Top 20 Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold – Auctioned Cars

The world of automobile auctions, much like other collectible markets, achieved unprecedented heights in the recent past. Earlier this year, in May, an astonishing sale took place: the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, famously known as the Uhlenhaut Coupe, changed hands for a staggering $142 million.

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

This extraordinary figure not only surpassed the previous record but obliterated it by nearly $100 million.

Surprisingly, few could have anticipated that the silver gull-winged Benz would fetch such an astronomical price. Yet, the trend of cars selling for exorbitant sums is not novel.

To grasp this fact, one need only scrutinize the list of the highest auction results ever. Thanks to the insights shared by the valuation experts at Hagerty, Carzkeeda recently had the opportunity to delve into this list.

Remarkably, the top 20 entries include sales dating back almost a decade to 2013—a phenomenon less common in markets like sports cards.

Regardless of the prevailing financial climate, dedicated collectors spare no expense to acquire their dream vehicles when presented with the chance.

John Wiley, Hagerty’s manager of valuation analytics, aptly stated, “While record prices have historically emerged during times of economic prosperity, the finest automobiles often emerge unexpectedly, and true enthusiast collectors tend to respond passionately,” Carzkeeda

1. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut Coupe” — A New Pinnacle of Value

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut Coupe

In the realm of automotive records, breaking barriers is a time-honored tradition. An iconic moment arrived in 2022, as the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR “Uhlenhaut Coupe” shattered expectations, achieving an astonishing $142 million sale price. This monumental sum eclipsed the previous record by a staggering $93.59 million.

A silver prototype racer, this machine isn’t just the most valuable auction car—it stands as the world’s priciest vehicle. Beyond the staggering figure lies a noble purpose, with the entire sum dedicated to the Mercedes-Benz Fund, empowering young individuals striving for a sustainable world.

This marvel, designed to race in the 1955 Carrera Panamericana, resonates with an enduring legacy that’s poised to reign atop this prestigious list for the foreseeable future.

2. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO — A Duel of Distinction

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

The story unfolds like a duel of elegance and rarity as another 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO stormed onto the stage. In 2018, RM Sotheby’s orchestrated a moment of breathtaking grandeur, as a dazzling exemplar secured a staggering $48.41 million, surpassing its predecessor spectacularly.

While the price differential is significant, the coupés are akin to twin stars in the automotive constellation. This exquisite 250 GTO, the third to emerge from production, retains over 95 percent of its factory-installed parts, preserving its authenticity in pristine form.

The premium paid for this masterpiece reflects a reverence for automotive heritage and a commitment to unparalleled excellence.

3. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO — The Epitome of Iconic

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

Within the pantheon of Ferraris, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO reigns supreme in its iconic status. A true rarity, only 36 street-legal race cars, powered by a 3.0-liter V-12 engine, were ever created—each gracefully surviving to the present day.

One such gem, chassis No. 3851GT, boasts a storied 49-year ownership under Fabrizio Violati, who actively raced the vehicle.

Bonhams witnessed a historic moment in 2014, as the auction gavel descended, resulting in a then-record-breaking sale price of $38.12 million. This spectacular feat attests to the indelible allure and enduring appeal of the 250 GTO.

4. 1957 Ferrari 335 S — Racing Legends Rekindled

1957 Ferrari 335 S

Among Ferrari’s race cars, those that bear the badge and the battle scars of actual racing are the true gems. Leading this illustrious pack is the 1957 Ferrari 335 S—a marvel that fetched $35.75 million at Artcurial in 2016.

While not the most valuable of Ferrari’s racers, its significance is unparalleled. Enabling Ferrari to secure the Constructor’s World Championship in 1957 and securing a second-place finish at the final Mille Miglia, this iconic vehicle etched its name in racing history.

Piloted by legendary drivers including Peter Collins, Wolfgang von Trips, and Luigi Musso, the 335 S encapsulates the epitome of a triumphant racing season.

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5. 1967 Ferrari 412 P Berlinetta

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

In the realm of rare Ferrari race cars, the 412 P Berlinetta stands as a true unicorn. A mere two of these stunning vehicles were crafted by the Italian marque, representing the “customer version” stemming from the successful 330 P3 and P4 race cars. In an intriguing twist, two 330 P3s transformed to become 412 Ps.

A masterful blend of elements, the prototype racer melds a rear-mounted 4.0-liter V-12 engine with the P3’s chassis and the P4’s body, suspension, and wheels. Notably, this exemplar, the second of the original 412 P Berlinettas, played a pivotal role in Ferrari’s triumphant World Championship of Makes win in 1967.

The August 2023 auction, though falling short of expectations, still saw a remarkable $30.25 million transaction—a testimony to the majesty of this competition-tested Ferrari.

6. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 — Racing Royalty Reigns at $29.6 Million

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

Few race cars command the acclaim and success of the Mercedes-Benz W196. With Juan Manuel Fangio and Sir Stirling Moss at the helm, this triumphantly succeeded the W194, leaving an indelible mark on the 1954 and 1955 Formula 1 seasons. The legacy of this silver-clad marvel reached its pinnacle at the 1954 French Grand Prix.

