Only 37 cars have ever sold for more than $10 million at public auction with the record $38 million paid for a 1962/63 Ferrari 250 GTO.
Only 37 cars have ever sold for more than $10 million at public auction. Ferrari is the most-expensive car marque with 250 models especially highly priced. Nearly two-thirds of the cars selling for more than $10 million are Ferraris with Mercedes Benz, Jaguar and Alfa Romeo the only other manufacturers with more than a single car on the list. The other brands having sold for seven figures plus are Aston Martin, Bugatti, Duesenberg, Ford, McLaren, Porsche and Shelby. In 2008, a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider was the first car to break the $10 million barrier but most of the $10 million results are more recent: 6 in 2014, 11 in 2015, and 9 in 2016. Only seven cars have ever sold for more than $20 million with the record $38 million for a 1962/3 Ferrari 250 GTO sold by Bonhams in 2014.
See also the Top 10 prices paid per annum in recent years.
List of Cars Selling for $10 Million Plus
The following cars have sold at public auction for $10 million or more:
|Year||Car||Price $||Auction House||Auction||Auction Date|
|1||1962||Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta||38,115,000||Bonhams||Quail Lodge||2014|
|2||1957||Ferrari 335 Sport by Scaglietti||35,711,359||Artcurial||Paris||2016|
|3||1954||Mercedes Benz W196R Formula 1 Racing Single-Seater||29,650,095||Bonhams||Chichester – Goodwood Festival of Speed||2013|
|4||1956||Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti||28,005,000||RM Sotheby’s||New York||2015|
|5||1967||Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider by Scaglietti||27,500,000||RM||Monterey||2013|
|6||1964||Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti||26,400,000||RM||Monterey||2014|
|7||1955||Jaguar D-Type||21,780,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey||2016|
|8||1939||Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring||19,800,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey||2016|
|9||1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider||18,649,760||Artcurial||Paris||2015|
|10||1954||Ferrari 375-Plus Sports-racing Two-Seat Spider Competizione||18,309,614||Bonhams||Goodwood Festival of Speed||2014|
|11||1959||Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione||18,150,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2016|
|12||1964||Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti||17,600,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey||2015|
|13||1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider||17,160,000||Gooding||Amelia Island||2016|
|14||1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider||16,830,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2015|
|15||1962||Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale||16,500,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2015|
|16||1957||Ferrari 250 TR||16,390,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2011|
|17||1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider||15,180,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2014|
|18||1964||Ferrari 250 LM by Carrozzeria Scaglietti||14,300,000||RM||New York||2013|
|19||1962||Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato||14,300,000||RM Sotheby’s||New York||2015|
|20||1998||McLaren F1 “LM-Specification”||13,750,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey||2015|
|21||1962||Shelby 260 Cobra CSX 2000||13,750,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey||2016|
|22||1960||Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione||13,500,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2016|
|23||1953||Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight||13,200,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey||2015|
|24||1956||Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione “Tour de France” by Scaglietti||13,200,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey||2015|
|25||1953||Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta ‘Competizione’ by Pinin Farina||12,812,800||RM||Villa Erba||2013|
|26||1957||Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa||12,402,500||RM||Maranello||2009|
|27||1933||Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza||11,990,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2016|
|28||1936||Mercedes Benz 540K Spezial Roadster||11,770,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2012|
|29||1964||Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti||11,550,000||RM||Monterey||2014|
|30||1960||Ferrari 250 GT SWB||11,440,968||H&H||Duxford||2015|
|31||1960||Ferrari 250 GT California Spider LWB||11,275,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2012|
|32||1968||Ford GT40 Lightweight||11,000,000||RM||Monterey||2012|
|33||1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider||10,894,900||RM||Maranello||2008|
|34||1932||Bugatti Type 55 Roadster||10,400,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2016|
|35||1931||Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase Coupe||10,340,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2011|
|36||1967||Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti||10,175,000||RM||Monterey||2014|
|37||1982||Porsche 956||10,120,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2015|
Note: Definitions vary – only results from traditional public auctions are included. Only nominal figures are considered. Wikipedia has a list with adjusted prices.
Ten-Million-Plus Dollar Cars at Public Auction
The first car to have sold for more than $10 million at public auction was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold by RM Auctions in Maranello in 2008 for $10.9 million – a dollar price helped by a relatively strong euro at the time of the sale. This car took the record of most-expensive car in the world away from a 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe that Christie’s sold for $9.8 million in 1987. The Bugatti held the record as most-expensive car for more than two decades.
A year later, RM again increased the price-barrier by selling a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa for $12.4 million.
Only in 2011 was the $10 million limit again broken when Gooding sold a 1931 Duesenberg Model J Roadster for $10.3 million and showed that a works Scuderia Ferrari 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa is worth more than a privateer car – the new record price was set at $16.4 million.
