A 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport sold for €32,075,200 ($35,711,359) at the Artcurial Paris auction as the most-expensive car in 2016 and the second most-expensive car ever. The second most-expensive car sold at public auction in 2016 was a Le Mans-winning 1955 Jaguar D-Type that set a new record for a British car at $21,780,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction. At the same auction a marque record and record for the most-expensive pre-War car ever was set at $19,800,000 for a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider. These are followed by the two most-expensive cars ever sold by Gooding and Co: a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione for $18,150,000 at Pebble Beach and a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider for $17,160,000 at the Amelia Island 2016 sale. A 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra sold for $13,750,000 at RM Sotheby’s Monterey as the most-expensive American car ever. A marque record was set at $10,400,000 for a 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster at Gooding Pebble Beach.
An eclectic collection of marques makes up the list of the ten most-expensive cars sold at public auction in 2016: true to form, Ferraris are the most common marque on the list but the top-ten prices also include a Mercedes Benz, a Bugatti, a Jaguar, a Shelby and two Alfa Romeos.
List of the Top Ten Most-Expensive Cars in 2016 (January – December)
The 10 highest results for cars sold at public auction thus far in 2016 were:
|Year||Car||Price ($)||Auction House||Auction|
|1||1957||Ferrari 335 Sport by Scaglietti||35,711,359||Artcurial||Paris|
|2||1955||Jaguar D-Type||21,780,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey|
|3||1939||Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring||19,800,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey|
|4||1959||Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione||18,150,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach|
|5||1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider||17,160,000||Gooding||Amelia Island|
|6||1962||Shelby 260 Cobra CSX 2000||13,750,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey|
|7||1960||Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione||13,500,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach|
|8||1933||Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza||11,990,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach|
|9||1932||Bugatti Type 55 Roadster||10,400,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach|
|10||1937||Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen||9,900,000||RM Sotheby’s||Arizona|
1957 Ferrari 335 Sport
The most-expensive cars sold at public auction in 2016, and the second highest price ever paid for a car at auction, was for the 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport that Artcurial sold for €32,075,200 ($35,711,359) at the Paris Rétromobile sale. In euro terms, this Ferrari was more expensive than the 1962/63 Ferrari 250 GTO that sold for $38 million, which converted to €28.5 million at the time.
This car, as an official Scuderia Ferrari entry, finished second in the 1957 Mille Miglia race with Wolfgang von Trips as driver. The same year, Mike Hawthorn set the first ever La Mans lap at a speed exceeding 200 km/h in this Ferrari.
After helping Ferrari win the 1957 World Championship, the car was sold in the USA. It had its best finish ever when it won the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix in Havana in blue-and-white N.A.R.T livery. The car was in the Bardinon Collection from 1970.
1955 Jaguar D-Type
A 1955 Jaguar D-Type sold for $21,780,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction setting not only a new Jaguar marque record but also the record for the most-expensive British car ever sold at auction. This Jaguar is the seventh most-expensive car ever sold at public auction.
The 1955 Jaguar D-Type won the 1956 Le Mans 24 Hours race outright as an Ecurie Ecosse entry driven by Ninian Sanderson and Ron Flockhart. It is considered the only Le Mans winning Jaguar C or D-Type that to have survived in its original race-winning form.
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider
A 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider with coachwork by Touring became the most-expensive Alfa Romeo ever when it sold for $19,800,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction. This also set a new record for a pre-Second World War car. It is the eighth most-expensive car ever.
The pre-war Alfa Romero 8Cs were amongst the most desirable sports cars of the 1930s. Only 32 of the 2.9 chassis were built with only 12 fitted with Spider bodies, including 7 on the longer chassis. This 1939 Alfa Romero covered 12,000 miles in the last two decades – much more than many modern supercars are ever driven.
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione
A 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione sold for $18,150,000 at the Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction, as the most-expensive car ever sold by this auctioneer. It also set a new record for a long-wheelbase California Spider.
This was the seventh California Spider to have sold for more than $10 million, and the fourth California Spider Gooding has sold for more than $15 million but still behind the record $18.6 million paid for the short-wheelbase Baillon Ferrari at Artcurial’s Paris 2015 auction.
The 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione is an alloy-bodied competition version. It was sold in the silver livery it wore when finishing 5th overall at the 1960 12-Hours of Sebring race.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
Gooding set a new Amelia Island auction week record when this 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold for $17,160,000 – at the time of sale the tenth highest price ever paid for a car at public auction and the highest result ever achieved at an auction by Gooding.
This 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, chassis 2871, had only three Italian owners. The car appeared briefly in Vittorio De Sica’s Academy Award®-winning feature film, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, when Sophia Loren hitched a lift after crashing her Rolls Royce. It is in a well-maintained but unrestored condition.
1962 Shelby 260 Cobra
A 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra sold for $13,750,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey classic car auction. It thus not only set a new marque record for a Shelby but also became the most-expensive American car sold at public auction ever.
This 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra is chassis CSX2000 – the first Shelby Cobra ever. It was used for development, promotion and driver training and remained in Shelby’s possession until this sale. It was only the third American built car to have sold for more than $10 million at public auction.
