15 Most Expensive Classic Cars Ever Sold At Auction

Limited edition classic cars are viewed among the most valuable cars in the world. These are also one of the most expensive cars of all time.

They are neither technologically advanced nor they contained a high-performance engine and luxuries comfort. So what actually makes them so special and expensive.

Well, there are many factors behind their astonishing valuations. Unique design, low manufacturing units, higher demand are some of those factors.

The following list contains only classic and powerful cars that were built between the 1930s and 2000s. It includes the current auction price including the buyer’s premium. So here are the most expensive classic cars of all time.

15. Aston Martin DBR2

Aston Martin DBR2Image Source: Wikimedia

Price: $3.4 Million
Date of Auction: 1st May 1985

The Aston Martin DBR2 is a sports car built in 1957 and designed by Ted Cutting. It is a limited production car of which only six prototypes were built. It is powered by an Aston Martin 4164 CC engine with five-speed manual transmission. This car was initially designed for racing and won the Sussex Trophy and British Empire Trophy in 1958.

14. Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster

Mercedes-Benz 500K RoadsterImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $3.7 Million
Date of Auction: 20th August 2011

The Mercedes-Benz 500K is a powerful classic car developed in 1934. At that time, it was considered the most powerful car with 5000 CC, 5L eight-cylinder engine. Only 29 units were built in the same year. All of them included hydraulic brakes, safety glass, and power window.

13. Bugatti Royale Berline de Voyage

Bugatti Royale Berline de VoyageImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $6.5 Million
Date of Auction: 15th June 1986

The Bugatti Royale is a two-seater luxury car. Ettore Bugatti (founder of Bugatti) planned to manufacture twenty-five cars but he was able to build only six due to financial depression in Europe. This car boasts 12760 CC and 12.7 L eight-cylinder engine which weighs over 3100 kg. This makes it one of the heaviest cars in the world.

12. Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza

Alfa Romeo 8cImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $6.7 Million
Date of Auction: 15th August 2010

The Alfa Romeo 8C Monza was a popular racing and sports car in the 1930s. The 8C in the name means eight cylinders. This car boasts a 2.3 L 2300 CC engine designed by Vittorio Jano. It was initially built as a single racing car but later 188 more units were produced for public use.

11. McLaren F1

McLaren F1Image Source: Wikimedia

Price: $8.4 Million
Date of Auction: 17th August 2013

The McLaren F1 is a sports car, manufactured by McLaren Automobiles between 1992 and 1998. The McLaren F1 is considered as one of the finest cars ever built. Only 106 F1 cars were manufactured and all of them have some variation in the design. It was also ranked as the world’s fastest car for many years with the highest speed of 391 km/h.

10. Ford GT40

Ford GT40Image Source: Wikimedia

Price: $11 Million
Date of Auction: 17th August 2012

The Ford GT40 is a high-performance classic car, manufactured between 1964 and 1969. The ‘GT’ stands for Grand Touring and the number ’40’ represents the height of the car in inches.

It is a limited edition car: only 107 units were built. All cars are categorized as group 4 and group 6. Group 4 cars have 4100 CC eight-cylinders engine while group 6 cars have 6997 CC eight-cylinder engine.

9. Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

Mercedes-Benz 540K Special RoadsterImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $11.7 Million
Date of Auction: 19th August 2012

Mercedes-Benz 540K is a special classic car which was manufactured between 1936 and 1940. Only 70 chassis were ever built by 1,500 employees. They are categorized as four-seater, two-seater, and seven-seater limousine, and all cars have 5400 CC eight-cylinder engine that has a top speed of 170 km/h.

8. Ferrari 250 LM

Ferrari 250 LMImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $14.3 Million
Date of Auction: 21st November 2013

The Ferrari 250 LM was first introduced to the racing in 1963. Only 32 cars were built and all are powered by 3.3 L 320 HP engine. It is considered as one of the best racing cars in the world. In 1965, it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and several other world racing events.

7. Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

Ferrari 250 GT SWB California SpyderImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $15.1 Million
Date of Auction: 16th August 2014

Ferrari introduced the 250 GT SWB California Spider in 1959. Only 55 units have been manufactured so far, all of which are powered by a 3.0 L V12 engine that produces a power of 276 HP.

6. Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe

Bugatti Royale Kellner CoupeImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $15.7 Million
Date of Auction: 1990

The Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe is the fifth car of Bugatti Royale which was manufactured in the early 1930s. During World War II, it was kept hidden for many years to avoid being seized by the Nazis. In 1987, it was owned by a Swedish property developer Hans Thulin. He sold it to an unknown Japanese businessman in 1990.

5. Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Ferrari 250 Testa RossaImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $16.3 Million
Date of Auction: 21st August 2011

The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa was specially built for racing in 1957. Only 21 cars were built with slight variation in the design. It boasts a 2953 CC twelve-cylinder engine with four-speed manual transmission. In the 1960s, this car was considered a normal racing car, but later, it gained popularity due to elegant design and rarity.

4. Ferrari 375 Plus Spider Competizione

Ferrari 375 Plus Spider CompetizioneImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $18.4 Million
Date of Auction: 27th June 2014

The Ferrari 375 Plus Spider is an exclusive car with a big engine produced in 1954. It runs on a 4954 CC twelve-cylinder engine that generates 347 HP, accelerating the car to a top speed of 300 km/h. It was a racing car from the factory of Ferrari which won the Mille Miglia and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

3. Ferrari 275 GTB/C Special

Ferrari 275 GTB-C SpecialeImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $26.4 Million
Date of Auction: August 2013

The Ferrari 275 GTB was a series of two-seater racing cars produced between 1964 and 1968. A total of 970 cars was built and only 12 were built as GTB/C Special. All cars have a 3.3 L (3286 CC) twelve-cylinder engine that produces a maximum power of 300 HP. It weighed 150 kg less than other models, which made it one of the best racing cars of Ferrari.

2. Mercedes-Benz W196

Mercedes-Benz W196Image Source: Wikimedia

Price: $29.6 Million
Date of Auction: 12th July 2013

The Mercedes-Benz W196 was the first Mercedes-Benz Formula One car which entered in the 1954 and 1955 racing season. Out of 12 races, it won 9 races in the F1 season and two others Driver’s Championships.

Initially, it was equipped with a 2500 CC and straight-eight cylinders engine that produced the maximum power of 257 HP. The specifications were altered several times in the future, as per demand.

1. Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO - Expensive Classic CarsImage Source: Wikimedia

Price: $38.1 Million
Date of Auction: 14th August 2014

The Ferrari 250 GTO was specially designed as a racing car which boasts a 3.0 L V12 engine that generates the maximum power of 300 HP. Only 39 cars were manufactured between 1962 and 1964. In 2004, the Motor Trend Classic ranked the Ferrari 250 GTO as the greatest Ferrari of all time.

Written by
Varun Kumar

I am a professional technology and business research analyst with more than a decade of experience in the field. My main areas of expertise include software technologies, business strategies, competitive analysis, and staying up-to-date with market trends.

I hold a Master's degree in computer science from GGSIPU University. If you'd like to learn more about my latest projects and insights, please don't hesitate to reach out to me via email at [email protected].

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