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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

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What Are The Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold at Auction?

As many people know, most cars will see a significant depreciation, as soon as you drive the car off the lot, the value of the vehicle dips. But, there are a select few that see an increase in value. These collectible cars are often limited editions, are older cars in mint condition, or there is something unique about the vehicle. These kinds of cars can go for a pretty penny. Just how pretty of a penny though? Here are the most expensive used cars to ever be sold at auction.

1994 McLaren F1 – $19.8 Million

A black 1994 McLaren F1 is driving on a racetrack with grand stands in the distance.

This 1994 McLaren might be 25 years old, but by looking at it, you’d swear it came out of the future. Its recent auction held through RM Sotheby’s in Monterey pushed the vehicle into the top 10 of the most expensive used cars ever auctioned off.

However, what might be the most startling aspect of the vehicle going for $19.8 million was that it was expected to reach $21 to $23 million, so it didn’t even meet its estimated price.

1963 Aston Martin DP215 – $21.45 million

One of the reasons this Aston Martin sells more than others at auction is because it is a prototype sports car. If you want a valuable vehicle to sell well at auction, it needs to either be one of a kind or have very few other cars available like it. In the case of the DP215, it was built for racing. However, only a single one of the DP215s was ever fully built, which is why it went for such a high amount.

1955 Jaguar D-Type – $21.78 Million

A black 1955 Jaguar D-Type, shown in black and white, is racing on a wet racetrack.

The sports racing car is extremely sleek. The curves are so high it almost looks like a blackfish emerging from the water. However, because of a fire at the factory, only a handful of these was actually built. It is believed that a maximum of 18 survived the fire.

1935 Duesenberg SSJ – $22 Million

Surprisingly, this is the only pre-1950s car on the list. It is truly the king of old school luxury. The Duesenberg Model J came out in 1928. Of course, the Great Depression didn’t help sales all that much. But in 1932, the company started to put a supercharger into the car (which is what this version has). However, the SSJ is a special, very limited version. It had a short-wheelbase and, despite being a 1935 model, the engine could produce 400 horsepower. In total, just two were built and rolled off the assembly lines in Connersville, Indiana. The two cars that were built were sold to actor Gary Cooper and lent to Clark Gable. So if you happen on this car you know it has some history in it.

1956 Ferrari 290 MM – $22 Million

A rear look of a red 1956 Ferrari 290 MM that's parked next to a brick building is shown.

You’ll find this particular model a bit further on up the list as well (same build date and body style and everything). With just four ever produced, you better believe these will always sell for high marks whenever heading to auction because it’s not a vehicle that’s seen at the auction all that often.

1956 Aston Martin DBR1 – $22.5 million

This Aston Martin is a racing car, designed to be used during the World Sports Championship. It went on to become just one of three cars with both the 24 Hours of Le Mans 24 and the World Sportscar Championship in the same year. In fact, of the 18 races it was involved in, this car won 9 of them.

1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale $26.4 Million

A red 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale is driving past a hay field on a sunny day.

This and the next listed Ferrari are similar to one another. This one though, has a hardtop design. You may be able to find some of these in action too, as there were 330 produced over two years.

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider – $27.5 Million

This front-powered V12 car used the classic Spider design, and while there were several 1967 variants built, there were only 10 of the NART Spider design, which was a 2-seat convertible. The other versions are valuable but are not as in-demand as this version of the Ferrari 275.

1956 Ferrari 290 MM – $28.05 Million

A red, with race number decals on it, 1956 Ferrari 290 MM is parked in an empty parking lot.

If you’re interested in car collecting, turn to Ferrari. These (as you’ll see) are by far the most collectible cars in the world. This particular Mile Miglia edition is one of the most valuable and most expensive cars ever sold. Of course, with just four ever produced, it’s a hard car to come by.

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 – $29.6 million

The last non-Ferrari car on the list is this Benz, which was constructed as a Formula One race car. It didn’t perform all that well on the racing circuit (it crashed), and it marked the end of Mercedes-Benz competing in competitive racing for 30 years

1957 Ferrari 335 S – $35.7 Million

A red 1957 Ferrari 335 S is parked in a white walled garage.

Ferrari built this as a sports racing car to remain competitive with the Maserati 450S. This is one of the rarest Ferraris out there, as between 1957 and 1958, Ferrari made just four of the car, and one was eventually converted. So, realistically, there are three of these vehicles floating around. This particular model just happened to sell for almost $36 million, which is good enough to place it third in the top 10 of the most expensive used cars ever sold at auction.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – $38.115 million

This will not be the only time you see the Ferrari 250 GTO on this list (spoiler alert, it is in the top spot as well). This particular auction was put on by Bonhams Auction House. When considering inflation, this Ferrari would be valued at $40.338 million, which still doesn’t put it close to what the most expensive Ferrari went for. So, if you’re in the market for a used Ferrari 250, make sure all your bank checks clear because you’ll be needing everything you have for these highly desirable cars.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – $48.4 million

And here you are. The most expensive used car to ever be sold at auction. RM Sotheby’s auctioned this model off back in August of 2018. It’s also one of the most recognized Ferraris ever built. Ferrari built GT cars between 1962 and 1964, and this particular model used a Colombo V12 engine. During the time, Ferrari built 36 of the GTOs. Throughout the construction of the vehicle, Ferrari used three different body styles, so each model year offered something slightly different in terms of appearance.

A red 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, which is similar one of the most expensive used cars sold, is driving on a race track.

Even though this particular model has several dozen produced, it is highly desirable by collectors, which helps push the cost of the auction up. Don’t be surprised if you see another Ferrari 250 GTO go to auction in the coming years and pass this amount. Once a set amount is established for a specific model, it generally does not drop back down in value.

Your Dream Cars Await

If money wasn’t an object, what kind of car would you love to nab at auction? Are you a fan of the modern performance car? Perhaps you love an old classic truck. Or maybe your favorite car doesn’t actually exist but is a variation used in a movie, and you’ve always wanted to mod a vehicle to look like your favorite set of wheels on the silver screen. And do you ever look up your dream car online through car auction sites, on Craigslist, or eBay Motors to see if any are floating around? Let us know in the comments below.

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