If you’re interested in classic cars beyond the usual lot of used cars near you, then you’ve probably heard of the Monterey Auction, held every year in Monterey, California. The event spans the course of several days and sees collections of some of the most impressive and rare motor vehicles assembled in one place. As you might expect, this event brings out the proverbial “high rollers,” and the cars there can sell for incredible amounts of money.
In 2019, the Monterey Auction ran by Sotheby’s, tallied a tremendous $107 million in total sales, and nearly one-fifth of that was just a single vehicle! You’re not going to find these kinds of rides when you look up used cars near you, but it can be fun to gawk at them and imagine what they might be like to drive. Assuming the people that spend millions of dollars on these cars actually ever drive them – I’m not sure I would.
Here are the 10 highest-selling vehicles from the 2019 Monterey Auction, feel free to drool at your leisure.
#1 – Lot 261 – 1994 McLaren F1 LM-Specification
One of only two models modified by the factory to LM specifications after its initial production, this beauty set a new record for the highest selling item ever at the Monterey Auction. Only 106 examples of this were ever built, and only 64 were road cars, so it is not an overstatement to say it is quite rare. This model had fewer than 14,000 miles on it and was (as you might imagine) impeccably maintained and cared for by its previous owners. You may want to sit down for this: the 1994 McLaren F1 LM-Specification supercar sold for $19,805,000 at the auction.
#2 – Lot 337 – 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta by Scaglietti
This gorgeous vehicle looks like it just rolled out of the factory, despite being nearly 60 years old, thanks to a factory-authorized restoration that included refinishing in the original color combination. It is certainly one of the most stunning cars ever produced by Ferrari and is one of only 165 models manufactured with a short-wheelbase (hence the SWB). It’s a beautiful vehicle, to be sure, and while it might not have fetched quite the price of the 1994 McLaren, it still sold for $8,145,000 at the auction.
#3 – Lot 252 – 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype
This is definitely not the sort of thing you’re going to find when looking at used cars near you, but if you did, it would no-doubt make your day. Only 12 GT40 prototypes were built by Ford, and only five GT40 roadsters were built – this is the first of those five and the eighth prototype overall. On top of that, this is the only one to have survived in its original form – making it truly unique and a piece of automotive history. Built for Shelby American, this car was driven by Ken Miles, Carroll Shelby, and Jim Clark, among others. The lucky bidder paid $7,650,000 for this beauty at auction.
#4 – Lot 111 – 1965 Aston Martin DB5 “Bond Car”
I’m a little surprised it took us this long to get to “The most famous car in the world,” but here it is. This is one of two models directly purchased by Eon Productions for the movie Thunderball, and the third of four vehicles featured in Goldfinger, built per Q Branch specifications. It has had only three previous owners, including Lord Bamford (he sounds like the sort of guy to own James Bond’s car), and has been featured in numerous magazine articles and books. It sold for $6,385,000 at auction.
#5 – Lot 348 – 1960 Porsche 718 RS 60 Werks
This is a remarkable example of Porsche’s aluminum Spyder racing cars and one of only four original Works RS 60s that are likely to be sold any time soon. This particular car raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 12 Hours of Sebring, the Bahamas Speed Week, and other notable races, making it a gorgeous piece of history. It also happens to look stunning thanks to an extensive and carefully supervised intricate restoration. If you were interested in this beauty, then you would’ve had to have beaten the winning $5,120,000 bid at the auction.
#6 – Lot 332 – 2006 Ferrari FXX
Words really cannot do this vehicle justice as it is a truly stunning example of Ferrari design and manufacturing prowess. One of only 30 official production units ever built that was part of an invite-only program, making it tremendously exclusive. This particular model has not been driving since its initial delivery, which means it’s in “time capsule” condition; needless to say, that’s incredibly rare. It also has all of its track-day tools, materials, and accessories that it was originally delivered with nearly 15 years ago. This stunning racecar sold for $3,525,000 at the auction.
#7 – Lot 315 – 1995 Ferrari F50
Ferraris were certainly in demand last year, since they took six of the 10 top spots at the auction, and this gorgeous marvel would easily explain why it’s Ferraris all the way down from here on out. This is the 16th of only 55 of these models delivered here to the US and is incredibly well preserved, including the original tool kit, owner’s manual, and car cover that it first came with. More than $300,000 has been spent in servicing and preserving this vehicle, so it is as close to how it looked 25 years ago as possible. This stunning piece of automotive artwork sold for $3 million at the auction.
#8 – Lot 324 – 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari
The newest car on this list, this 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, was one of only 499 models ever built and had fewer than 450 miles on it when it was brought to the auction. It was among the first LaFerraris imported to the US and marks Ferrari’s first-ever production hypercar, complete with an F1-derived hybrid system. It is believed to be the only model that was finished in its particular specification and truly demonstrates what the future of Ferrari might look like. Priced just a bit higher than most used cars near you, this beauty sold for $2,947,500.
#9 – Lot 249 – 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS by Pininfarina
A remarkable example of classic Ferrari design, this model is the first production 365 GTS that was built, and one of only 20 examples ever manufactured. It was shown at the 1969 Brussels Motor Show and features a unique Avorio Le Tetrarch finish with a Nero leather interior – the only model known to exist with this finishing scheme, chosen specifically for Brussels. It is among the rarest open-top Ferraris from the time period and really showcases the beauty and craft that made Ferrari a legend. This stunning car sold for $2,205,000 at the Monterey Auction.
#10 – Lot 254 – 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB by Scaglietti
Last but most certainly not least, we have the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB by Scaglietti. One of only about 58 known long-nose, torque-tube, triple-carburetor, steel-bodied models built to this specification, it is certainly a unique and stunning collector’s item. Perhaps most impressive, it actually retains its original matching-numbers engine and gearbox and is finished in its original colors: Rosso Rubino over a Nero leather interior. It was sold with its original tool roll and owner’s manual and is a truly stunning piece of work. This incredible car sold at the Monterey Auction for $1,985,000.