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The 30 Most Expensive Classic Cars (2021)

Have you ever wondered what is the most expensive classic car? What is the most ever paid for a car or whether classic cars are still a good investment?  

To make your task easier and assess whether classic cars are still a good investment, we have listed the most expensive models of classic cars.

The most expensive classic cars sold at auction

Here are the most expensive classic cars sold at auction.

Cash Tips & Tricks – The 30 Most Expensive Classic Cars Ever Sold At Auction

1) Ferrari - 250 GTO (1962)

Sold: $48.4 Mio USD
The 250 GTO model was the pinnacle of development of the 250 GT series in competition form, whilst still remaining a road car. It made its public debut at the annual pre-season Ferrari press conference in January 1962, and was the only front engine model on display, with its monoposto and sports racing counterparts all having a mid-engine configuration.

2) Ferrari - 335 S Spider (1957)

Sold: $35.7 Mio USD
The direct descendant of the 315 S, the 335 S made its debut at the infamous 1957 Mille Miglia with Alfonso De Portago replacing an unwell Luigi Musso at the wheel at the last minute. The car was lying third when tragedy struck near Guidizzolo, killing De Portago, his co-driver Edmond Nelson and 14 spectators. The ensuing barrage of protests brought the era of high-speed road racing to an end in Italy. The 335 S also took part in the Le Mans 24 hour, turning in the fastest lap at an average of over 120 mph. In addition to this, it took the first two places at the Venezuelan 1000 km, thus contributing to Ferrari’s victory in the Manufacturers’ World Championship.

3) Ferrari - 290 MM (1956)

Sold: $28 Mio USD
Designed for the 1956 Mille Miglia and as a replacement for the 860 Monza, the 290MM was mounted with a V12 engine with dual ignition and dry sump derived from the 4.5-litre Grand Prix. Even though this engine could be described as belonging to Lampredi school, its bore and stroke measurements were really more reminiscent of Colombo’s V12 than anything else. The car was an immediate success. In fact, Castellotti not only drove it home first in the Mille Miglia followed by two 860 Monzas piloted by Collins and Musso, but it also took fourth in the same race with Fangio at the wheel.

4) Ferrari - 275 GTB-4S N.A.R.T. Spider (1967)

Sold: $27.5 Mio USD

While only ten 275 GTB/4s were officially built as convertibles, a small number of two-cam coupés were later converted to ‘N.A.R.T. Spider’ specification. This is one such. As a berlinetta , Ferrari’s first 275 GTB is now highly prized and considered by many to be superior to the rare, more expensive four-cam.

5) Mercedes Benz - W196 Silver Arrow (1954)

Sold: $27.1 Mio USD

The Mercedes-Benz W196 was a Formula One racing car produced by Mercedes-Benz for the 1954 and 1955 F1 seasons. Successor to the W194, in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss it won 9 of 12 races entered and captured the only two world championships in which it competed. 

Firsts included the use of desmodromic valves and Daimler-Benz developed mechanical direct fuel injection adapted from the DB 601 high-performance V12 used on the Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighter during World War II.

6) Ferrari - 275 GTB-C Speciale (1964)

Sold: $26.4 Mio USD

The 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB-C Speciale was sold for an amazing $26,400,000 us and was among the most rare Ferraris from the mid 1960s to ever be offered to an elite class of bidders. 

There were a total of 453 275 GTB models made for sale to the general republic but the 275 GTB-C Specials which are special editions made by Mranello only numbered a total of three, making them ultra-rare examples from the larger group. Another noteworthy aspect of the three is that they have a documented hsitory for being created specifically for the 1965 running of the 24 Hours at Le Mans, which grants them yet another special notch in the food chain.

7) Aston Martin - DBR1 (1956)

Sold: $22.5 Mio USD

The Aston Martin DBR1 was a sports racing car built by Aston Martin starting in 1956, intended for the World Sportscar Championship as well as non-championship sportscar races at the time. It is most famous as the victor of the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans, Aston Martin’s only outright victory at the endurance classic. 

The DBR1, arguably the most successful racing Aston Martin ever, was designed as a replacement for the DB3S. Changes in the rules concerning sports car racing permitted the DBR1 to be a pure racing car with no relationship to a road car design.