Distinctively adorned with white racing gumballs, it remains the sole example outside factory or museum collections. This unique status prompted a fervent bid of $29.6 million at the celebrated Bonhams auction in 2013, solidifying its place among the automotive elite.

7. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM — Racing Legends Revisited at $28.1 Million

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

A captivating déjà vu graces the list as two distinct 1956 Ferrari 290 MMs, conceived for the iconic Mille Miglia race, occupy places of honor among the top ten auction cars.

Building on the rich legacy of the Prancing Horse’s 1950s racers, this particular 290 MM was meticulously designed for the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio, a five-time Formula 1 champion.

Distinguished by its striking blue-and-yellow nose, this open-top speed demon transcends its racing pedigree to stand as a stunning masterpiece. In 2015, its story unfolded at RM Sotheby’s, culminating in an astounding sale price of $28.1 million.

8. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider — A Charitable Marvel at $27.5 Million

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

Few Ferraris rival the desirability of the 275 GTB, casting a shadow that elevates prices beyond those of contemporaries. Such is the case for the rare NART Spider, a limited edition with only 10 in existence.

In 2013, RM Sotheby’s witnessed the spirited bidding that led to a remarkable $27.5 million, with all proceeds benefiting charitable causes. The rarity and allure of the NART Spider, coupled with its impeccable restoration and matching numbers, propelled it to astronomical heights.

This sale underscores the symbiotic relationship between automotive splendor and philanthropy.

9. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C — A Masterpiece Fetching $26.4 Million

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

Among the pantheon of Ferrari 275 GTBs, a select few stand as veritable gems, and the Scuderia Ferrari team’s Berlinetta Competizione cars styled by Scaglietti epitomize this distinction.

The year 2014 witnessed a historic moment as one of these exemplary machines, finished in metallic dark gray with a distinctive center racing stripe, commanded an astonishing $26.4 million through RM Sotheby’s. Notably, this jewel never competed at the grueling Le Mans race, contributing to its impeccable condition at the time of sale.

An ode to both form and function, this extraordinary Ferrari continues to captivate enthusiasts worldwide.

10. 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 Roadster — Pioneering Elegance at $22.5 Million

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

While the DB5 commands widespread recognition, the true jewel in Aston Martin’s crown is the DBR1 roadster. Unveiled at RM Sotheby’s in 2017, the inaugural specimen of the four built secured a breathtaking $22.5 million.

The allure of this exceptional roadster doesn’t solely stem from being the first off the assembly line. An iconic comeback victory by the legendary Sir Stirling Moss at the Nürburgring 1000 KM in 1959 was orchestrated from within its luxurious confines.

With a stunning green exterior and meticulous restoration, the DBR1 encapsulates a harmonious blend of vintage aesthetics and racing prowess.

11. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM — A $22 Million Tale of Triumph

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

The remarkable 1956 Ferrari 290 MM, with its extraordinary journey across three continents, unfolds as one of the most captivating stories in the realm of race cars. At the prestigious RM Sotheby’s auction in 2018, chassis No. 0628, a revered Scuderia Ferrari Works car from 1956 and 1957, emerged as the star.

A distinguished pedigree marked its history, with legendary drivers such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, and Sir Stirling Moss behind the wheel.

This illustrious vehicle clinched podium finishes at revered events including the Mille Miglia in Italy, the 1000 KM of Buenos Aires, and the Nassau Memorial Trophy Race in the Bahamas.

Built in a limited series of four, and with a mere three surviving to the present day, this unique exemplar justified its $22 million price tag.

12. 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider — Carroll Shelby’s Beloved Legend Fetches $22 Million

1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider — Carroll Shelby's Beloved Legend Fetches $22 Million

Amidst the 1950s’ profusion of remarkable race cars, the 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider stands as an object of fervor. The famed Carroll Shelby, an automotive luminary, declared it the “best Ferrari [he] ever drove.” Such adoration was not singular, as this V-12-powered marvel was commandeered by a pantheon of legendary drivers—Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, and Masten Gregory among them. Beyond its exhilarating performance, the chassis No. 0598 CM stood as a triumphant victor, seizing top honors in 11 races and securing podium positions in 19 more between 1956 and 1958. The culmination of its legacy arrived in 2022, with a historic sale price of $22 million at RM Sotheby’s, cementing its place as a timeless symbol of racing excellence.

13. 1935 Duesenberg Model SSJ Convertible — Hollywood Glamour at $22 Million

1935 Duesenberg Model SSJ Convertible — Hollywood Glamour at $22 Million

Though time has passed, the allure of Duesenberg endures, and the 1935 Duesenberg Model SSJ Convertible is a significant reason for this enduring charm.

A splendid embodiment of automotive elegance, this convertible was custom-crafted for none other than Hollywood luminary Gary Cooper, adding a touch of Tinseltown glamour to its pedigree.

