A 52-year-old Ferrari smashed the record for the most expensive car ever sold at auction. The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, with a somewhat dark past, was sold Thursday night by Bonhams for $34.65 million, plus fees, bringing the total to $38.115 million. That blew past the previous record, held by a Mercedes-Benz racer that sold last summer for $31.6 million including auction fees. "The market right now is just so strong," said Marcel Massini, a leading Ferrari historian and adviser to collectors. "And this is one of the big prizes in the entire collecting world." Ferrari GTOs are among the holy grails of the car auction world. Ferrari made only 36 of them (or 39 if you include different versions), and they were the dominant race cars of the mid-1960s. GTOs rarely come up for sale, and when they do they often trade in secret, private sales that can rarely be verified. Last year, a GTO sold in a private sale for $52 million, experts said. But it's been over a decade since a GTO has been sold at a public auction. The GTO sold by Bonhams was the 19th made by Ferrari. The auction is just one event taking place during the Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance.