What drives up the value of a car? Is it heritage? Pedigree? Rarity?

It could be a combination of all three and, needless to say, the Ferrari 250 GTO offers all these characteristics. So much so that it has become the world's most valuable car to be ever sold in an auction.

Ferrari 250 GTO fetches for a whopping $48.4 million at auction

During the most recent RM Sotheby's auction, a 250 GTO was sold at a whopping $48.4 million. To put that figure into perspective, the car left the auction block at nearly Php 2.5 billion. The Ferrari 250 GTO had smashed its old auction record by $10 million, cementing its status as the world's most valuable car. Ferrari only made 36 examples of this special road racer and, back in 1962, it retailed for $18,000, or about $150,000 (approx. Php 8 million) in today's money.

Ferrari 250 GTO fetches for a whopping $48.4 million at auction

Granted, 250 GTO's have always been one of the most expensive cars in the world of classic cars, hailed by some as the holy grail of vintage automobile collectors. With that, $48 million is unprecedented amount for a car in an auction. So what made this particular 250 GTO very expensive and very special?

The car actually started out in life as what's called a Series 1 but fitted with Series 2 parts. While putting new body panels on an older car would lower its value, it was Ferrari themselves who did the modifications. Further driving up its value was the fact that it still had its original engine and gearbox, a rarity in 250 GTOs as most have been raced and need replacement parts.

Ferrari 250 GTO fetches for a whopping $48.4 million at auction

But what really helped fetch the $48 million price tag was the fact that this very car that won the Targa Florio back to back in 1963 and 1964. That said, this isn't the most expensive Ferrari 250 GTO in the world today. In fact, back in June, an intact, all-original and race-proven GTO exchanged for $70 million in private hands.

Needless to say, that's quite the return from its initial $18,000 asking price.