Hey big spender! 10 of the most expensive cars ever sold at auction

Drool-worthy cars to add to your 'if I ever win the lottery' wish list

12 September 2017 - 14:35 By AFP Relaxnews
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO.
Image: Bonhams

1. 1962 FERRARI 250 GTO

Sold for: R495-million ($38-million) 

Sold in 2014 at the Bonham's auction during Monterey motoring week it is one of the lesser examples of the 250 that survives to this day, but such is the lure of the car, considered the holy grail for Ferrari collectors, and also known as the ultimate dead man's car - i.e., the only chance of it coming to market is if its owner passes away - that it set a world record price when it went under the hammer.

1957 Ferrari 335 S Sport by Scaglietti.
1957 Ferrari 335 S Sport by Scaglietti.
Image: Artcurial Motorcars

2. 1957 FERRARI 335S

Sold for: R467-million ($36-million)

Sold in Paris by Artcurial during the 2016 Rétromobile classic car show, it is the last time a big-money, blue chip Ferrari came up for auction and met or bettered its estimate. In recent months, though the collector's market is as buoyant as ever, buyers have started to shun some of the eight-figure Ferraris available for modern equivalents or even other marques. Since 2015 the average price paid for Porsches at auction has rocketed. However, not enough for any of Stuttgart's finest to break into the top 10 -- yet.

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196.
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196.
Image: Bonhams

3. 1954 MERCEDES-BENZ W196

Sold for: R391-million ($30-million)

The actual F1 car driven to wins by the legendary Fangio, this car sat at the top of the list for three years until it was usurped by the GTO. It was sold by Bonham's at the Goodwood Revival in 2013.

1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti.
1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti.
Image: Tim Scott Fluid Images / RM Sotheby’s

4. 1956 FERRARI 290 MM

Sold for: R365-million ($28-million)

RM Sotheby's sold this car in December 2015 at its New York sale and its extraordinary price is down to Fangio. This is the car that he drove in the 1956 Mille Miglia. It was also raced by Phil Hill as Ferrari competed for and secured the World Sports Car Championship in 1956/57.

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider.
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider.
Image: Darin Schnabel 2013 Courtesy of RM Auctions.

5. 1967 FERRARI 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider

Sold for: R365-million ($28-million)

Sold in 2013 during Pebble Beach by RM auctions, it's one of the rarest of all Ferraris -- just 10 were built, making it the most desirable Ferrari droptop of all time. However, when another model in arguably better condition came up for sale in 2016 in Monaco with a €23 million estimate, it failed to find a buyer.

1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale.
1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale.
Image: Darin Schnabel 2014 Courtesy of RM Auction.

6. 1964 FERRARI 275 GTB/C Speciale

Sold for: R339-million ($26-million)

It doesn't get rarer than a one-off, and this car was one of the star lots at RM Auction's 2014 Monterey sale. A prototype built to compete at Le Mans, this car finished third in 1965 and to this day is still the best finish ever at the event for a front-engined car.

 1956 Aston Martin DBR1.
1956 Aston Martin DBR1.
Image: Tim Scott 2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's.

7. 1956 ASTON MARTIN DBR1

Sold for: R300-million ($23-million)

When this car fell under the hammer in August during RM Sotheby's Monterey sale, it became the most expensive Aston Martin to sell at auction and the most expensive British car ever to fall under the hammer. And, while there are still several major auctions to go until 2017 comes to an end, for the moment at least it is the most expensive car to sell in 2017.

1955 Jaguar D-Type.
1955 Jaguar D-Type.
Image: Patrick Ernzen Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

8. 1955 JAGUAR D-TYPE

Sold for: R287-million ($22-million)

Sold by RM Sotheby's in August 2016 for a brief 12 months, this iconic, Le Mans-winning Jaguar could claim to be the most expensive British car ever to fall under the hammer. Its performance at that auction has helped to swell the prices of all classic Jaguars and to revive interest in the marque among blue-chip collectors.

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider.
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider.
Image: Darin Schnabel Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

9. 1939 ALFA ROMEO 8C 2900B LUNGO SPIDER BY TOURING

Sold for: R261-million ($20-million)

The first car built using Touring's patented Superleggera method, whereby aluminum panels are hand formed and fitted to an intricate steel lattice underframe, and the car which, legend has it, led to the coining of the term streamline, this Alfa stunned people with its elegant beauty and redefined the concept of the sportscar.

 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider.
Image: Artcurial

10. 1961 FERRARI 250 GT SWB CALIFORNIA SPIDER

Sold for: R247-million ($19-million)

Going under the hammer in February 2015 as part of the Rétromobile auction held by Artcurial, the California is an evergreen Ferrari. Just 52 were built and regardless of the mood in collectors' circles, the demand for this particular model never changes.


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