Seven of the top-ten highest prices paid for classic cars at public auctions thus far in 2015 were for Ferraris with $18.5 million the record price. After the Monterey classic car week in mid-August 2015, the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider from the Baillon Collection sold for $18,500,000 in Paris, remained the most-expensive car of 2015. However, seven new cars appeared on the list after the California sales including new marque records set by McLaren, Jaguar and Porsche – never before has a car from these manufacturers sold for more than $10 million. Only 25 cars have ever sold for more than $10 million at public auction – 8 of these cars were auctioned in 2015.
Ten Most-Expensive Cars Sold at Public Auction in 2015
The ten most-expensive cars sold at public auction thus far in 2015 are:
|Year||Car||Price ($)||Auction House||Auction|
|1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider||18,210,080||Artcurial||Paris|
|1964||Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti||17,600,000||RM Sotheby´s||Monterey|
|1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider||16,830,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach|
|1962||Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale||16,500,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach|
|1998||McLaren F1 “LM-Specification”||13,750,000||RM Sotheby´s||Monterey|
|1953||Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight||13,200,000||RM Sotheby´s||Monterey|
|1956||Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione “Tour de France” by Scaglietti||13,200,000||RM Sotheby´s||Monterey|
|1982||Porsche 956||10,120,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach|
|1964||Ferrari 250 LM||9,625,000||RM||Arizona|
|1966||Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione||9,405,000||Bonhams||Scottsdale|
Top-Ten Auction Prices Paid for Classic Cars in 2015 (January to October)
Most-Expensive Ferraris in 2015
Ferraris are traditionally the most-expensive cars sold at public auction and thus far in 2015 that remains the case with seven of the top-ten cars coming from Maranello, including the top four highest prices paid for cars at auction. The top-ten list includes six Ferrari 250s in various model variants including two California Spiders and two LMs.
The top four highest prices paid for cars in 2015 were for Ferraris.
1. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold by Artcurial for $18.5 million set a new auction week record for the Paris classic car sales in early February. It also set a new auction record for a 250 GT SWB California Spider – the previous record was $15.2 million paid at the Gooding 2014 Pebble Beach sale. Only 37 short-wheel base Ferrari 250 GT California Spiders were made and this barn find is considered to be in the most original state (but will need significant work). It was part of the Baillon collection. The failure of a similar but in top condition 1961 Ferari 250 GT SWB California Spider to sell at Villa Erba despite a highest bid of over ten million euro, confirm that this Baillon Ferrari was bought very dear.
2. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM
A new model record was also set by the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM that RM Sotheby’s sold for $17,600,000 at the 2015 Monterey classic car auctions in mid-August. It was also the highest price achieved at Monterey this year, although the world record price of $38 million for the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO set in 2014 still remains the Monterey auction week record. The 1964 Ferrari 250 LM was one of the cars sold as part of the Pinnacle Collection – 25 cars offers, of which 15 sold for more than a million dollars.
3. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
Gooding achieved a strong $16,830,000 for a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider in good, very original condition at the Pebble Beach auction. This car has never been fully restored or shown at major events making it a very attractive car for an owner interested in exhibiting this rare Ferrari.
4. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale
The fourth most-expensive car of 2015 was also sold by Gooding at the Pebble Beach auctions: a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale for a model record $16,500,000. This car has a unique bodywork designed by Giugiaro for Nuccio Bertone, who used it as his personal car. The car took the shark-nose racing cars of Ferrari as inspirtation.
5. McLaren F1 “LM-Specification”
The most-expensive car other than a Ferrari thus far in 2015 is a McLaren F1 “LM-Specification” that set a new marque record when sold for $13,750,000 by RM Sotheby’s at the Monterey auction. This was the second last of the 63 road-going F1 cars made by McLaren and one of only two upgraded by the factory to Le Mans specification. The car also set a new record for a British car sold at auction.
6. 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight
A new marque record was also set for Jaguar when RM Sotheby’s sold at Monterey a 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight for $13,200,000. This was the second of only three C-Type works cars produced. It was placed fourth at Le Mans in 1953 and subsequently raced by the Ecurie Ecosse team.
6. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione
A 1956 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione “Tour de France” by Scaglietti sold by RM Sotheby’s at Monterey is the fifth most-expensive Ferrari thus far this year but take joint-sixth place with the Jaguar. This car won the 1956 Tour de France racing series and is the car that inspired the nomenclature Tour de France.
8. 1982 Porsche 956
Gooding set a new marque record when the 1982 Porsche 956 sold for $10,120,000 at Pebble Beach. It was also the first time ever that a Porsche car achieved over $10 million at a public auction. This is of course a very special Porsche: this 956 won the 1983 Le Mans 24 Hours race outright – it also came second behind another 956 the year before.
9. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM
The 1964 Ferrari 250 LM sold by RM Auctions for $9,625,000 set a new auction week record for the mid-January Scottsdale, Arizona classic car sales. In 2014, RM Auctions set the auction record with a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider at $8.8 million – the eighth most-expensive car in 2014. The 1964 Ferrari 250 LM was the 9th of only 32 produced and had quite a racing career, including a spell with a modified Porsche 906 Carrera 6 body. After the Porsche body was destroyed in 1970, the original engine and a correct Ferrari body were installed.
10. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione
The 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione sold by Bonhams for $9,405,000 at the 2015 Scottsdale auction held the auction week record for a day before being relegated to second place. The 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione on offer was the eleventh of only twelve produced. It participated in Le Mans in three consecutive years: 1967, 1968 and 1969. In 1967, it won the Le Mans GT class for the Swiss Filipinetti racing team.
Million Dollar Cars Sold at Public Auction in 2015
At least 200 cars have thus far in 2015 been sold for more than a million dollar each at public auctions. (Figures below approximate as definitions vary.)
RM Sotheby’s is leading the battle of the auction houses with 101, followed by Gooding & Co with 44 and Bonhams with 52.
Although the most-expensive car was sold in Paris, the highest numbers of million dollar results were achieved at the mid-August sales on the Monterey Peninsula in California. The top auction series in 2015 for million dollar cars were:
- 81 at Monterey
- 42 at Scottsdale
- 23 at Amelia Island
- 17 during the Paris auctions
- 16 at Fort Worth
- 11 at Villa Erba
- 7 at the Frederiksen Collection in Denmark
- 6 at Stuttgart
- 5 at Goodwood Festival of Speed
The top-ten list considers results from:
- Scottsdale & Arizona (mid-January 2015): RM Auctions, Gooding, Barrett Jackson, Bonhams, and Russo and Steele.
- Paris Sales (early February): Artcurial, Bonhams, and RM Auctions.
- Amelia Island (mid-March): Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s.
- Mercedes Benz Museum (end March): Bonhams.
- The Andrews Collection Sale in Forth Worth, Texas (early May): RM Sotheby’s.
- Aston Martin Works Sale at Newport Pagnell (mid-May): Bonhams.
- Villa Erba Sale in Italy (end May): RM Sotheby’s.
- Goodwill Festival of Speed Sale (end June): Bonhams
- Monterey Peninsula: Bonhams (Quail Lodge), Gooding (Pebble Beach) and RM Sotheby’s (Monterey)
- Chantilly and Goodwood Revival sales: Bonhams (early September)
- London Sale (mid-September): RM Sotheby’s
- Frederiksen Collection in Denmark: Bonhams (late September)
The highest prices of the year are often paid at Monterey but both Bonhams and RM Sotheby’s still have major sales in both the US and Europe that may still alter the composition of the list, although the barrier has been set very high.