Some people appreciate cars for their design, some for their luxury, and some for their performance.. Whatever the reasons, buyers are willing to part with larger and larger sums for the cars of their dreams. Here’s a guide to some of the most expensive cars sold at auction.
5. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster – $11.8 million
Here’s the most expensive pre-WW2 car ever sold at auction. Californian specialist auctioneers, Gooding & Company, established the record at a sale in 2012. Its supercharged engine powered it to around 110 mph, at a time when most road cars struggled to cruise at half that speed. The 540K was a favorite of the Nazi high command, being driven by the likes of Hermann Goering, whose “Blue Goose” special edition was captured by the US Army in 1945.
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4. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 – $27.5 million
The 275 was one of Ferrari’s most impressive Gran Turismo models of the late 1960s. It had a 3.3-liter V1 engine that pumped out close to 300 horsepower – a breathtaking number almost 50 years ago. The example sold by RM Auctions in 2013 smashed the world record for a car in this class. The “NART Spyder” variant was a customized version sold by an American dealer. Just ten were made, and this one – owned by one man since new – was kept in exceptional condition right up to its sale.
3. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM – $28.1 million
Ferrari is by far the most popular marque with collectors, and the name alone can add millions to a car’s price. The Canadian auction house, RM Auctions, must have been expecting a good selling price for this wonderful V12-powered race car, an example of which won the 1956 Mille Miglia road race in the hands of Eugenio Castellotti. Even so, it probably didn’t expect one of the highest winning bids on record.
2. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W194 – $29.6 million
Formula One racing in the mid-1950s was dominated by one name: Mercedes-Benz. The team boasted the world’s two best drivers in Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss, and its brilliant W194 chassis won the world championship twice running. Its fuel injection system was derived from the equipment on a WW2 Messerschmidt fighter, and the car moved almost as fast as the plane. One of the rarest most extraordinary cars in existence, it’s no surprise that it sold at Bonhams of London in 2013 for almost $30 million.
1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – $38.1 million
Here it is: the world’s most expensive car. Also sold by Bonhams, this beautiful 1962 sports car was bought by cellphone mogul, Craig McCaw, in August 2014. The car was made specifically for British auto racing legend, Stirling Moss. Its swooping lines and explosive performance for the day made the 250 GTO a sensation, and it hasn’t lost its appeal in the half-century since left the Ferrari factory, topping this list of the most expensive cars ever sold at auction.