Cars, like most things, are getting increasingly ridiculously expensive these days.
As it stands, the world’s most expensive car ever is the diamond-coated 990bhp Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, commanding an asking price of $4.8 million fresh from the shelf, or £3.83 million to you and I. Not far behind it is the Lamborghini Veneno, which sold new for £3.59 million.
However in the auction world, prices get super-silly super-quick and neither the Koenigsegg nor the Lambo would crack the top 100 when it comes to the most expensive cars sold at auction.
12. Ferrari 250 LM – $17,600,000 (£14,199,270)
The LM in the name stands for Le Mans, because that’s where it was built to race. This car – which went on to win the 1965 Le Mans race – started Ferrari’s mid-engined era and only 32 were ever built, hence how some car collectors are willing to pay daft money for it.
11. Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione – $18,150,000 (£14,643,000)
Another uber-rare car, only nine examples were made with alloy bodies like this one.
10. Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione – $18,400,000 (£14,844,695)
This car – which last changed hands in 2014 – was built from new to be used by the Scuderia and finished second in the 1954 Mille Miglia.
9. Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider – $18,500,000 (£14,925,370)
This 250 GT SWB Spider was seemingly forgotten about and left to gather dust in a French warehouse before it fetched close to £15 million in 2015.
On a side note, you may have noticed it’s all been Ferraris so far and spoiler alert, nine of the entries here wear the prancing horse. Sorry, that’s just the way it is, people like to pay big bucks for crazy old Ferraris.
8. Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider – $19,800,000 (£15,974,180)
But oh, what’s this?! A not-Ferrari entry! It’s still Italian though so not too much of a deviation, but this Alfa is most deserving of its place here. Only 12 were made, thus aiding its auction appeal, and each one featured a body made by Touring in Italy and was built on the legendary 8C 2.9 chassis with a straight-eight engine.
7. Jaguar D-Type – $21,780,000 (£17,571,600)
The D-Type triumphed at Le Mans three times from 1955 to 1957, but the example that fetched £17.5 million is the one that won in 1956, with the Ecurie Ecosse Scottish racing team.
6. Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale – $26,400,000 (£21,298,910)
Back on the Ferraris again, and while any 275 is sublime, the GTB/C Speciale was born to race with a lightweight aluminium body and three-litre V12 engine, specially tuned to eek out another 70bhp. Funnily enough, the example that sold for £21.2 million in 2014 never actually raced.
5. Ferrari 275 GTB/4 S NART Spider – $27,500,000 (£22,186,365)
Did you ever see the original Thomas Crown Affair from 1968? Well this is the very same car driven by Steve McQueen in that film. The star of Bullitt and The Great Escape also owned the car for a stint too.
4. Ferrari 290 MM – $28,050,000 (£22,630,100)
Just like the Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione (number ten on our list if you recall), the 290 MM was built for the Mille Miglia – hence the name – and only four were ever built.
The 290 MM that sold for £22.6 million was driven by the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio, something that sends any auction car skyrocketing in value.
3. Mercedes-Benz W196 – $29,600,000 (£23,880,600)
Only one Merc in our list but what a car it is. Again, raced by Fangio, the W196 won the German and Swiss Grands Prix in 1954. Its £23.8 million selling price made it the most expensive car sold at auction in 2013.
2. Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti – $35,700,000 (£28,801,940)
Raced by Peter Collins and Maurice Trintignant in the 1957 Sebring 12 Hours, this 1957 Ferrari went on to compete in the Mille Miglia, piloted by Wolfgang von Trips.
1. Ferrari 250 GTO – $38,115,000 (£30,750,300)
So, topping our list as the most expensive car ever sold at an auction is a Ferrari, little surprise there. However, the GTO is considered to be the one of the finest of its era.
Powered by a three-litre V12 and built on a well-balanced chassis, only 39 were ever made and the car that went for £30.7 million was raced by Jo Schlesser, Paolo Colombo and Henri Oreiller.
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