List of most expensive cars sold at auction

List of most expensive cars sold at auction

This is a list of the most expensive cars sold in auto auctions through the traditional bidding process, that of those that attracted headline grabbing publicity, mainly for the high price their fresh owners have paid. A one thousand nine hundred sixty two Ferrari two hundred fifty GTO serial number 3851GT sold at Bonham’s Quail Auction on August 14, two thousand fourteen for US$38,115,000.00 (including buyers premium), cracking the record previously held by a one thousand nine hundred fifty four Mercedes-Benz W196R race car, sold for a record $31 million at an auction in England on July 12, 2013. While collectible cars have been sold privately for more, this is the highest price ever paid for a car at a public auction.

The one thousand nine hundred four Rolls-Royce ten hp Two-Seater is presently listed on the Guinness World Records as the most expensive veteran car to be sold, at the price of US$7,254,290 (equivalent to $8,379,000 in 2016), on a Bonhams auction held at Olympia in London on December Three, 2007. [1]

This list only consists of those that have been sold for at least $Four million in auction sales during a traditional bidding process, inclusive of the mandatory buyers premium and does not include private, unsuccessful (failing to reach its reserve price, incomplete) and out of auction sales.


Common contributing factors affecting the value of auctioned automobiles include:

  • Low production volumes [Two][Trio]
  • Rarity [Two][Trio]
  • Desirability [Two][Three]
  • Request [Two][Trio]
  • Aesthetic design, even of its time. [Four]
  • Nostalgia, known as the generation effect; collectors in their prime earning years, being able to afford a seven figure car, are likely to buy cars that they are born to identify themselves with. [Trio]
  • Typically sport cars are generally more expensive than comparable engined saloons, therefore desirable, the same applies to roadsters over saloons but luxury cars, as for their higher price tag, are on a higher end of the scale. [Five]
  • Condition, also accomplish documentation (such as evidence of its restoration) of the car is vital for its value. [6] It is not unusual for these cars to have undergone restoration work in the past costing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. [7]
  • Winning a prestigious auto demonstrate helps the car’s value, this was the case for some of the cars listed below have been cited to had taken overall [8] or class wins [9] at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
  • Originality, typically a car that had its original mechanical components, as it was when it left the factory, is more desirable to the one that doesn’t. [Ten] Original bodyshell retains the value better to one fitted with a fresh figure but the chassis of the car is more considered by collectors. [11]
  • Cars tooled with automatic transmission are considered to be less desirable than its manual counterpart. [12]
  • Cars that have been freshly restored or hidden away for a number of years or decades makes the car desirable to a demonstrate winner or a famous car. [Three]
  • Eligibility to vintage events is a factor to prices as collectors typically buy vintage race cars to come in historic events as are cars that can be designed to be driven on the street but are competitive on the track. [Trio]
  • The originality of the car is considered significant in historic racing due to the Historic Technical Passports and FIA Heritage Certificates in force, meaning cars must retain mechanical systems that belonged to the car of the period to prevent unfair advantages. [13]
  • Cars with a strong motorsport history improve on the car’s desirability, better if the car have won a prestigious race such as the twenty four Hours of Le Stud’s, [Four] the Formula One World Championship and the Indianapolis 500. [14] An example would be the Ferrari three hundred thirty TRI/LM Spider that was sold for $9.Two million in 2007, which was the one thousand nine hundred sixty two winner of the twenty four hours classic. Note that sportcar racers makes up the majority of competition cars on the main list.
  • A car associated with a famous person adds value to its price. [15] Examples are:
  • Elton John in two thousand one auctioned his large collection, as a result of his fame, a majority of those sold twice its estimates. [16]
  • In 2008, TV presenter and radio personality Chris Evans broke a twenty-one-year-old record, when he successfully placed a bid for a Ferrari two hundred fifty GT SWB California Spider that once belonged to James Coburn. [17]
  • In one thousand nine hundred seventy three a Mercedes-Benz seven hundred seventy F-Cabriolet that stated to be the parade limousine of Adolf Hitler was sold for a then record of US$153,000 (equivalent to $825,000 in 2016), [Legitimate][Nineteen] surpassing the previous record held by a Duesenberg Model J Victoria that belonged to Greta Garbo at US$90,000 (equivalent to $515,000 in 2016). [20][21][22][23][24] Despite exposed to be the limousine of the President of Finland Carl Mannerheim, not Hitler, a week after the auction, the same Mercedes went on to surpass its own record months later despite this error. [Eighteen]
  • On the other forearm, a car belonging to a celebrity who is implicated in a credibility hurting scandal is likely to be worth less. An example of this is the Rolls-Royce Corniche belonging to British TV and radio personality, Jimmy Savile; in light of his sexual manhandle scandal following his death, the car is speculated by the motoring trade to be worthless. [25] However, the white one thousand nine hundred ninety three Ford Bronco, that was involved in the pursue inbetween O. J. Simpson and LAPD, was sold for $75,000 in 2004, almost twice its original value, ten years after the incident. [26]
  • On the other arm, as above, a car that is associated with a famous otherwise factory-backed racing team, such as Scuderia Ferrari, which was the case on August two thousand eleven when one of their factory Ferrari two hundred fifty Testa Rossa broke the fresh record, surpassing the record held by the same car two years before, which was a customer car. [27]
  • Auctions taking place during the annual Monterey Historics events every mid-August is expected to bring in record sales as it is considered to be the hotpoint for collectors and investors who choose to make attendance there to awaiting the outcome. [28]
  • Auctions are not likely to instruction higher sale price in comparison to private sales. [9]
  • World economy affecting car values Edit

