Mercedes 560SL 1987
Mike and Edd return to Discovery Channel for another all-new series. In this episode, Mike ...Read More
We all know that Mike can sniff a diamond in the rough at a thousand paces – he’s not one half of the Wheeler Dealers dream team for nothing – and the auction house is his natural habitat, but this list of the world’s most expensive cars sold at auction may stretch even Mike’s ability to secure a great deal!
This list is exactly as it says – the most expensive cars sold at auction. Over the last decade or so, buying classic cars has emerged as a legitimate asset class. In the same way people invest in property or fine wine they now also peruse classic cars, and as investors steer away from the volatility of the financial markets this increased demand brings massively increasing prices!
You’ll hear hushed whispers of private deals, and if people want to keep their car-buying activity between themselves, that’s their business. Unverified reports of a Ferrari 250 GTO changing hands for $52m surfaced in 2013 and three years previously the 1936 Bugatti Type-57 SC Atlantic was rumoured to have been bought for between $30-$40m. But for those million-dollar motors that have gone public, there are some truly sensational entries as iconic classic cars have broken the records time and again.
10. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster – $11,770,000
In 76 years, this exceptionally rare magnificent Merc had only three owners. It was ordered by the original buyer with a plethora of special features and was one of only 26 Special Roadsters ever made.
The 540K was almost entirely hand-built and the elegant, flowing lines are a testament to Germany’s finest car designers.
9. 1957 Ferrari Testarossa Prototype – $12,402,500
It made its race debut at the Nürburgring 1000km and followed up with the GP of Sweden, the Venezuelan Grand Prix and the Buenos Aries 1000km and subsequently raced at Le Mans and Sebring.
8. 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta Competizione – $12,812,800
This Pininfarina-styled Ferrari is considered to be the most important of all the 340/375 MMs in the world, hence the price tag.
7. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM – $14,300,000
Described by the auctioneer as ‘an Italian operatic masterpiece of sound and colour’, the 250 LM blazed the design trail for generations of future Ferraris.
6. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testarossa – $16,390,000
It was sold at Maranello, the home of Ferrari. Only 34 were built between 1956 and 1961 and Testarossa (‘red head’) was named for its red valve covers.
5. 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione – $18,400,177
Patriarch Enzo Ferrari wanted a fast race car to sell to customers so he commissioned a series of these monsters of motoring. It was sold at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2014.
4. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale – $26,400,000
This particular model didn’t see any race action but it was the first Ferrari with independent rear suspension and carried a 3.3-litre V12 with 320 bhp.
3. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider – $27,500,000
A convertible for the American market, importer Luigi Chinetti adorned each one with the NART (North American Racing Team) badging on the rear of the car.
2. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 – $29,600,000
Setting a new record at time of sale, this Mercedes was driven by none other than five-time F1 god Juan Manuel Fangio. It was sold in what auctioneers call ‘authentic’ condition – meaning its bodywork still bore the minor knocks and scrapes it had amassed over the years, with each minor blemish speaking to another chapter in this car’s world-beating story. Still looking as if it had just driven into parc fermé after a couple of hundred laps of the Nürburgring, it sold at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013.
1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta – $38,115,000
Sold by Bonhams in August 2014, at time of writing this stunning Ferrari remains the most expensive second-hand car in the world. Only 39 were built and this model, chassis No. 3851GT was the 19th in sequence. This particular car had a true racing pedigree, taking part in a number of events during the early 1960s as a series of owners put it through its paces. It even survived a battering during the Coppa Inter-Europa GT in 1964 where it was involved in an accident which saw its cabin roof cave-in and its body panels extensively dented.