10 most expensive cars sold at auction

2nd Jun 2019 8:00 am

Think a Bugatti Chiron is expensive? Wait till you read about the most expensive cars to be sold at auction.

Who said cars always depreciate in value? Like the finest of art, some cars actually become more valuable with each passing year. Then again, the cars in question aren’t your run of the mill, mass-produced city runabouts. The cars that trade hands for millions of dollars are usually limited-run or even one-offs with a chequered histories to boot. Welcome to the world of the auction classics. Prepare for you jaw to drop. 

1955 Jaguar D-Type

Sold by RM Sotheby's for Rs 151.27 crore ($21,780,000), August 2011

With a Le Mans 24 Hours win under its belt (in 1956), XKD 501 is the only Le Mans-winning C- or D-Type to survive intact in its original form. It’s also the first team-series production D-Type and the first to be designated by its chassis as a D-Type.

1935 Duesenberg SSJ

Sold by Gooding & Co. for Rs 152.80 crore ($22,000,000), August 2018

This 1935 Duesenberg SSJ was first owned by the film star Gary Cooper. This car features a straight-eight engine with output of 400 hp - an extraordinary figure at the time. Its auction in 2018 made it the most valuable American-built car ever sold.

Aston Martin DBR1

Sold by RM Sotheby's for Rs 156.62 crore ($22,550,000), August 2017

Aston Martin built just five DBR1s and this one was the first. Raced by the likes of Roy Salvadori, Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, and Carroll Shelby, among others, DBR1/1 won the 1959 Nurburgring 1000KM and was the sister car to the DBR1 that won Le Mans in that same year.

1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale

Sold by RM Auctions for Rs 183.36 crore ($26,400,000), August 2014

The standard Ferrari 275 GTB is already massively sought after, but this is just one of three works-prepared Competizione editions to be produced. This one in particular was a matching-numbers car with its entire history documented.

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider

Sold by RM Auctions for Rs 191.01 crore ($27,500,000), August 2013

With just a single owner from new, this Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider was one of 10 NART Spiders built. It was bought new by a rags-to-riches trader called Eddie Smith, the car’s complete history was known.

1956 Ferrari 290 MM

Sold by RM Sotheby's for Rs 194.82 crore ($28,050,000), December 2015

This very Ferrari 290 MM was driven by Fangio in the 1956 Mille Miglia (coming fourth overall) and it is a fully documented example. The car comes with the most incredible racing history; a massive sale price was assured.

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196

Sold by Bonhams for Rs 205.59 crore ($29,600,000), July 2013

Mercedes built just 14 examples of the W196. Of the 14 examples only 10 survived, with the company owning six examples and three are in museums, leaving this unit as the only W196 available to private collectors.

1957 Ferrari 335S

Sold by Artcurial for Rs 248.04 crore ($35,711,359), February 2016

Built in 1957, This Ferrari 335S was first driven by Peter Collins and Maurice Trintignant in the 1957 Sebring 12 Hours, then by Wolfgang von Trips in the Mille Miglia. Mike Hawthorn drove the car in the Le Mans 24 Hours and this car also competed in a variety of other high-profile races around the world.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Sold by Bonhams for Rs 264.73 crore ($38,115,000), August 2014

The ultimate acquisition for most collectors, just 39 250 GTOs were made and they very rarely come up for sale. So when this Ferrari 250 GTO came up for auction, it was always going to achieve a spectacular price – especially as this example had been owned by the same family for 39 years.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Sold by RM Sotheby’s for Rs 336.20 crore ($48,405,000), August 2018

What you see here is the most expensive car ever sold at auction. An original 1962 machine, chassis 3413 left the factory as a Series I example, before gaining ultra-rare Series II coachwork in 1964. It went on to enjoy a successful racing career, competing in 20 races finishing every one of them, before retiring from racing and entering a chain of ownership that can be traced right through to its newest custodian.

Disclaimer – All the prices have been converted as on 27 July 2019.

Also see:

The fastest production car by decade

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