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Canadian buys most expensive car ever sold at auction

Billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who developed Tommy Hilfiger brand, pays $27.5M for rare Ferrari

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LOS ANGELES — A rare 1967 Ferrari owned by an orphan-turned-millionaire was sold at a weekend auction for $27.5 million (U.S.) and various reports say the buyer is Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

The fashion entrepreneur, who helped develop the Tommy Hilfiger clothing brand in the 1990s, already owns more than 20 other Ferraris, as well as a race track near Mont Tremblant, Que., to drive them on. A multi-millionaire for years, Stroll vaulted into the Forbes billionaires club last year with a fortune estimated at $1.8-billion.

The $27.5 million is a record for a car sold at auction in the United States and second in the world to the $29.7 million paid for a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 raced by Juan Manuel Fangio.

The red Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider was one of only 10 ever built, and its single-family ownership increased interest in the sale, the Los Angeles Times reported.

N.A.R.T. stands for North American Racing Team, a Ferrari-backed venture created in the late 1950s to promote the brand in the U.S.

The owner, the late Eddie Smith, was a former mayor of Lexington, N. C. He died in 2007 at age 88. Since then, the car has been stored in a specially built garage.

The 275 N.A.R.T. Spider was featured in the 1968 film “The Thomas Crown Affair” starring Steve McQueen. McQueen had owned one of the rare Ferraris himself, but wrecked it in a crash.

  • Canadian buys most expensive car ever sold at auction RM Auctions 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider. $14,000,000 - $17,000,000. Single-ownership from new. Purchased new by Eddie Smith Sr., of North Carolina. Matching-numbers, fully restored example. One of only 10 highly desirable N.A.R.T. Spiders ever built. Proceeds to benefit charity. Image by Darin Schnabel ©2013 Courtesy of RM Auctions.

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