Car Stuff

These Are The Priciest Cars Ever Sold

Take a High-Octane Tour of The Most Expensive Rides To Leave The Auction Block

BY Katie KennedyMay 21, 2019

Okay, so you’re not a one-percenter. But thanks to this epic list of some of the most expensive cars ever auctioned off, at least now you can read like one!

All of the cars on this list of the world’s priciest vehicles easily cleared a $10 million sticker price – many very safely so. But because Ferraris took up more than a few places near the top, we decided to skip over in-brand duplicates and instead share the abundant wealth on display here with the other bank-breaking models. After all, we’re Fair.

So with no further ado, behold this costly collection of rides we couldn’t afford in ten lifetimes, while we shake our heads disapprovingly to mask the acute FOMO.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO ($48.4 million)

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO This award-winning speedster was sold in Monterey, Calif., last year for an amount that even Beyoncé might consider "a good start to the tour."* (Source: Flickr/Brian Snelson)*

The average shower takes 8 minutes. This car sold in 12 minutes. Which means you could shower, take three minutes to towel off, grab your briefcase with $50 million in it, and still have a FULL MINUTE left over to slow-bid this honey. The third of only 36 GTOs ever built, this championship-winning speedster was sold in Monterey, Calif., in August 2018—immediately becoming the most expensive car ever sold at auction. With a price tag that reads less “GTO” and more “GTFOH,” it smashed the world record of $38 million that had been held since 2014 by a fellow 1962 Ferrari 250. Of course, it’s not really surprising that the 250 would continue its reign as the world’s priciest roadster. Notable owners of this version of the Ferrari reportedly include fashion icon Ralph Lauren and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 ($29.6 million)

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 A vintage Benz driven by a five-time Formula One champion sold for more cash at auction than any car not made by Ferrari. (Source: WikiMedia Commons)

Holding the distinction of being the highest-priced non-Ferrari auto ever sold, this distinguished piece of 1950s German engineering was bought for the hefty sum of almost $30 million by an anonymous bidder at an auction in the U.K. in 2013. The car’s biggest claim, though, is its serious racing pedigree. Legendary five-time Formula One world champion Juan Manual Fangio drove the car to two of his victories in Grand Prix races, after which it was lovingly restored and placed in the Mercedes Benz museum—later to be shown off all around Europe. Anyone else wish their parents were as proud of them as Mercedes was of this car?

1956 Aston Martin DBR1 ($22.5 million)

1956 Aston Martin DBR1 James Bond glamorized the DBR1, the most expensive English car on record. (Source: WikiMedia Commons)

“The name is Martin. Aston Martin.” This English chap’s claim to fame is, of course, as the brand James Bond drove into movie infamy—debuting in Goldfinger and going on to appear in more of the spy flicks. The reputation of the DBR1 model was further solidified in 2017 when this one fetched an eye-popping $22.5 million at auction, making it the most expensive set of English wheels ever sold. As the first of only five DBR1s ever made, auction house RM Sotheby’s called it “the most correct down to the smallest of details, inside and out… Arguably the most important Aston Martin ever built.”

1935 Duesenberg SSJ ($22 million)

1935 Duesenberg SSJ One of the first-ever luxury speedsters was driven by the likes of Clark Gable and Gary Cooper. (Source: WikiMedia Commons)

This classic was owned by none other than legendary actor Gary Cooper. The convertible coupe was one of only two SSJs ever made—and Clark Gable was so impressed with his colleague’s wheels, he snagged the second. If you’re not totally familiar with Duesenberg, you’re probably not alone. After being founded by the Duesenberg brothers in 1913 in St. Paul, Minnesota, the brand shuttered just 24 years later after the market for luxury cars tanked during the Great Depression. When this particular “Duesy” fetched its big price in Pebble Beach in 2018, it became the most expensive American car ever sold—but not the most famous. Sorry, but O.J.’s white Ford Bronco still holds that crown. We’re not proud.

