An Ultra-Rare Ferrari F50 That Was First Owned By Mike Tyson Just Punched Out A Record Price At Auction

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Over the weekend, the annual Monterey Car Week car auction took place. The previous record for a Monterey Car Week auction total was $395 million, which was achieved back in 2015. When all the final gavels had been struck this weekend, $456 million worth of luxury cars were auctioned off, many of which were sold at record prices for their respective models.

Record prices were set for a Bugatti EB110, a Lamborghini Countach LP500, A Ferrari F40, a Ferrari F512M and, a personal favorite, a Ferrari F50.

If you’re a guy between the ages of 35 and 45, there’s a very good chance you grew up absolutely drooling over the Ferrari F50. You may have had an F50 poster on the wall or a model F50 on your desk. I had both.

A total of 349 F50s were produced between 1995 and 1997. Why 349? Because in order to generally be considered “ultra-rare,” a model’s total production count can’t exceed 350. So Ferrari chose one less than 350. And of the 349, only 55 F50s were built to American specs for the US market.

The Ferrari F50’s posted sticker price was $475,000, which is around $876,000 in today’s dollars. But you couldn’t simply walk into a dealership and plop down a half million in cash to drive off with one. Ferrari hand-picked the lucky 349 people who received F50s. Buyers had to be known and liked by the company. Which meant they had to already own a bunch of Ferraris. Therefore, the true “get in” price was a couple million bucks and years of showing the powers-that-be back in Italy that you were going to treat this work of art with the respect it deserved.

You also didn’t buy the car. F50 owners were locked into a multi-year lease to prevent buyers from flipping them right away.

(Photo by Martyn Lucy/Getty Images)

Mike Tyson’s F50

The Ferrari that was sold at auction in Monterey over the weekend is chassis #104220. According to its auction listing page, this model was completed on February 13, 1996. It is one of the 55 F50s that were built for the US market.

After being completed, this F50 was delivered by Ferrari of North America to Beverly Hills Sports Cars, which then passed it on to a luxury car broker named Nadir Amirvand. Amirvand quickly found an eager buyer named…

Mike Tyson.

Tyson, who had JUST been released from a four-year prison stint, was certainly a known-buyer to the Ferrari bosses back in Italy. Over the course of his meteoric boxing career, Mike put together a world-class car collection that included a half-dozen Ferraris and around 100 cars in total.

Unfortunately, Mike’s lavish spending outpaced his earnings and by 2003 he had declared bankruptcy. After earning over $300 million in the ring, according to his 2003 bankruptcy filing Mike was $23 million in debt.

Perhaps in anticipation of his pending financial problems, Mike sold his F50 in 2001 to Kevin Marcus, the co-founder of pre-Google search engine called Infospace. Around this time, before the dotcom bubble burst, Infospace was sitting at an all-time high stock price of $1,000 per share. At that level, that company had a market cap of $31 billion. A year after this F50 was purchased, in June 2002, Infospace’s stock price had fallen to $2.67 a share. Unclear if this wiped out some, or all of Kevin’s wealth. Maybe he had already cashed-out, but he did decide to sell the F50 at some point to a collector in Atlanta. A few additional owners ensued before this weekend’s auction, as did a handful of extremely expensive services.

When the final gavel struck on Sunday, Mike Tyson’s Ferrari F50 sold for…

$4,625,000

Though that’s a bit less than the $5 million the auction house projected, it’s about $20,000 more than the previous record for an F50 which was set in March 2022.

The new owner has not been revealed yet. To quote the great Shaggy, unfortunately, it wasn’t me.

Congrats to you whoever you are!




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