    Aside those mentioned above, the world economy is the other main factor to its values as classic cars are being regarded as an alternative investment. [16] [29]

    The market began in the 1970s when used Ferraris was exported to any Italian exotic car dealer in the United States who were willing to buy anything that came to them, then the one thousand nine hundred seventy three oil crisis when prices of exotic cars plummeted rapidly, almost fresh and higher in the range models frequented in used car lots, a Lamborghini Miura could be bought for $15,000 at that time. [30] A one thousand nine hundred sixty Ferrari two hundred fifty GT SWB California Spider that went on to sell for $Four,950,000 in two thousand nine was suggested for sale in the June one thousand nine hundred sixty four issue of Road & Track for US$Ten,500 (equivalent to $81,000 in 2016), in the April one thousand nine hundred seventy six issue of Hemmings Motor News, the same car was suggested at US$16,750 (equivalent to $70,000 in 2016). [31] After a period of ups and downs in the 1970s and early 1980s, interest rates eased, meaning exotics once frequent on bedroom walls became abruptly affordable. [30]

    During the 1980s boom, investors frequented auctions, causing prices to skyrocket. When cars were sold, they were frequently shifted to storage for investors intending to profit later. The high prices drove enthusiasts away from the market, and cars passed from investor to investor. [16] The 1980s boom was followed by 1990s bust, and the values of classic cars plummeted [32]

    According to the November one thousand nine hundred ninety seven issue of Car Magazine, the Ferrari F40 was credited for sparking the price speculation craze. [33]

    During the height of the Japanese asset price bubble in the late 1980s, when the yen had strengthened from about three hundred to the U.S. dollar in one thousand nine hundred eighty five to about one hundred fifty by 1989, wealthy Japanese buyers began to buy classic cars for effectively half the previous cost in yen. One example of this in 1989, a Ferrari two hundred fifty GTO (3909GT) was privately sold to Takeo Kato for $13,837,500. [30] When the bubble burst, it was sold to Talacrest, an Egham (in Surrey) based Ferrari dealer for $Two.7m in 1994, [34] eventually selling onto David Morrison, a London-based American for an estimated $Trio.Five million. It passed on in two thousand one to John Mozart, via private sale in exchange of a Ferrari two hundred fifty TR, for an estimated $7,000,000. [30]

    Albeit prices have slightly dipped for general classic cars due to the latest recession, [35] prices for high end collector cars have held their value or continued to rise. [Two] Since the 1990s recession, values of the most desirable cars have risen in value by 200% or more. [32] The reason for this is unlike the late 1980s, buyers are enthusiasts with skill on the products they are interested in. [36]

    Inbetween two thousand five and 2010, the value of vintage cars have said to enhanced by twenty one per cent, according to Dietrich Hatlapa of the HAGI Index (Historic Automobile Group International), vintage cars have suggested annual comebacks of about twenty one per cent over the past five years. [35]

    One challenge to owners of expensive cars is the risk of having them bruised in crashes. The most expensive car crash in motoring history emerges to have been by Christopher Cox, who crashed while driving his Ferrari two hundred fifty GTO and ruined its front end. The car itself was valued at around $30 million. [37]

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