8) Ferrari - 290 MM (1956)

Sold: $22 Mio USD

Ferrari was so single-minded in their ambition that they included the initials of the race in the model name – MM.

The 290 MM made its racing debut in April 1956 at the Giro di Sicilia and won its first race only three weeks later at the Mille Miglia. The Ferrarithen scored a third-place finish at the 1,000km of Nurburgring and a 1-2 at the Swedish Grand Prix, helping Ferrari win the World Sportscar Championship ahead of Maserati. 1957 was by far the 290 MM’s busiest season, gathering 19 entries on both sides of the Atlantic.

9) Jaguar - D-Type (1955)

Sold: $21.7 Mio USD

Designed specifically to win the Le Mans 24-hour race, the slippery D-Type was produced by Jaguar Cars Ltd. between 1954 and 1957. Sharing the straight-6 XK engine and many mechanical components with its C-Type predecessor, its structure however was radically different. Innovative monocoque construction and aerodynamic efficiency integrated aviation technology in a sports racing car, some examples including a renowned vertical stabilizer.

D-Types won Le Mans in 1955, 1956 and 1957. After Jaguar temporarily retired from racing as a factory team, the company offered the remaining unfinished D-Types as XKSS versions whose extra road-going equipment made them eligible for production sports car races in America. In 1957 25 of these cars were in various stages of completion when a factory fire destroyed nine of them. Total production is thought to have included 18 factory team D-Types, 53 customer cars and 16 XKSS versions.

10) Aston Martin - DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype (1963)

Sold: $21.4 Mio USD

The Aston Martin DP215 was a prototype sports car built by Aston Martin for grand touring-style racing in 1963. It was built alongside the similar DP214, both of which replaced the previous DP212. Only a single example was built, which survives today.

11) Alfa Romeo - 8C 2900B Lungo Spider (1939)

Sold: $19.8 Mio USD

The Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 can trace its roots to the racers that Alfa developed in the ‘20s, such as the P3 and P2, which were the marque’s single-seater race-winning Grand Prix cars. These cars also featured a supercharged eight-cylinder engine. From these came the 8C 2300 racers, followed by the 8C 2600, and finally, the 2900.

Due to its high price, only a very few of these supercars were constructed (10 Lungo and 20 Corto chassis). Being very similar to the competition 8C 2900A, it came as no surprise the 8C 2900B was used as a racer as well. To suit this purpose Alfa Romeo constructed a further 13 8C 2900B chassis fitted with the 220 bhp engine.

12) Ferrari - 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione (1959)

Sold: $18.1 Mio USD

The Ferrari California Spider alone is one of the most desirable Ferraris and sports cars in the world.

This 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione, which belonged to the late Sherman Wolf, is an even more desirable model, as it is one of nine examples that boast an all-alloy body and a long wheelbase.

13) Ferrari - 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione (1959)

Sold: $17.9 Mio USD

There is much more about the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione that meets the eye. It’s very much a snapshot in time in the history of Ferrari. The car shows the forward progression and innovation of the automaker as they continued to build faster, then more attractive high end sports cars.

14) Ferrari - 250 LM (1964)

Sold: $17.6 Mio USD

As far as I’m concerned, the Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti is the single most beautiful Ferrari of all time.

The 1964 Ferrari 250 LM owed nothing to any previous front-engine Ferrari. Its chassis was a multi-tube space frame—the two longitudinal tubes were gone. Suspension was independent by coil and wishbone and the body was virtually identical to the 250 P, with the addition of a “tunnel window” roof that was inherited from the 1964 250 GTO.

15) Ferrari - 250 GT SWB California Spider (1961)

Sold: $17.1 Mio USD

Between 1957 and 1963, Ferrari built just 106 examples of the 250 GT California Spider – 50 of the early LWB version and 56 of the final SWB variant.

16) Ferrari - 250 GT California Spider (1961)

Between 1957 and 1963, Ferrari built just 106 examples of the 250 GT California Spider – 50 of the early LWB version and 56 of the final SWB variant.

The Ferrari 250 GT presented here, chassis 3095 GT, is among the most desirable SWB California Spiders, as it features the highly attractive covered headlight treatment that Scaglietti applied.

