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MONTEREY, Calif. (USA TODAY) -- A red Ferrari could set a record Thursday as the most expensive car ever sold.

It's no ordinary Ferrari, however. It's a 1962 250 GTO Berlinetta, one of only a handful ever made. This one also has the distinction of having been crashed in a race, then rebuilt.

Auction house Bonhams is selling the car here at an even here as one of a week's worth of automotive shows and sales held every year.

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The car is one of 39 GTOs, one of the last cars built to be raced as well as driven on the street, says McKeel Hagerty, an car auction expert whose Hagerty Insurance specializes in classic cars.

He says in order to become the most expensive car ever, it will have to the top the $52 million paid for another GTO that changed hands in a private sale a year ago. It could happen, he says: "The market has never been stronger." It's been 14 years since a GTO was last offered at a live auction, and at the time it fetched a bid of $7.7 million, according to Hagerty.

Bonhams says the GTO was developed to race in the 1962 3-litre class FIA GT World Championship series. Adding to its fame, it won the world title for two years running.

"Over the long decades since then, the Ferrari 250 GTO has commanded ever-increasing interest from the car connoisseur and art investor alike. Valuable levels have been achieved by the relatively few examples that have come to market over the past 20 years," Bonhams writes.

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