After reading the heading you're probably wondering how the overall winner at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans was only just discovered after more than half a century. Well, it was only due to a little digging by RM Sotheby's after being consigned a very special 1963 Ferrari 275 P.
The car, bearing chassis No. 0816, was already known to be the overall winner at the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, with drivers Nino Vaccarella and Jean Guichet scoring the win. But RM Sotheby's has managed to learn that the car was also the overall winner at the 1963 race, making it the only Ferrari and one of a few other cars to have won the French classic twice.
The 275 P has been sitting in the famous collection of Frenchman Pierre Bardinon for the past 48 years, and it has not yet been submitted for certification by Ferrari Classiche. But thanks to a close relationship with the official Ferrari classic car department, RM Sotheby’s has confirmed via factory documentation that the 275 P with chassis No. 0816 was the car that Lodovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini drove to overall victory at Le Mans in 1963, and not the 250 P with chassis No. 0814 that the official record will tell you.
It turns out that 0814 was damaged in a crash at the Nürburgring a month prior to the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans. Factory documentation confirms that the car was still being repaired at the time of the Le Mans race, and Ferrari, rather than submitting new paperwork for a replacement entry, simply sent 0816 under 0814’s identity. Both cars started out life as 250 Ps but 0816 was converted to a 275 P in 1964.
The car also took overall victory in the 1964 12 Hours of Sebring, at the hands of Michael Parkes and Umberto Maglioli, making it one of the winningest Ferraris ever built.
Ferrari sold the car to Luigi Chinetti’s famed North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) later in 1964, where it was entered in a handful of more races. It was ultimately sold to Bardinon in 1970 and to this day remains in highly original, never fully restored condition, retaining its matching-numbers engine, gearbox, and body.
The car is currently listed for private sale so we may never know what it ends up trading for, but given its provenance it's probably one of the most expensive cars in the world right now. We'll remind you that a Ferrari 250 GTO with a less stellar racing history traded hands earlier this year for $70 million.