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione
A 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione sold for $13,500,000 at the Gooding & Co Pebble Beach auction. This alloy-bodied competition car was one of the first competition SWB berlinettas built and finished 7th overall at the 1960 25 Hours of Le Mans race as a NART Team Car driven by Ed Hugus and Augie Pabst. It retains its original coachwork by Scaglietti with matching numbers engine and gearbox.
1933 Alfa Romero 8C 2300 Monza
A 1933 Alfa Romero 8C 2300 Monza sold for $11,990,000 at the Gooding Pebble Beach sale – a new model record and the second-most expensive Alfa Romeo and pre-War car ever. (It missed out on both records by a day.)
This Monza has its original Brianza coachwork with matching numbers engine. It has an in-period racing history including winning the 1947 Sport Nazionale Championship with Renato Balestrero.
1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
The 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster set a new record for a Bugatti when it achieved $10,400,000 at the Gooding Pebble Beach sale. The previous record for a Bugatti was set in 1987 by a 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe that Christie’s sold for $9.8 million (just over $ 20 million in today’s money).
This 1932 Bugatti was the only Type 55 Roadster ever to have participated in the Mille Miglia. It was driven here in 1932 but a punctured fuel tank finished its race early. It was probably also used as the personal car of Jean Bugatti.
1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster
The 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster set the new Scottsdale classic car week record when it sold for $9,900,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 auction. It narrowly missed out on becoming only the third Mercedes-Benz to have sold for over $10 million.
The 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen is an original US delivery car with known history. It is one of the earliest 540 Ks made and has the desirable long tail, high door configuration. It is believed to have covered only 10,277 miles since new.
Million-Dollar Cars at Public Auctions in 2016
In 2016, around* 183 cars have been sold at public auction for over a million dollars – around 50 less than in 2015:
- January 2016: 36 – 4 at Kissimmee (Mecum) and 32 at Scottsdale, Arizona (Barrett Jackson 3, Bonhams 3, Gooding 9, RM Sotheby’s 17)
- February 2016: 15 – 14 at Paris (Artcurial 6, Bonhams 1, RM Sotheby’s 7), 1 in London (Christies)
- March 2016: 30 – 28 at Amelia Island (Gooding 15, RM Sotheby’s 9 and Bonhams 4), 1 in Stuttgart (Bonhams), 1 in Goodwood (Bonhams)
- May 2016: 16 – 11 at Monaco (Bonhams 4, RM Sotheby’s 7), 2 at Indianapolis (Mecum) and 3 at Newport Pagnell (Bonhams Aston Martin)
- June: 2 at Santa Monica (Auctions America 2)
- July: 3 – 2 at Le Mans (Artcurial), 1 at Motor City (RM Sotheby’s)
- August: 64 – 26 at Pebble Beach (Gooding), 21 at Monterey (RM Sotheby’s), 8 at Monterey (Mecum), 1 at Monterey (Russo and Steele) and 8 at Quail Lodge (Bonhams)
- September 2016: 11 – 8 at London (RM Sotheby’s), 2 at Chantilly, Paris (Bonhams), 1 at Goodwood Revival (Bonhams)
- October: 1 at Hershey (RM Sotheby’s)
- November: 5 – 4 at Milan (RM Sotheby’s) and 1 at Anaheim (Mecum)
- December: 1 at LaFerrari Charity Auction (RM Sotheby’s)
In the battle of the auction houses:
The list takes the published results of the following auctions into consideration:
- January 2016: Kissimmee (Mecum) and Scottsdale, Arizona (Barrett Jackson, Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s)
- February 2016: Paris (Artcurial, Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s)
- March 2016: Amelia Island (Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s), Mercedes Benz Museum (Bonhams), Goodwood Members (Bonhams)
- April 2016: Palm Beach (Barrett Jackson)
- May 2016: Monaco (Bonhams & RM Sotheby’s), Indianapolis (Mecum) and Aston Martin Works (Bonhams)
- June 2016: Southern California (Auctions America), Northeast (Barrett Jackson), Goodwood Festival of Speed (Bonhams)
- July 2016: Motor City (RM Sotheby’s), Le Mans (Artcurial)
- August 2016: Monterey Week – Pebble Beach (Gooding), Monterey (RM Sotheby’s, Mecum), Quail Lodge (Bonhams)
- September 2016: Beaulieu (Bonhams), Chantilly (Bonhams), London (RM Sotheby’s), Goodwood Revival (Bonhams)
- October 2016: Hershey (RM Sotheby’s), De Zoute (Bonhams), Paris (Artcurial)
- November 2016: London to Brighton Run (Bonhams), Duemila Ruote in Milan (RM Sotheby’s), Anaheim (Mecum)
- December 2016: London (Bonhams), LaFerrari Charity (RM Sotheby’s)
Next Major Classic Car Auctions:
- Top-Ten Lists for 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 & all time.
- 2016 (January to July) Ten Most-Expensive Cars Sold at Public Auction (rankings before Monterey Week)
- 2016 (January to April) Ten Most-Expensive Cars Sold at Public Auction (Scottsdale, Paris, Amelia Island)
- 2016 (January & February) Ten Most-Expensive Cars Sold at Public Auction (Scottsdale, Paris)
- 2016 (January) Ten Most-Expensive Cars Sold at Public Auction (Scottsdale, Arizona)
- $10-Million-Plus Cars – The Most-Expensive Cars Ever