There are a few vehicles that have been sold at auction that happen to be some of the most expensive cars ever sold. Period. While new vehicles from Lamborghini or Rolls-Royce can cost absurd amounts of money, they don’t even come close to the cars that have been sold at various auctions. These cars are all classic vehicles, and many of which are considered to be some of the greatest cars in history. So which ones are they?
Here are the ten most expensive cars ever sold at auction. For the purpose of this article, we are going to examine the adjusted sale prices with respect to inflation, as some of the vehicles were sold back in the 1980’s.
10. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster – $3,325,872
The first vehicle on our list is a rare Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster that dates back to 1936. In total, around 342 500K’s were produced, however there were only 58 of the Roadster models. The vehicle is a massive grand touring car that featured a long front end and a comfortable cabin. The vehicles were outfitted with a 5.018-liter I8 engine that produced up to 160 horsepower which allowed these cars to hit speeds of 100 mph. It may not seem like much compared to todays standards, but back then those were mind-bending numbers. One example of the car was sold at a Christie’s auction in 1984 for the price of $1.45 million dollars, which works out to be $3,325,872 dollars today.
9. 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B – $6,176,089
The Alfa Romeo P3, also known as the Tipo B, was a Grand Prix racing car that was first produced in 1932. The car was extremely lightweight, agile, and powerful with its supercharged eight-cylinder engine. However the most important aspect of this car is that it’s largely considered to be the first single-seater Grand Prix car, ever. The vehicle was also extremely successful at racing, having secured 46 race wins including 16 Grand Prix wins. One example of this car was auctioned off in 1985 for the price of $2,788,513 dollars which is about $6,176,089 dollars today.
8. 1957 Aston Martin DBR2 – $7,584,672
Next up we have an Aston Martin DBR2 from 1957. The DBR2 was a racing car developed by the brand in 1957, and it was unveiled at the 24 Hour of Le Mans for that year. The vehicle featured a tubular space-frame design, a 5-speed manual transmission, and a variety of different engines over the years (Aston used a 3.6L, 3.9L, and 4.1L engines). The vehicle won a variety of races over its career, and is one of the most prized Aston Martin’s in existence. One example was sold in 1985 for the price of $3,424,490 dollars which is equivalent to $7,584,672 dollars today.
7. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder – $10,894,900
We finally reach the first of many Ferrari’s on our list, and all of them are a variant of the 250. Ask any car or Ferrari enthusiast, and they will probably point towards these vehicles as some of the greatest. Specifically designed with California in mind, the 250 GT SWB California Spyder is a two-seater roadster that was first unveiled in 1960. The car essentially pioneered a new class of vehicles, high-end roadsters, and when it was all said and done, Ferrari produced about 51 examples in total. One example was sold in 2008 for the price of over $10.89 million dollars
6. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa – $12,402,500
We have another Ferrari 250 up next, and this time it’s the Testa Rossa. The Testa Rossa was a racing variant of the 250 line that Ferrari produced from 1957 to 1958. The vehicles featured an aerodynamic body, a 4-speed manual transmission, and a 2.9-liter V12 engine. When the 250 Testa Rossa was released, it quickly became one of the most successful Ferrari racing cars in history. The cars secured a number of wins for Ferrari, including three wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. One example of the car was sold in 2009 for the price of $12,402,500 dollars.
5. 1931 Bugatti Royale Berline de Voyage – $13,984,669
Before there was the Veyron, the original company known as Bugatti produced some pretty incredible vehicles back in the day, and the Royale was one of them. At 21-feet in length and weighing in at over 7,000 pounds, the Royale was one of the largest and heaviest cars ever produced. It boasted a massive 12.7-liter straight-eight engine that produced 275 hp to 300 hp, an equally large cabin, and all the luxury features available during the 1930’s. Only six Royale’s were produced in total, with the Berline de Voyage being one of them. It was sold back in 1986 for $6.5 million dollars, which is around $13.98 million dollars today.
4. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa – $16,390,000
A second Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa makes the list of the most expensive cars ever sold at auction. From the same year as the previous model, this Testa Rossa was sold in 2011 for the incredible price of $16,390,000 dollars. At the time of that sale, it was the most expensive car that was ever sold.
3. 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe – $20,558,950
Another rare Bugatti Royale comes up on our list, and it is the Kellner Coupe variant. The coach of these cars were built to order, so their features can vary from model to model. However outside of those small details and the obvious change in color, this variant is the same as the previous model. It was originally put up for sale at a Christie’s auction in 1987 where it sold for $9.8 million dollars, which is equal to over $20.55 million dollars today.
2. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R – $29,607,760
Coming up next on the list at number 2 is a extremely rare Mercedes-Benz W196R from 1954. The vehicle was a race car that was used by the German brand from 1954 to 1955. The car won 9 of the 12 races that it entered in, and it even won two world championships. Only a handful were ever made, and the specific model in question was raced by the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio, who was one of the most successful racing drivers at the time. This particular car was sold in 2013 for over $29.6 million dollars, earning it the spot as the most expensive car ever sold, until our number one of course.
1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – $38,115,000
The most expensive car ever sold at auction and the most expensive car ever sold is the Ferrari 250 GTO. The 250 GTO is arguably the most famous and beloved variant within the 250 line, and it was a GT racing car used by Ferrari from 1962 to 1964. The vehicle initial featured a 3.0-liter V12 which was then upgraded to a 4.0-liter V12. The car had a successful career in racing and only 39 examples of the car were produced. The vehicle in question was personally driven by the legendary Stirling Moss, and it was sold just last year for the astonishing price of $38,115,000 dollars which makes it the most expensive car of all-time.