There’s no end to classic cars hitting record breaking sale prices at auction, mostly because of inflation but also because these types of cars are increasingly sought-after, over time.
While numerous UK car leasing companies like Sensible Cars Leasing offer plenty of high-performance, expensive cars, none of them are quite at these lofty levels!
We’ve delved into decades’ worth of results to pull together 10 classic cars that reached record-breaking sales prices at auction.
- 1962 Ferrari 250GTO
Sale price: $48.4m (£40m)
The most expensive car ever sold at auction is [drum roll…] a 1962 Ferrari 250GTO for an astounding $48.4 million at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale.
Deemed the Holy Grail in collectible cars, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO entered 20 races, finishing every one of them prior to withdrawing from the racing scene and entering a chain of ownership that can be located right through to its latest guardian.
- 1962 Ferrari 250GTO
Sale price: $40.2m (£32.6m)
Taking place in Carmel, California, the auction for the Italian supercar occurred almost 52 years after the original creation of the 1962 Ferrari 250GTO itself.
Sold in 2014 with Bonhams, this GTO is the second most highly priced car ever to be purchased at auction.
Chassis 3851GT was insanely unique, boasting an inspiring racing history – including a second place in the 1962 Tour de France.
- Ferrari 335 Sport
Sale price: $37.2m (£30.2m)
Sold at a 2016 Artcurial auction in Paris, this 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport is a Scaglietti-bodied beast with an extraordinary racing heritage. It finished second-place at the ’57 Mille Miglia, winning the Grand Prix of Cuba the following year.
The car was driven by a wealth of internationally recognised drivers, like British Formula One World Champion Mike Hawthorn and Sir Stirling Moss who piloted the car to victory in the 1958 Cuba Grand Prix.
- 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196
Sale price: $31.7m (£25.7m)
The most expensive German car to reach a record-breaking sale price at auction was the Mercedes-Benz W196 in 2013. The vehicle was driven to victory in the German and Swiss Grand Prix back in 1954 by the famous Juan Manuel Fangio, helping him scoop his second World Championship title.
- 1956 Ferrari 290MM
Sale price: $29.6m (£24m)
This car sold at New York’s RM Sotheby’s on 10th December 2015 and was created for Formula One racing icon Juan Manuel Fangio. One of only four 290 MMs to be manufactured, the 1956 Ferrari 290MM features a 3.5-litre, V12 engine and was also driven by the likes of Peter Collins, Wolfgang von Trips and Phil Hill.
- 1967 Ferrari 275GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider
Sale price: $29.5m (£23.9m)
When the 1967 Ferrari 275GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider was sold, it hit a record-shattering sale price, becoming the most extortionately priced road-going car ever sold at auction.
What makes this gorgeous Ferrari so precious is its unusual combination of magnificent late-1950s Ferrari design and high-tech mechanics.
- 1964 Ferrari 275GTB/C Speciale
Sale price: $27.8m (£22.5m)
In August 2014, the Ferrari 275GTB was sold at RM Auctions, except in this case, it was a 1964 version that sold for £22.5 million.
The 275GTB was the first of three of its Ferrari counterparts built to compete at Le Mans. But due to a quarrel between Ferrari and the FIA, it didn’t ever actually compete.
- 1956 Aston Martin DBR1
Sale price: $23m (£18.6m)
The first of only five racing DBR1s ever manufactured, this mid-1950s vintage car was purchased by its fortunate new owner in 2017 for $22,550,000. It became the most valuable Aston Martin ever sold at auction and was piloted by driving legends such as Jack Brabham, Carroll Shelby and Stirling Moss.
- 1955 Jaguar D-Type
Sale price: $22.7m (£18.3m)
In at number nine is the 1955 Jaguar D-Type, auctioned at RM Sotheby’s in August 2016.
The first framework nominated as a D-Type, the car went to auction in more or less as-new condition and is, without a doubt, the most influential Jaguar of all time – which explains its earth-shaking figure.
- Ferrari 290MM
Sale price: $22.5m (£18.2m)
Designed for the iconic five-time F1 champion, Fangio, the mid-‘50s machine was one of just four 290 MMs built.
Fangio raced the 3.5-litre, V12 engine beast in the famed Mille Miglia, arriving fourth.
With Fangio and Stirling Moss among those to have driven it, it’s no wonder it’s made so much when it reached a record-breaking sale price at RM Sotheby’s Petersen Automotive Museum auction on 8th December 2018.
So, there you have it – a rundown of the most extortionately priced Record Breaking Sale Prices classic cars ever to be sold at auction. So, which of our top 10 picks would you choose if you had a couple of million going spare? If this list proves anything, it’s that there are three things needed to break an auction record: racing heritage, a famous name and a Ferrari.