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Prepare to feel weak in the knees : top five luxury cars sold at an auction

Ian Harvey

There are two main types of cars; the ones meant to be driven during a 40-mile round-trip office commute, and cars that are not meant to be driven at all. The later are known as collector cars that should instead be worshiped. Research shows that these rare kinds of cars are extremely expensive. Jerry Seinfeld recently sold his collection of Porsche cars for a whopping $22 million dollars. Believe it or not, those are not even the most expensive cars. Below is a delineated list and description of the five most expensive cars ever sold at an auction.

  1. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 N.A.R.T. Spider: $27,500,000
    (2013 RM Auctions, Monterey, CA)

    1967 Ferrari 275 GTB Source
    1967 Ferrari 275 GTB Source

Only ten of this model were ever manufactured, and this particular one was driven regularly. It is a truly special, single-owner rarity bought by self-made millionaire and North Carolinian Eddie Smith. He purchased it directly from the Ferrari factory and kept it for decades. Many different people made offers on it, but Smith opted to leave it to his son once he died in 2007. For many years, it went unused until his son finally decided to sell the beloved ride at a charity auction. This rare convertible version of the 275 GTB had an N.A.R.T. (North American Racing Team) designation and sold for $27.5 million by the time the RM’s Pebble Beach auction dropped the gavel.

  1. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM: $28,050,000
    (2015 RM Sotheby’s – New York, NY)

    The 1956 Ferrari 290 MM Scaglietti Spyder.Source
    The 1956 Ferrari 290 MM Scaglietti Spyder.Source

This car (or machine) was built specifically for Enzo Ferrari, and it was built to win. It is an ultra racing gem that had the “works” designation in that it was specially crafted to be one of his weapons of choice. Juan Manuel Fangio is a racing legend considered to be the world’s best race car driver of all time. He drove it in the 1956 Mille Miglia, and it set a bunch of records when it sold in 2015. It was the most expensive car sold that year, most expensive ever sold by RM Sotheby’s and the highest price ever earned by a car in New York City. It is a two-seater, open-air racer that is painted with a red, yellow, and blue scheme. The entire build exudes a Ferrari racing winner!

  1. 1964 Mercedes-Benz W196 F1 Silver Arrow: $29,600,000
    (2013, Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed – West Sussex, UK)

    1964 Mercedes-Benz W196 F1 Source:Bonhams
    1964 Mercedes-Benz W196 F1 Source:Bonhams

This is the only dedicated German race car on the list and it bucks the Ferrari trend. Fangio undoubtedly had the magic touch when it came to this Teutonic speedster. It was a rather worn and un-restored Merc W196 Grand Prix race car that he also drove. There are only nine other ones (10 total) still in existence since the original 14 were manufactured. It happens to be the only post-World War II version that ended up being privately owned. In 2013, it was sold, and still had road grime and cosmetic blemishes on it from its glorious racing days. Not cleaning it up appeared to add value and authenticity.

  1. 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti: $35,700,000
    (2016 Artcurial – Paris, France)

    1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti.Source Artcurial
    1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti.Source Artcurial

This 335 S has an illustrious racing history too. It was first driven by a British racing icon named Peter Collins in 1957 Sebring 12 Hours race. Later on, it was driven by Wolfgang von Trips in the Mille Miglia endurance race. The racing history is definitely what made the car sell for such a high price. Plus, the car’s extremely rare, on top of being beautiful. The sale price broke the Merc Silver Arrow’s record-breaking sale from two years prior. Four models were made in total, and this one was owned by a French collector for four decades. After all that time, you can only imagine the excitement when it finally went up for sale.

  1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta: $38,115,000
    (2014, The Quail – Monterey, CA)

    1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta.Source
    1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta.Source: Bonhams

Rounding out this list of high-valued auction car sales is another vintage Ferrari race car – they simply dominate the auction blocks. This 1962 marvel 250 GTO reigns supreme, and it was built specifically to race in the 1962 FIA World GT Championships. The Ferrari won the race, and then repeated the victory in 1963. At the time of the auction, every part of the car was original. It was also the most frequently raced 250 GTO ever made. This was the reason for the massive price paid for it by some financially sound man. It will be interesting to see if he ever sells it.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News