| |
Classic Car Countdown The Most Expensive Ever Sold At Auction

What Are The 5 Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold At Auction?


At today’s top auto collector auctions, it is not uncommon for the hammer to fall on seven-figure deals. The trend started in 1987, with the sale of a Bugatti Royale at Christie’s auction house in London, purchased for $7 million. But, what are the most expensive classic cars ever sold under the hammer?





1931 Duesenberg Model J Murphy-Bodied Coupe

Price Paid: $10,340,000

Adjusted Price: $10,840,175 (£6,485,297)

Sold: August 2011 at Monterey, California

Duesenberg began building cars in 1921, following victory in the French Grand Prix. This 1931 vehicle was a variant of the Model J introduced in 1928, and was originally commissioned by San Franciscan eccentric George Whittell Jr. The large, luxurious model J was owned by figures such as Clark Gable and Jim Cagney, along with members of the European royalty. In 1937, when the company was dissolved, fewer than 500 had been built.


1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder

Price Paid: $10,894,900

Adjusted Price: $11,933,873 (£7,139,618)

Sold: May 2008 at Maranello, Italy 

The design of Ferrari’s racing cars often contributed technology to the brand’s street-going vehicles, as evidenced by the design of this classic car, which borrowed their 3.0-litre V12 engine. The record-setting vehicle had many brushes with famous faces: it was owned by Oscar-winning actor James Coburn between 1964 and 1988, and bought by radio personality Chris Evans for almost $11 million in 2008.    


1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Price Paid: $12,402,500

Adjusted Price: $13,633,708 (£8,156,570)

Sold: May 2009 at Maranello, Italy

Only nineteen 250 Testa Rossas were ever produced, but it was in this car that Hill and Gendebien won Le Mans, and legendary drivers such as Luigi Musso, Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins, Wolfgang Von Trips, Phil Hill, Oliver Gendebien and Wolfgang Seidel achieved victory in the maker’s championship for Ferrari. Aimed at being both lightweight and reliable, the vehicle features old-tech drum brakes and a live rear axle.  


1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Price Paid: $16,390,000

Adjusted Price: $17,182,830 (£10,279,885)

Sold: August 2011 at Monterey, California

Two years after the same model made $12,402, 500, this vehicle sold for around $4 million more than its record-setting twin. Sold at the Gooding and Company auction, the car is known to collectors as the ‘666 Testa Rossa’ (‘red head’ in Italian), because of its iconic 0666TR serial number. This Ferrari was the prototype for all subsequent Testa Rossas, which featured revolutionary ‘pontoon’ bodywork, coupled with a 3.0-litre V12 engine. The car raced at LeMans, Sebring and Nurburgring, enjoying eight years at the world’s most prestigious tracks, piloted by the greatest names in motorsports. 


1954 Mercedes-Benz W196

Price Paid: $29,600,000

Adjusted Price: $29,967,886 (£17,928,737)

Sold: July 2013 at Goodwood, UK

On 12 July 2013 a new record was set when Mercedes-Benz W196R chassis serial ‘00006/54’ sold for £19.7 million, with the total bill amounting to £20,896,800. This unique vehicle possesses the only chassis of its kinds in private hands, all of its surviving sisters remaining with the original manufacturer or on display in museums.

This particular car was the most successful of all surviving W196R cars, being piloted to victory in the 1954 German and European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, and the 1954 Swiss Grand Prix at Berne’s Bremgarten circuit by Juan Manuel Fangio. The second race win combined with Fangio’s early-season victories in the Argentine and Belgian GPs (driving a Maserati 250F) to clinch the legendary driver’s second of what would become five Formula 1 Driver’s World Championship titles.


Related Links:


Lamborghini Countach Sells For 33000

Would you pay £130,000 for "Rotten As A Pear" Ferrari






Latest Classic Cars News
Classic Cars For Sale

Find classic cars using the makes below

Find popular classic cars using the makes below