The 10 Highest Priced Cars Ever Sold Explained

Cars are a part of the world’s history, with some being incredibly valuable due to their limited production and some of the experiences the cars have been through. Because of this, these vehicles are extremely exclusive, and many have paid millions for the luxury of owning one. The following is a list of the 10 most expensive cars every sold at auction, the prices, and the history of what makes these items so valuable.

Contents

The 10 Highest Priced Cars Ever Sold
1. Ferrari 250 GTO
2. Ferrari 250 GTO
3. Ferrari 335 S
4. Mercedes-Benz W196
5. Ferrari 290 MM
6. Ferrari 275 GTB/4S NART Spider
7. Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale
8. Aston Martin DBR1
9. Ferrari 290 MM
10. Duesenberg SSJ

Some of the most common contributing factors that affect the value of an auctioned vehicle are a low production volume, the design, condition, originality, motorsport history, and notable previous owners. The list below covers the 10 most expensive cars ever sold at auction, with full details of the purchase, the history, and the cars. If you appreciate classic cars, and want to know about some of the most valuable ever, read on.

The 10 Highest Priced Cars Ever Sold

10. Duesenberg SSJ

Sale Price: $22,000,000
Adjusted Price: $23,740,525

Year Manufactured: 1935 | Year Sold: 2018

A 1935 Duesenberg SSJ was the tenth most expensive car ever sold at auction. The car was auctioned for $22,000,000 by Gooding & Company in Pebble Beach, California on August 25, 2018. The current adjusted price for the vehicle is $23,740,525.

The Duesenberg Model J was a luxurious automobile that was made by Duesenberg. It was introduced in 1928, and it was intended to compete with the most luxurious and powerful cars in the world. It’s original sale price for the Model J was, $5,000. The Model J was available with a supercharger after 1932, and it was sold until Duesenberg Motors Company went bankrupt in 1937.

The SSJ was one of only two ever built. It was a Hollywood dream vehicle owned by Gary Cooper. The car has a 400-hp supercharged twin-cam inline 8-cylinder engine, with a twin-carburetor intake. This car produced 80 hp more than the standard Duesenberg SJ, with the standard already being the most powerful production cars of its day. It is widely regarded as the ultimate Duesenberg.

9. Ferrari 290 MM

Sale Price: $22,005,000
Adjusted Price: $23,746,000

Year Manufactured: 1956 | Year Sold: 2018

A 1956 Ferrari 290 MM was the ninth most expensive car ever sold at auction. The car was auctioned for $22,005,000 by RM Sotheby’s in Los Angeles, California on December 8, 2018. The current adjusted price for the vehicle is $23,746,000.

The Ferrari 290 MM was a powerful sports racing car produced by Ferrari in 1956. It was developed to compete in the 1956 edition of Mille Miglia, hence the acronym “MM”, and four cars were built. The 290 MM was powered by a new 3.5 litre, 60° Jano V12, with 320 HP at 7200 rpm, and a top speed of 170 mph (280 kilometres per hour).

This version of the car that won the 1956 Mille Miglia was sold for an astronomical price in 2018.

8. Aston Martin DBR1

Sale Price: $22,550,000
Adjusted Price: $24,928,679

Year Manufactured: 1956 | Year Sold: 2017

A 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 was the eight most expensive car ever sold at auction. The car was auctioned for $22,550,000 by RM Sotheby’s in Monterey, California on August 19, 2017. The current adjusted price for the vehicle is $24,928,679.

The Aston Martin DBR1 was a groundbreaking sports racing car built by Aston Martin in 1956. Intended for the World Sportscar Championship as well as non-championship sportscar races, the DBR1 is most famous for its victory at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. This was Aston Martin’s only outright victory at the endurance classic, and it cemented the DBR1’s place as one of only three cars in the 1950s to win both the World Sports Car Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours in the same year. In addition, the six World Sports Car Championship victories was a record for any car in the 1950s.

7. Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale

Sale Price: $26,400,000
Adjusted Price: $30,219,000

Year Manufactured: 1964 | Year Sold: 2014

A 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale was the seventh most expensive car ever sold at auction. The car was auctioned for $26,400,000 by RM Auctions in Monterey, California on August 16, 2014. The current adjusted price for the vehicle is $30,219,000.

The 275 GTB Competizione Speciale was intended to succeed the 250 GTO as Ferrari’s GT-class entry during the 1965 racing season. Ferrari constructed four cars of this type between 1964 and 1966. These cars were equipped with Tipo 213 engines tuned to 250 LM specification, producing approximately 290-305 bhp.

The FIA initially would not grant approval for the Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale in the GT class until Ferrari threatened to abandon competition. Due to the delay, only one car would race in the 1965 season and obtain mixed results. One of the four cars produced was auctioned off by Sotheby’s.

6. Ferrari 275 GTB/4S NART Spider

Sale Price: $27,500,000
Adjusted Price: $31,990,000

Year Manufactured: 1967 | Year Sold: 2013

A 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4S NART Spider was the sixth most expensive car ever sold at auction. The car was auctioned for $27,500,000 by RM Auctions in Monterey, California on August 17, 2013. The current adjusted price for the vehicle is $31,990,000.

