten years later, it was sold to Pierre Bardinon, one of the most knowledgeable Ferrari collectors in the world. In 1981, Bardinon had the car restored. It has barely been driven or seen for the past 35 years.

The selling price was slightly more than the estimate and Artcurial Motorcars writes, "This exceptional motor car became the most expensive car ever to sell at auction (in euros and sterling)."

And that is the reason for the dispute. The most expensive car to ever sell at auction was also a Ferrari. The 250 GTO sold for $38.115-million (U.S.) at The Quail auction in Pebble Beach in 2014. But exchange rates have fluctuated in the past year and a half. At that time in 2014, the GTO sale price translated to €28.5-million. But the 355 that just sold only translates to $35.9-million (U.S.) today.

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