What Is The Most Expensive Car In The World

These extraordinary cars, ranging from a Mercedes worth $142 million to a LeMans-winning Ford priced at $12 million, were specifically designed to shatter records on both the racetrack and in auction sales.

The world of high-end classic cars and supercars seems to have a never-ending appeal, even in the midst of economic uncertainty. Over the years, the prices of these exquisite vehicles have consistently skyrocketed, making them an attractive investment. However, the question remains: just how expensive are these “blue chip” collector cars? The classic car market is thriving, with muscle cars selling for millions, outrageously priced Porsche 911s, and luxury models owned by celebrities that can cost more than a yacht.

Check out the latest record-breaking sale in the classic car world! The 1955 Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe just sold for an astounding price of almost $143 million, setting a new record at the auction. But hold on, there are plenty of other ridiculously expensive and rare cars out there too! We’ve gathered a list of the most jaw-droppingly expensive cars ever sold at auctions. Get ready to feast your eyes on some seriously exclusive, highly sought-after, and incredibly rare automotive treasures!

Discover the top 20 most expensive cars ever sold at auctions

1968 Ford GT40

1.1968 Ford GT40 – $12,000,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date Sold: June 2018

When Ford’s attempt to take over Ferrari did not succeed, the Americans sought revenge on the race track rather than in the market. The Ford GT40 was specifically designed to surpass Ferrari and emerge victorious at Le Mans. It achieved such a feat four consecutive times, resulting in one of the most legendary stories in motorsport history. With production limited to just a few cars, all GT40s are highly prized. In fact, one of the three cars that crossed the finish line in the 1966 Le Mans race was sold in 2018 for a staggering $12 million.

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster

2.1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster – $12,800,000

Auctioneer: Gooding & Company

Date Sold: August 2012

The 1936 Mercedes 540 K Special Roadster, produced in just 26 examples, is considered the ultimate masterpiece of classic Teutonic automotive craftsmanship. This two-seat roadster, featuring a powerful supercharged straight-eight engine and a beautifully hand-built body, was a high-speed cruising marvel during the late ’30s. Its design was specifically tailored for the newly constructed Autobahns, although sadly its production was halted due to the war. This unfortunate circumstance only adds to its allure among collectors.

1970 Porsche 917K

3.1970 Porsche 917K – $14,300,000

Auctioneer: Gooding & Company

Date Sold: August 2017

Despite the initial estimate being higher, the rare Porsche 917K successfully sold for a significant amount. Not only is it regarded as one of the best race cars ever built, with an impressive motorsport history, but it also gained fame through its appearance in the iconic movie “Le Mans,” driven by Steve McQueen. With its distinctive Gulf Oil livery, exceptional originality, and illustrious ownership, this 917 K rightfully holds its place among this highly exclusive collection of cars.

1962 Shelby Cobra 260 CSX200

4.1962 Shelby Cobra 260 CSX200 – $14,300,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date Sold: August 2016

Given the current market value of original Shelby Cobras being close to $1 million, one may wonder why this specific car is nearly 15 times more expensive. The answer lies in its unique characteristics – being the very first Shelby Cobra ever built and personally owned by Carroll Shelby himself, this vehicle holds significant historical value. Additionally, it served as a promotional model during Shelby American’s early days and was driven by renowned celebrities and racing drivers. Remarkably, it remains in its original, untouched condition, making it an unparalleled treasure in the realm of automotive history.

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

5.1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider – $18,454,000

Auctioneer: ArtCurial

Date Sold: March 2016

The 250 California Spider is widely regarded as one of the most sought-after Ferraris ever produced. Only 55 were made, and it combines the power of a race car with the elegance of a roadster. Despite being sold as a restoration project, it fetched an impressive price of over $18 million at the ArtCurial auction, primarily because it was once part of the prestigious Ballion Collection and owned by the famous French actor Alain Delon. Following the sale, the car underwent restoration while maintaining its originality as much as possible.

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider

6.1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider – $19,800,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date Sold: August 2016

The pre-war Alfas were not easy to come by, as the company focused mostly on racing rather than producing cars for the road. Nevertheless, their passenger models were exquisite, with high-performance engines and bodies crafted by the finest Italian coachbuilders of the time. This particular Alfa, adorned with a captivating roadster body and sleek design by Carrosseria Touring in Milan, must have been just as awe-inspiring in 1939 as it is today.

1995 McLaren F1

7.1995 McLaren F1 – $20,465,000

Auctioneer: Gooding & Company

Date Sold: August 2021

The McLaren F1 is an iconic supercar that justifies its $20+ million price tag. This highly original and well-preserved model is one of only 107 built and one of 64 road-going examples. It showcases the desirability of the McLaren brand. As the former fastest production car in the world, the F1 boasts unique technical solutions, an impressive BMW engine, and a gold plated engine bay. The gold plating is not a custom touch, but rather an engineering feature designed to extract heat from the high-revving V12.

1963 Aston Martin DP215

8.1963 Aston Martin DP215 – $21,455,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date Sold: August 2018

During the late ‘50s, Aston Martin had experienced significant racing success and decided they needed a contender for the emerging GT racing scene, which was mainly dominated by Ferraris. To fulfill this need, they introduced the DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype in 1963. This unique racing vehicle had the capability to reach speeds of almost 200 mph, which was quite remarkable for that time period. It was driven by Phill Hill at the 1963 Le Mans race and had several notable features, including an all-aluminum body, a modified DB4 GT chassis, and a high-performance engine.

1955 Jaguar D-Type

9.1955 Jaguar D-Type – $21,780,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date Sold: August 2016

In the world of car auctions, it’s no surprise that cars that have won prestigious races command high prices. Take, for example, the 1955 Jaguar D-Type that won the Le Mans and sold for almost $22 million in 2016. This exceptional machine dominated motorsport from 1955 to 1957 and served as a major inspiration for the Jaguar E-Type.