The 275 GTB/4S NART Spider is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout with a 3.3 L Colombo V12 engine, four overhead camshafts, and a 5-speed manual transaxle with synchromesh transmission.

The 275 GTB/4S NART Spider was a roadgoing 2-seater spider version of the 275 GTB/4. Luigi Chinetti, wanted a successor to the 250 California Spider series, so he asked Sergio Scaglietti and Enzo Ferrari to build a spider version of the 275 GTB/4. NART stands for American Racing Team, as they were informally named. Because of low sales, just 10 Ferrari 275 GTB/4S NART Spiders were built in 1967 and 1968, making this one of the rarest 275 models ever.

5. Ferrari 290 MM

Sale Price: $28,050,000
Adjusted Price: $32,067,000

Year Manufactured: 1956 | Year Sold: 2015

A 1956 Ferrari 290 MM was the fifth most expensive car ever sold at auction. The car was auctioned for $28,050,000 by RM Sotheby’s in New York, New York on December 10, 2015. The current adjusted price for the vehicle is $32,067,000.

This 1956 sports racing car was produced by Ferrari to compete in the Mille Miglia. It is one of four cars ever built. It was designed by Carrozeria Scaglietti and has front mid-engine, rear wheel drive.

The car won the 1956 Mille Miglia. Another Ferrari 290 MM, driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, finished fourth. This fourth place finishing car was auctioned by Sotheby’s for a record setting price.

4. Mercedes-Benz W196

Sale Price: $29,600,000
Adjusted Price: $34,433,000

Year Manufactured: 1954 | Year Sold: 2013

A 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 was the fourth most expensive car ever sold at auction. The car was auctioned for $29,600,000 by Bonhams in West Sussex, United Kingdom on July 12, 2013. The current adjusted price for the vehicle is $34,433,000.

The Mercedes-Benz W196 was a Formula One racing car produced by Mercedes-Benz for the 1954 and 1955 F1 seasons. It won 9 of 12 races entered and captured the only two world championships in which it competed. The car included the use of desmodromic valves and Daimler-Benz developed mechanical direct fuel injection. The W196 crashed at the 1955 Le Mans and as a result, Mercedes pulled out of competitive racing in 1955, not returning for three decades.

This high price was achieved due to the fact that the purchased chassis is the only example of the model available in private hands. This car specifically was is also the most successful of all surviving W196R cars.

3. Ferrari 335 S

Sale Price: $35,730,510
Adjusted Price: $40,321,000

Year Manufactured: 1957 | Year Sold: 2016

A 1957 Ferrari 335 S was the third most expensive car ever sold at auction. The car was auctioned for $35,730,510 by Artcurial in Paris, France on February 15, 2016. The current adjusted price for the vehicle is $40,321,000.

The 335 S was a sports racing car produced by Ferrari in 1957. The car was created as a response to the Maserati 450S. The vehicle had a 4.0 L Tipo 141 Jano V12 engine with a 4-speed manual transmission.

The record setting 1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider auctioned in Paris had finished sixth in the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring, and finished second in 1957 Mille Miglia. It also finished second in the Venezuelan GP, finished fourth in the Swedish GP, set the record lap at Le Mans, and won the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix.

2. Ferrari 250 GTO

Sale Price: $38,115,000
Adjusted Price: $43,628,000

Year Manufactured: 1962 | Year Sold: 2014

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was the second most expensive car ever sold at auction. The car was auctioned for $38,115,000 by Bonhams in Carmel, California on August 14, 2014. The current adjusted price for the vehicle is $43,628,000.

The Ferrari 250 GTO is a GT car powered by Ferrari’s Tipo 168/62 Colombo V12 engine. Just 36 GTOs were produced by Ferrari for FIA Group 3 Grand Touring Car category approval from 1962 to 1964. The “GTO” stands for Gran Turismo Omologato, and the “250” denotes the cubic centimeter displacement of each of its cylinders in its name.

Enzo Ferrari and his North American dealer, Luigi Chinetti would personally approve buyers of the new, the 250 GTO. The cost at the time was $18,000 in the United States. Because of this, the model has become highly desired by automobile collectors, with sales that have repeatedly set records.

1. Ferrari 250 GTO

Sale Price: $48,405,000
Adjusted Price: $52,235,000

Year Manufactured: 1962 | Year Sold: 2018

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was the most expensive car ever sold at auction. The car was auctioned for $48,405,000 by RM Sotheby’s in Monterey, California on August 26, 2018. The current adjusted price for the vehicle is $52,235,000.

Sports Car International placed the 250 GTO at number eight on a list of “Top Sports Cars of the 1960s” and also nominated it as the top sports car of all time. Motor Trend Classic placed the 250 GTO at the top of their list of the “Greatest Ferraris of All Time.” Popular Mechanics named the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO as the “Hottest Car of All Time.”

The Ferrari 250 GTO won the 1962, 1963, and 1964 over 2000cc class of the FIA’s International Championship for GT Manufacturers. The 250 GTO also won the 1963 and 1964 Tour de France Automobile. Ferrari dominated the Tour de France Automobile race for nine years.


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I am a life long learner, trivia connoisseur, writer, and entertainment enthusiast. I have researched and written over 4,000 trivia questions to play on Triviamastermind.com. I hope you enjoy my website!

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