In 2012, three cars sold for more than $10 million – again a Ferrari but also a Ford and Mercedes Benz.
In 2013, four cars sold for more than $10 million. A 1954 Mercedes Benz W196R Formula 1 racing car almost doubled the record price when Bonhams achieved $29,650,095 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in the UK. RM Auctions sold a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider by Scaglietti for $27.5 million at Monterey – still the most-expensive regular road-going car ever.
In 2014, six cars sold for more than $10 million. Bonhams again increased the record price when it achieved $38,115,000 for a 1962/3 Ferrari 250 GTO at Quail Lodge. RM Auctions achieved $26.4 million for a 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti – only the fourth car to sell for more than $20 million.
In 2015, eleven cars sold for more than $10 million. A 1956 Ferrari 290 MM sold for $28 million at the RM Sotheby’s Driven by Disruption sale in New York, as only the fifth car ever to sell for more than $20 million. Aston Martin, Jaguar, McLaren and Porsche joined the list of marques having sold for more than $10 million at public auction.
In 2016, a 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport sold for $35,711,359 at the Artcurial Paris Rétromobile auction as only the second car ever to have sold for over $30 million. In euro terms, this is the most expensive car ever – it cost €32 million versus the €28.5 million the GTO cost at the time of sale.
Several new marques and records were added in 2016: Jaguar (most-expensive British car), two Alfa Romeos (also the two most-expensive pre-Second World War cars), a Bugatti, and a Shelby (the most-expensive American car ever).
Over $10 Million Classic Cars
Ferraris are the most-expensive cars in the world with nearly two-thirds of the cars that have sold for more than $10 million at public auction coming from Maranello. Mercedes Benz, Jaguar and Alfa Romeo are the only other brands with more than one car having sold for more than $10 million.
End 2016, the car brands selling for more than $10 million were:
- 24 – Ferrari
- 2 – Mercedes Benz
- 2 – Jaguar
- 2 – Alfa Romeo
- 1 – Aston Martin
- 1 – Bugatti
- 1 – Duesenberg
- 1 – Ford
- 1 – McLaren
- 1 – Porsche
- 1 – Shelby
250 is the magic model number – 17 of the most-expensive cars ever were Ferrari 250 models in various model variants.
Almost all cars achieving more than $10 million at public auction were built during the 1950s and 1960s. The period 1953 to 1964 is especially highly (ap)praised.
Five $10-million cars date from the pre-War period: a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider, a 1933 Alfa Romero 8C 2300 Monza, a 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster, a 1931 Duesenberg Model J Roadster and a 1936 Mercedes Benz 540 K Spezial Roadster – still the most-expensive German passenger car ever.
Only two $10-million cars are newer than the 1960s: a Le Mans-winning 1982 Porsche 956 and a 1998 McLaren F1 “LM-Specification” sports car. None are from the 1970s or pre-1930.
Top Classic and Collectors Car Auction Houses
Most million-dollar cars are sold by RM Sotheby’s, Gooding and Bonhams and these three also dominate the $10-million-plus market. Bonhams have sold the most-expensive car ever but RM Sotheby’s have sold the most cars for more than $10 million.
The battle of the auction houses for selling $10-million-plus cars shapes out as follows (August 2016):
- 18 – RM Sotheby’s (including 9 by RM Auctions prior to early 2015)
- 13 – Gooding
- 3 – Bonhams
- 2 – Artcurial
- 1 – H&H
The Monterey classic car week in mid-August in California generally is the best time for high auction prices. Two-thirds of the $10-million-plus results were achieved at these auctions that include Monterey (RM Sotheby’s), Pebble Beach (Gooding) and Quail Lodge (Bonhams). Only a quarter of the $10-million-plus cars were sold at auctions outside the USA.
This listing takes only nominal prices into account. If adjusted prices are used, probably only four further cars would be added to the list of cars selling for more than $10 million:
- 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe that Christie’s sold for $9.8 million in 1987 would be around $20 million in today’s money. If it comes up for auction now, it would probably fetch a lot more than “just” $20 million.
- 1931 Bugatti Royale Berline de Voyage that Kruse sold for $6.5 million in 1986 would be around $14 million in current money.
- 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Spider that RM Auctions sold for $9.3 million in 2007 would be around $10.6 million adjusted.
- 1937 Mercedes Benz 540K Spezial Roadster that RM Auctions sold for $9.7 million in 2011 would be $10.2 million today.
The listing also exclude non-traditional auctions, e.g. a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti sold for a reported $12 million a the Rick Cole online auction during Monterey week 2014.
For a More Detailed Description of These Cars See
- Cars Sold for Over $20 Million – The Most-Expensive Cars Ever
- Cars Sold for $15 to $20 Million – all Italian but not only Ferraris
- Cars Sold for $12 to $15 Million – including the most-expensive American car ever
- Cars Sold for $10 to $12 Million – a mixed bunch of great marques