1955 Jaguar D-Type ($21.78 million)

1955 Jaguar D-Type Famous for its 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Jaguar D-Type later sold for an eye-popping amount at auction. (Source: Flickr/ZANTAFIO56)

This fierce cat earned its place as the only Jaguar at the top of the pricing charts after a historic 1956 performance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In a brutal storm with 49 cars in the field, only 14 competitors actually completed the race—and one driver even died. But in the end, this lone Jag took top honors for the Scottish racing team of Ecurie Ecosse. The only intact D-Type winner of the Le Mans, this ferocious feline had just two more owners before heading to the auction block in 2016, where it fetched its handsome bounty.

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring ($19.8 million)

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring This sophisticated relic from pre-War Italy made it around the world before being sold for many, many millions in California. (Source: WikiMedia Commons)

The old-timer of this esteemed group, the murky history of this Italian beauty can only be traced as far back as 1949, showing that the car was brought to Brazil, modified for racing, and changed hands throughout Europe and the U.S. The car was eventually restored to glory before being auctioned in Monterey, Calif., in August 2016. As one of the world’s most expensive pre-WWII cars, this beauty exemplifies a classic sophistication of yesteryear—and at almost $20 million, a price tag seemingly from the way, way future. Its status as one of only 12 of the Touring models known to exist definitely adds to its impressive value.

1995 McLaren F1 ($15.62 million)

1995 McLaren F1 The McLaren F1 was the first ever by the manufacturer to make it stateside back in '95. (Source: Flickr/Brian Snelson)

The most contemporary car on our list, this Gen Zer topped an auction in Carmel, Calif., in August 2017, having enjoyed quite the pampered youth. Not only was its original exterior and interior kept in pristine condition throughout its life, but its sole owner racked up a scant 9,600 miles in it in the 20+ years since he bought it from the McLaren factory in Woking, England. Not only was it the first-ever McLaren F1 to be imported to the U.S., but it was the first to be fully federalized as street legal here despite its ability to go from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds.

1970 Porsche 917k ($14.08 million)

1970 Porsche 917k Legendary actor and style icon Steve McQueen made this car ultra-famous, driving it in the movie Le Mans to become the most expensive Porsche of all time. (Source: WikiMedia Commons)

In 1971, this Porsche was seen on-camera and as a chase car in Steve McQueen’s legendary race car film Le Mans, making it the vehicular toast of Tinseltown. Selling at an auction in 2017 for $14 million, it instantly became the most expensive Porsche ever sold. A sexy package with a rich history, this German machine lived a storied pre-McQueen life as well, having been owned by famed Swiss racer Jo Siffert. In fact, the car was in Siffert’s private collection (he leased it to McQueen’s production company for Le Mans) when Siffert died tragically at age 35 in a crash at the 1971 World Championship Victory Race. The vehicle was so dear to the Siffert that it led his funeral procession, one of the world’s finest racing cars paying respects to one of the world’s finest drivers.

1962 Shelby Cobra 260 “CSX2000” ($13.75 million)

1962 Shelby Cobra 260 “CSX2000” The list wouldn't be complete without a limited edition of the infamous All-American rarity designed by Carroll Shelby. (Source: Flickr/Raphaël Chekroun)

Rounding out the list—and clocking in at the low, low price of just $13.75 million—is an all-American roadster that holds a special place in U.S. history. In fact, if modern American auto racing had a superhero it would be the Shelby. Not only did the Carroll Shelby-created brand bring American sports cars and competition to the world stage, the “CSX2000” was the very first Shelby Cobra ever made. With that juice behind it, it’s no wonder that this Shelby became one of the most expensive American cars ever sold when it tallied its jaw-dropping sum in August 2016. At the time this speedster was built—with the Shelby brand struggling to get traction—the “CSX2000” was often painted different colors between media events and magazine photo shoots to give the appearance that more were made than just this one. But, in fact, the CSX2000 was the only Cobra in existence for seven months.

Nice whip. No loan.

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