What Are The Most Expensive Vehicles Ever Sold
Few car buyers head to their local used car lot with dreams of hitting it big. That’s because the value of most consumer-ready vehicles depreciate with the passage of miles and time. Not so for the following list of historically significant supercars.
In the world of rare and exotic automotives, sky-high price tags are incredibly common. The rides we’re featuring here though are on another planet. Today, we’re going to take a walk through motorsport history with a luxurious top ten. These are the most expensive vehicles ever sold at auction.
1956 Ferrari 290 MM
The first of many Ferrari’s on today’s list is the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM. The prized artifact was piloted by some of the greatest drivers of the age, and raced as an official Scuderia Ferrari Works car for the 1956 and 1957 seasons. More than just a stylish race car, the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM took home a ton of hardware, winning the Nassau Trophy and Memorial Race and earning a podium finish at the Mille Miglia.
The immaculately restored classic Ferrari was retained and stored by the Chinetti family for nearly three decades until it went up for auction in 2018 and sold for a staggering $22,005,000.
1956 Aston Martin DBR1
The top-selling Aston Martin of all time netted $22,550,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in 2017. The oft-celebrated roadster was raced by industry legends Roy Salvadori, Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, and Carroll Shelby.
This exact car won the 1959 Nürburgring 1000KM, and is widely regarded as the most important model in the history of Aston Martin, with a value that will surely only increase with the passage of time.
1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti
The 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C was designed by legendary craftsman Sergio Scaglietti. Only three of these masterpieces were ever built, but its three-year racing career was indeed a decorated one. This particular Ferrari is widely regarded as one of the last front-engined racers to be competitive at the top level of sports cars. It scored the best ever finish by a front-engined car at the 24-Hours of Le Mans, a record that still holds strong to this day.
This photogenic engineering masterpiece was auctioned off by Sotheby’s in August of 2014 and was purchased for $26,400,000.
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider
Another Sergio Scaglietti masterwork, this 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 was purchased from new and stored by just one owner. Only 10 of these things were ever built, with this one being the most immaculately kept and maintained.
While this particular vehicle didn’t win any professional races, its unblemished ownership history and unparalleled condition cemented its high asking price. In the end, this fully functioning relic of the luxurious past would net $27,500,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in 2013.
1956 Ferrari 290 MM
Ho hum, another vintage Ferrari netting its owner over $20-million. This one went for a grand total of $28,050,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in December of 2015.
This 1956 Ferrari 290 MM came Ferrari Classiche certified and with a sizable piece of motorsport history. This one was built to contend for the World Sportscar Championship and would go on to be driven by one of Germany’s all-time great Grand Prix drivers Wolfgang von Trips, or “Taffy” for short.
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R
Juan Manuel Fangio piloted this exact vehicle to back-to-back drivers championships in 1954 and 1955. Interestingly, this luxurious time capsule was sold in its authentic condition, reflecting the scuff marks, dents, and blemishes that the vehicle sustained throughout the course of its iconic professional run.
This specific vehicle is the stuff of German legend, so it’s no surprise that it sits so high on the auction totem pole. The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R hit the auction block at Bonhams in 2013 and sold for $29.6 million.
1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti
A quick image search of the 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti will help you understand why this thing sits so high on the all-time list. Simply put, this one is easily one of the most beautifully designed sports cars ever made. The curves, paint, and sound of this work of art were meant to turn heads. But this thing is about way more than looks. It competed in a ton of professional races, and took home the World Manufacturers Championship in 1957.
One of only four ever built, the 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti sold at auction for $35.7 million in February of 2016.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta
Scoring a high auction price was just yet another victory in the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta’s championship pedigree. Designed to compete in the 3-liter class of the 1962 FIA GT World Championship series of endurance events, the 250 GTO Berlinetta exceeded all expectations. The vehicle would go on to win the World title two years in a row, cementing its legacy in the hearts and minds of motorsport enthusiasts forever.
The Italian classic went up for auction at Bonhams in August of 2014 and was sold for $38,115,000.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scalietti
No you aren’t seeing double. The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scalietti is widely regarded as the most important, desirable, and legendary motor car in the entire world. The car was one of only four upgraded by Scaglietti with Series II GTO/64, and was driven by Edoardo Luadi-Gabardi to victory in the 1962 Italian GT Championship. The car also won over 15 class and overall wins during the 1962 to 1965 seasons.
It once held the title of most expensive vehicle of all time when it sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2018 for $48,405,000. That is until our final vehicle hit the auction block.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe
The new queen of luxury motorsport is the strikingly stylish Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe. This was one of two 1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupes in existence, and was sold by Mercedes-Benz for a mind bogglingly high sticker price of $143-million.
This one had been owned by Mercedes-Benz from the moment that it was built, and opened with a bid of $50-million. Not only is this the most expensive car ever sold, but its asking price puts it firmly within the top-10 of all-time auction price tags.
Life in the Fast Lane
If today’s exploration into the world of iconic motorsport auctions has taught you anything, it’s that history can be bought. Granted, the asking prices for these engineering marvels are likely out of all of our budgets. Still, it’s fun to talk about the kind of money that these cars go for. It’s fascinating to learn about the hallowed ground these 10-vehicles left tire marks all over, too.