Sold: $16.8 Mio USD

17) Ferrari - 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale (1962)

Sold: $16.5 Mio USD

This stunning 1962 “Sharknose” Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale is one of the first cars to be styled by automotive design legend, Giorgetto Giugiaro, who at the time was working for Giuseppe “Nuccio” Bertone at Carrozzeria Bertone, one of the world’s leading coachbuilders.

Purchased in 1962 by Bertone, the 250 GT SWB chassis was to be built for Nuccio’s own personal use as he looked to the then 23 year old Giugiaro to help bring his idea to fruition.

The designers took inspiration from the 156 F1, as well as the 330 TRI LM and 246 SP racing cars to create the aggressive yet elegant styling complete with a sharknose front end.

18) Alfa Romeo - Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica 5-7-9d (1953)

Sold: $14.8 Mio USD

Long story short: these three cars, built in different years, constitute a study by Bertone bodywork – at the time at the peak of its popularity – on possible extreme applications on a road car: some ideas were later developed on production cars and all this thanks to the pencil of a young Franco Scaglione (More can be read here).

19) Ferrari - 250 LM (1964)

Sold: $14.3 Mio USD

Based on the Ferrari P (for “prototype”), the 250 LM was intended to be homologated as a GT car by the FIA, then raced in the GT class at Le Mans. A minimum of 100 units had to be built for homologation and Enzo was about 70% short of this target, as a result the FIA refused to homologate the model – forcing it to race in the much quicker “prototype” category.

20) Aston Martin - DB4GT Zagato (1962)

Sold: $14.3 Mio USD

The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato is a grand tourer sports car designed by Zagato and produced between 1960 and 1963. Introduced in October 1960 at the London Motor Show, it was effectively a DB4 GT, lightened and improved by the Zagato factory in Italy, by Ercole Spada. Initially, the factory planned to produce 25 cars, but demand was not as strong as expected and production was reduced to 20.

The popularity of the original DB4 GT Zagato resulted in two subsequent waves of cars based on DB4s being rendered into “Zagatos” through the cooperation of Aston Martin and the Zagato works in Italy. They are known as “Sanction II” and “Sanction III” cars. Also, an unauthorised but lucrative private industry of modifying original DB4 GTs into “Zagato” replicas has arisen as well to meet market demand for high-quality Zagato recreations.

21) Porsche - 917K (1970)

Sold: $14.0 Mio USD

The Porsche 917 is a sports prototype race car developed by German manufacturer Porsche. The 917 gave Porsche its first overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970 and 1971.

Powered by the Type 912 flat-12 engine of 4.5, 4.9, or 5 litres, the 917/30 Can-Am variant was capable of a 0-62 mph time of 2.3 seconds, 0–124 mph in 5.3 seconds. The long tail Langheck version had a maximum measured top speed of 362 km/h.

22) Shelby - 260 Cobra CSX 2000 (1962)

Sold: $13.7 Mio USD

This 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra CSX 2000 is the very first Cobra, however. Built in a Santa Fe Springs garage by Carroll Shelby and some friends, it played a huge part in rewriting the American automotive landscape, combining Ford’s powerful 260ci V8 with a lightweight, compact AC Ace chassis.

Shelby’s promotion of the car didn’t hurt; he repeatedly repainted the car to make it look like he had more than one on hand, when in fact the CSX 2000 was the only Cobra in the world for seven months.

In the years since, it has remained property of Shelby and his Trust, appearing at various events and at the Shelby Heritage Center, making it not only a historical artifact but the ultimate collector’s car, as well.

23) Ferrari - 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione 'Tour de France' (1956)

Sold: $13.2 Mio USD

The impact that Ferrari’s 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione left on motorsport, let alone Ferrari itself, is something that is difficult to quantify. Similarly, stating that this new model saw consistent success on race tracks around the globe would be an understatement.

The new model fared quite well in its earliest outings in 1956, but it truly came into its own at the 1956 Tour de France. At that event, a notoriously grueling six-day rally that included circuit competitions, hill climbs, and even drag races, Alfonso de Portago and his trusted co-driver Edmund Nelson finished 1st Overall, marking the start of what would become a three-year winning streak for the 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione at that event, earning the model the nickname of “Tour de France”, or, more commonly, “TdF.” Success was not limited to the namesake event, however; a TdF won the Targa Florio overall in 1957, another conquered the GT class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959, and a variety of others had class or overall wins at over 250 other international and local races between 1956 and 1965, making the model one of the most successful racing cars in Ferrari history.

