These are the 20 most expensive cars ever sold at auction

The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that sold for $48.4 million at an auction.

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The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that sold for $48.4 million at an auction.
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RM Sotheby’s/Darin Schnabel

  • Some of the rarest and most exotic cars in the world have come across the auction block in recent years. A handful of those have sold for tens of millions of dollars.
  • In August, two of the world’s most prestigious auction houses made a combined $275 million in sales at Monterey Car Week in California.
  • A 1935 Duesenberg SSJ fetched $22 million last month, becoming the most expensive American car ever sold at an auction.
  • The overall record was set that same week when RM Sotheby’s sold a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for $48.4 million.

Vintage car auctions are where the world’s wealthy gain access to the exotics of their dreams. Some of these prize vehicles can easily fetch tens of millions of dollars on the auction block.

In August, two of the world’s most prestigious auction houses sold a combined $275 million in automotive exotica during Monterey Car Week in California.

Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, presented a particularly impressive fleet of automobiles this year. Over a two-day period, the auction house sold $117 million worth of classics, including a 1935 Duesenberg SSJ once owned by Hollywood legend Gary Cooper that sold for $22 million. It was the most expensive American car ever sold at an auction.

Nearby in Monterey, RM Sotheby’s racked up $158 million in sales in its two-day auction period. This total was helped along considerably by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that fetched $48.4 million; making it the most expensive car ever auctioned.

Regardless of who handles the auction, the cars sold at these events are gorgeous, rare, and expensive. Of the 20 most expensive cars ever sold at auction, European exotics, particularly Ferrari, dominate the top of the list. In fact, 14 of the top 20 carry Ferrari’s prancing stallion.

Take a look at the 20 most expensive cars ever sold at auction:


20. 1995 McLaren F1 (Sold for $15.62 million by Bonhams in 2017)

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Bonhams

19. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (Sold for $16.3 million by Gooding & Company in 2011)

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Gooding&Company/PawelLitwinski

18. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale (Sold for $16.5 million by Gooding & Company in 2015)

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Gooding&Company/Brian Henniker

17. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider (Sold for $17.16 million by Gooding & Company in 2016)

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Gooding&Company/Mathieu Heurtault

16. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti (Sold for $17.6 million by RM Sotheby’s in 2015)

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RMSotheby’s/Patrick Ernzen

15. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione by Scaglietti (Sold for $17.99 million by RM Sotheby’s in 2017)

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RMSotheby’s/Diana Varga

14. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione (Sold for $18.15 million by Gooding & Company in 2015)

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Gooding&Company/BrianHenniker

13. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider (sold for $18.5 million by Artcurial in 2015)

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Artcurial

12. 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring (Sold for $19.8 million by RM Sotheby’s in 2016)

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RMSotheby’s/Darin Schabel

11. 1955 Jaguar D-Type (Sold for $21.78 million by RM Sotheby’s in 2016)

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RMSotheby’s/Patrick Ernzen

10. 1935 Duesenberg SSJ (sold for $22 million by Gooding & Company in 2018, the most ever for an American car)

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Gooding & Company/Mathieu Heurtault

9. 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 (Sold for $22.5 million by RM Sotheby’s in 2017, the most ever for a British automobile)

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RMSotheby’s

8. 1955 Ferrari 410S (Sold $23 million by Rick Cole Auctions in 2014).

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Rick Cole Auctions

7. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula 1 Racer (Sold for €19.6 million euros, or close to $25.4 million, by Bonhams in 2013)

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Bonhams

6. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti (Sold for $26.4 million in 2014)

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RMSotheby’s/Darin Schnabel

5. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider by Scaglietti (Sold for $27.5 million by RM Sotheby’s in 2013)

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RMSotheby’s/Darin Schnabel

4. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti (Sold for $28.05 million by RM Sotheby’s in 2015)

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RM Sotheby’s/Tim Scott

3. 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti (Sold for $35.7 million by Artcurial, Paris in 2016)

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Artcurial

2. 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta (Sold for $38.15 million by Bonhams in 2014)

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Bonhams

1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (Sold for $48.4 million by RM Sotheby’s in 2018)

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RMSotheby’s/Patrick Ernzen