A supercharged Model J engine was coupled with LaGrande’s exquisite coachwork, resulting in an embodiment of luxury and performance. Merely two of these roadsters were ever crafted, with the other finding its way to Clark Gable.

Rumor has it that these two stars engaged in friendly races, a narrative that adds to the mystique. The culmination of this legacy? A staggering sale price of $22 million at the esteemed Pebble Beach event in 2018, more than doubling initial estimates.

14. 1955 Jaguar D-Type — Racing Glory Revived at $21.8 Million

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

The allure of midcentury Jaguar race cars remains unmatched, and the 1955 Jaguar D-Type stands as the embodiment of this fascination. A true marvel of form and function, the D-Type, produced between 1954 and 1957, embodies the union of aesthetics and performance.

The specific 1955 model under the spotlight clinched victory at Le Mans shortly after its creation, solidifying Jaguar’s place in history with its fourth out of five wins at the prestigious race.

Its blue-and-white livery remains iconic, and its unique status as the sole surviving Le Mans–winning Jaguar ensured a monumental sale price of $21.8 million in 2016. This exemplar has been so meticulously preserved that it mirrors its appearance from the historic victory lap.

15. 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Competition — A Singular Triumph at $21.5 Million

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold

Collector’s hearts skip a beat at the prospect of acquiring something truly unique. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Competition captured the attention of enthusiasts worldwide, eventually changing hands for a remarkable $21.5 million in 2018 through RM Sotheby’s.

A bona fide prototype from the revered marque, this masterpiece was one of only four “project cars” commissioned during David Brown’s stewardship.

Its distinction wasn’t confined to the design board—it also graced the Le Mans track, making a memorable appearance shortly after its conception.

The awe-inspiring feat? Being the first car to conquer the 300 kph barrier at the famed race, reaching a top speed of 319.6 kph (198.6 mph) on the iconic Mulsanne Straight.

16. 1995 McLaren F1 — Driving into the Record Books at $20.4 Million

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold

Prepare to be dazzled by the sheer magnificence of the 1995 McLaren F1. This exceptional masterpiece recently commanded an astounding $20.4 million under the hammer at Gooding & Company in 2021.

A clear testament to its status as a modern marvel, McLaren produced only 106 units of this automotive gem during its six-year production span. What’s more, a mere 64 of these were deemed roadworthy, adding to the exclusivity.

One standout specimen, in particular, boasts a Creighton Brown exterior that exudes elegance. Yet, it’s the astonishingly low mileage that sets this McLaren apart—a mere 242 miles, equating to less than 10 miles per year since its 1995 debut.

The result? A triumphant sale that not only surpassed its predecessor on this list but firmly etched its name in history.

17. $19,805,000 (RM Sotheby’s, 2019) 1994 McLaren F1

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

Not all entries on this elite list hail from a bygone era. Case in point: the McLaren F1. Despite its nearly 27-year existence, this 1990s supercar, a pinnacle of Gordon Murray’s design brilliance, retains an enduringly modern allure.

Its venerated status is cemented by a Formula 1-derived V-12 engine, which once held the title of the world’s fastest production car powerplant. Its blend of aesthetics and performance resonated profoundly, as demonstrated by the sale of a one-of-two LM specification example for nearly $20 million in 2019.

18. 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Lungo Spider

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

In the realm of coolness, Alfa Romeo’s 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta met its match in the 2900 Luongo Spider. This open-top rendition was Italy’s answer to the Bugatti Atlantic, seamlessly merging style and performance in a manner rarely seen before or since.

With only 32 specimens of the 8C 2900 Luongo Spider ever built, this 2016 auction showcased one of the dozen touring convertibles still in existence. Dressed in striking black, this $19.80 million sale marked the sole public auction appearance of this century.

The 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta is valued at $18,563,605 (Artcurial, 2019).

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta — $18,563,605 (Artcurial, 2019)

Before World War II, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 was the epitome of speed and sophistication. Beyond its mechanical prowess, the Carrozzeria Touring Berlinetta version stood out as a paragon of elegance, often dubbed a “Rolling Masterpiece.”

This specimen, the second among only five Touring-bodied variants ever manufactured, epitomizes the allure of the era. With its peers either gracing the Alfa Romeo museum or claiming accolades at vintage auto shows, it’s no surprise that the winning bid amounted to $18.56 million in 2019.

20. 1961 Ferrari 250 California SWB Spyder — $18,405,440 (Artcurial, 2015)

Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold - Auctioned Cars

Ferrari owes much of its prominence today to the 250 series, a triumphant lineage from its early years. Among the array of models produced over its 12-year span, the 250 California SWB Spyder claims a coveted spot.

Regarded as one of the most splendid convertibles of the previous century, this roadster was exclusively crafted for North American markets by Scaglietti. An intriguing facet is that this specific model, once owned by French cinema icon Alain Delon, sported a unique dark blue finish, diverging from the signature Rosso Corsa.

Only 37 units featured covered headlights, and notably, this $18.41 million sale in 2015 marked its emergence almost untouched after languishing for decades in a French barn.

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