24) Jaguar - C-Type Works Lightweight (1953)

Sold: $13.2 Mio USD

The Jaguar C-Type is a racing sports car built by Jaguar and sold from 1951 to 1953. The “C” stands for “competition”. The car used the XK 120 running gear of the contemporary road proven XK120 in a lightweight tubular frame designed by Jaguar Chief Engineer William Heynes with an aerodynamic aluminium body jointly developed by William Heynes, R J Knight and later Malcolm Sayer. A total of 53 C-Types were built, 43 of which were sold to private owners mainly in the US.

25) Alfa Romeo - 8C 2300 Monza (1933)

Sold: $11.9 Mio USD

The Alfa Romeo 8C was originally a range of Alfa Romeo road, race and sports cars of the 1930s. In 2004 Alfa Romeo revived the 8C name for a V8-engined concept car which made it into production for 2007, the 8C Competizione.

26) Ferrari - 250 LM (1964)

Sold: $11.5 Mio USD

Based on the Ferrari P (for “prototype”), the 250 LM was intended to be homologated as a GT car by the FIA, then raced in the GT class at Le Mans. A minimum of 100 units had to be built for homologation and Enzo was about 70% short of this target, as a result the FIA refused to homologate the model – forcing it to race in the much quicker “prototype” category.

27) Bugatti - TYPE 55 Roadster (1932)

Sold: $10.4 Mio USD

The Bugatti Type 55 is a sports car produced by Bugatti from 1932 to 1935. It is a road-going version of the Type 51 Grand Prix car. A roadster, it had a 108.3 in wheelbase and 1800 lb weight.

28) Porsche - 956 (1982)

Sold: $10.1 Mio USD

The Porsche 956 was a Group C sports-prototype racing car designed by Norbert Singer and built by Porsche in 1982 for the FIA World Sportscar Championship. It was later upgraded to the 956B in 1984. In 1983, driven by Stefan Bellof, this car established a record that would stand for 35 years, lapping the famed 20.832 km Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6:11.13 during qualifying for the 1000 km Sports Car race. The record was finally surpassed by Timo Bernhard in a derestricted Porsche 919 Evo on 29 June 2018.

29) Ferrari - 275 GTB-4 (1967)

Sold: $10.1 Mio USD

The Ferrari 275 is a series of front-engined V12-powered grand touring automobiles with two-seater coupé and spider bodies produced by Ferrari between 1964 and 1968. The first 275 series cars were powered by a 3.3 L overhead camshaft Colombo 60° V12 engine producing 260–320 hp. An updated 275 GTB/4 was introduced in 1966, with a revised four overhead camshaft engine producing 300 hp. The 275 series were the first road-going Ferraris equipped with a transaxle and independent rear suspension.

30) Ferrari - 250 LM (1964)

Sold: $9.6 Mio USD
Count wdt_ID Cars Brands Models Year Sold For Last sold Source
1,00 1 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti 1962 $48,405,000 2018
1,00 2 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti 1957 $35,730,510 2016 SOURCE
1,00 3 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti 1956 $28,050,000 2015 SOURCE
1,00 4 Ferrari 275 GTB-4S N.A.R.T. Spider by Scaglietti 1967 $27,500,000 2013 SOURCE
1,00 5 Mercedes Benz W196 Silver Arrow 1954 $27,110,834 2013 SOURCE
1,00 6 Ferrari 275 GTB-C Speciale by Scaglietti 1964 $26,400,000 2014 SOURCE
1,00 7 Aston Martin DBR1 1956 $22,550,000 2017 SOURCE
1,00 8 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti 1956 $22,005,000 2018 SOURCE
1,00 9 Jaguar D-Type 1955 $21,780,000 2016 SOURCE
1,00 10 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype 1963 $21,455,000 2018 SOURCE

Mat

Mat is the founder of cashtipsandtricks and has been working in the financial sector in Luxembourg for the past 10 years and brings his insights as an investor and entrepreneur.

Cash Tips and Tricks 2020 - 2021