Your local car auction is definitely the place to go to pick up a quality car at a quality price. A car’s auction price depends on a number of factors: rarity of the car, car condition and desirability can all drive the price upwards.
When a rare car is put up for auction, the price can go through the roof. Here is a rundown of the top five most expensive cars ever sold at an auction.
#5. Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe 1931 – $9,800,000
Coming in at just below 10 million dollars, this Bugatti was sold at Christie’s auction house in 1987. Adjusted for inflation, this car would have cost over $19 million if it were sold today.
The car itself was designed at the time to be “the most luxurious car in the world.” But due to the car being released during the great depression, only three of the six made were sold. This car was the fifth one made, and its current ownership is unknown.
#4. Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider 1961 – $10,894,900
Sold in 2008 at RM Auctions, this car’s price would be over $11 million today. Once owned by Hollywood actor James Colburn, this car was bought at an auction in 2008 by radio DJ and renowned car enthusiast Chris Evans. At the time of the purchase, this sale was a world record. The car is still part of Evan’s private collection which contains six other Ferraris.
#3 & #2. Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 1957 – $12,402,500 & $16,390,000
Spots three and two go to the first edition of the legendary Testa Rossa series. Meaning ‘redhead’ in Italian, this car was the first to showcase Ferrari’s iconic red paint in the Le Mans 24 hour race.
The third-place car was sold in 2008, beating the record set by Chris Evans the year before. The car in second place actually raced in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1958 and was subject to an award-winning restoration.
#1. Mercedes-Benz W196 1954 – $29,607,760
Sold in 2013 at Bonham’s auction house, this car smashed the world record. Previously owned by Formula 1 legend and five-time Argentinian world champion, Juan Manuel Fangio, this car was driven by him to victory in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix. The vintage Benz was bought by a private owner via telephone bid.
There were many other rare and racing cars sold at the 2013 Bonham’s auction in London, but nowhere near the price. The second-highest priced car at the auction was the 1952 Jaguar C-Type Two-Seat Sports Racing Roadster which was sold for $4.74 million.