1935 Duesenberg SSJ

10.1935 Duesenberg SSJ – $22,000,000

Auctioneer: Gooding & Company

Date Sold: August 2018

The 1935 SSJ can be considered one of the earliest supercars ever created. Equipped with a powerful, supercharged engine that produced 400 hp, it was incredibly fast, expensive, and exceptionally rare. Only two cars were ever manufactured, and this particular vehicle was formerly owned by the renowned Hollywood star Gary Cooper. Originally valued at $10 million, it sold for over twice that amount, making it the most expensive American car ever sold at auction.

1956 Ferrari 290 MM

11.1956 Ferrari 290 MM – $22,005,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date Sold: December 2018

The datasheet of the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM provides a comprehensive overview of its achievements in the 1950s racing scene. It boasts impressive victories at prestigious events like Nassau, Mille Miglia, and Buenos Aires, and had the honor of being driven by renowned racers such as Sterling Moss. This particular model is one of just four ever made and is among the few that are still in existence. Its exceptional originality and condition, reflecting its racing history, make it worthy of its price.

1956 Aston Martin DBR1

12.1956 Aston Martin DBR1 – $22,550,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date Sold: August 2017

The 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 is the most expensive British car ever sold at auction. It holds great importance in British racing history and was driven by notable figures such as Stirling Moss, Carroll Shelby, Jack Brabham, and Roy Salvadori. This model was a worthy contender against Ferrari in the late ‘50s and its success paved the way for Aston’s Le Mans victory in 1959, further solidifying the company’s reputation among sports car enthusiasts.

1964 Ferrari 275 GTBC Speciale

13.1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale – $26,400,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date Sold: August 2014

Ferrari prototypes are always extremely sought after by top collectors. These cars are one-of-a-kind, specifically built and feature exclusive combinations of body and drive train components. When a vehicle like the 275 GTB/C Speciale has a significant competition history, it instantly becomes one of the most expensive Ferraris ever sold and an excellent investment. This Speciale is widely recognized in the classic Ferrari community as one of only three of its kind.

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB4 S NART Spider

14.1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 S NART Spider – $27,500,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date Sold: August 2013

If you thought the 250 GT California Spider was the ultimate Ferrari drop top, think again. The 275 GTB/4 NART Spider, with only ten examples produced and a price tag nearly $10 million higher, is actually more valuable and five times rarer. This stunning car was a North American special and sold in extremely limited quantities, making it highly sought-after today. And let’s not forget that Steve McQueen drove one in “Thomas Crown Affair.”

1956 Ferrari 290 MM

15.1956 Ferrari 290 MM – $28,050,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date Sold: December 2015

This incredible 1956 Ferrari 290 MM is evidence of the significance of race prominence. It won championships and was driven by legendary racers Fangio and Phill Hill, achieving victory in prestigious events like Mille Miglia and the Swedish GP. With an enhanced and more potent engine, this elegant Barchetta could reach speeds that would impress even by today’s standards.

16.1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 – $29,600,000

Auctioneer: Bonhams

Date Sold: July 2013

Juan Manuel Fangio is widely regarded as the greatest racing driver of all time. His exceptional skill, discipline, and elegance are unmatched in the sport. This is why anything related to him holds immense value and is highly coveted by collectors. Take, for example, his championship-winning Mercedes, which comes with a staggering price tag of nearly $30 million. It is undoubtedly the ultimate centerpiece for any collection of iconic racing memorabilia.

17.1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic – over $30,000,000

Auctioneer: Gooding & Company

Date Sold: May 2010

The Type 57 SC Atlantic is widely regarded as the most remarkable Bugatti ever created. Its unconventional and unique styling, impeccable craftsmanship, and powerful supercharged engine made it one of the fastest and most expensive cars of its time. Out of the four that were manufactured, they rarely became available for purchase. However, in May 2010, a light blue Atlantic was sold in a private transaction for a rumored price exceeding $30 million. The identity of the buyer remains unknown, and the car has not been seen since.

18.1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti – $35,700,000

Auctioneer: ArtCurial

Date Sold: February 2016

The racing history, design, and originality of this Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti contributed to its status as one of the most expensive cars in the world. It was the first car to reach an average speed of over 200 km/h at Le Mans and is the sole survivor from the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix. Additionally, the fact that it was driven by Stirling Moss and won first place in this renowned event further added to its exceptional value at the auction held in February 2016.

19.1963 Ferrari 250 GTO – $70,000,000

Auctioneer: Private Sale

Date Sold: June 2018

The 250 GTO held the title of the world’s most expensive car for many years. With only 36 cars ever produced and a fascinating history, each time one is put up for sale, the price tag is sure to be astonishing. This specific 1963 example, which won the 1963 Tour de France race, set a record at $70 million, while similar cars have recently sold in the $30 and $40 million range. However, it is evident why the 250 GTO is highly sought-after. It is widely regarded as the most beautiful machine ever created, with an impeccable racing record and performance that continues to excite even the most discerning owners.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe

20.1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe – $143,000,000

Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s

Date sold: May 2022

Did you know that in May 2022, RM Sotheby’s sold a one-off 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe at a special auction in the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart for a whopping $142 million? This set the absolute record for the most expensive car ever sold at auction. This unique 300 SLR, conceived by renowned Mercedes test driver Rudolph Uhlenhaut, was essentially a race car designed for the road. It is filled with incredible features and technology, some of which are still relevant today. With its three-pointed star on the nose, the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut can be considered the essence of Mercedes ethos and the most essential car in their lineup.

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By hamid68

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