High-performance classic cars are sought after at prestigious auctions because of their design, performance, and provenance. The cars topping the list have undeniable racing pedigrees. They possess the spirit that helped racing teams bag victories in their heyday. By far, Ferraris remain to be on the top of the list. We count down to the top eight most expensive cars ever auctioned off in the U.S. in the last decade.
8. 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype (Monterey, 2018)
Price: $ 21,455,000
This 1963 Aston Martin DP215 is considered the most significant one-off factory backed Aston Martin race car. The car raced in Le Mans in 1963 and clocked-in a top speed of 198.6 mph. Five decades after, it was restored with the help of its designer, Ted Cutting. The original engine was installed along with a five-speed transmission.
7. #4 1955 Jaguar D-Type (Monterey, 2016)
Price: $ 21,780,000
The #4 1955 Jaguar D-Type with chassis number XKD501 holds the record for being the most expensive Jaguar as well as the most expensive Le Mans winner ever sold in a public auction. It was originally bought by the Scottish Ecurie Ecosse racing team. This race car won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1956 after suffering setbacks the previous year. It was retired from racing in 1957.
During the 1970s, the Jaguar D-Type XKD501 was restored to its 1956 Le Mans race specification and livery. To date, this car is considered the only Jaguar D-Type intact in its original race form.
6. 1935 Duesenberg SSJ (Pebble Beach, 2018)
Price: $ 22,000,000
The 1935 Duesenberg SSJ with chassis number J-563 holds two titles after its auction in 2018 – the most expensive American car and the most expensive pre-war vehicle. Only two Duesenberg SSJs were ever made. These two cars had a 400-horsepower supercharged engine. The J-563 was delivered to American actor Gary Cooper, while the other to his contemporary, Clark Gable.
Through its lifetime, the SSJ was displayed in Cunningham Automotive Museum in California, Revs Institute in Florida, Duesenberg Tours, and other concours events. The car still has its original engine, chassis, and coachwork. Moreover, it has only 20,000 miles on its odometer.
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5. 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 (Monterey, 2017)
Price: $ 22,550,000
The 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 with chassis number 299EXV became the most expensive British car sold in a public auction in 2017. This car was the first of five DBR1s ever built to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It raced in Le Mans from 1956 to 1958, where it only claimed an overall victory at the 1959 Nürburgring 1000 KM. To further add to its historical value, the DBR1 was awarded the Most Elegant Sports Car at the 2001 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The DBR1 has been restored to its original condition. A replacement engine currently powers the car but the factory racing engine from the 1950s came with the purchase.
4. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider (Monterey, 2013)
Price: $ 27,500,000
This Ferrari 275 GTB Spider was the most expensive street-legal car sold in an auction. It is one of only ten Spiders built in the 1960s. The car remained with the family of the late businessman Eddie Smith Sr. until it was sold as part of the estate. Its proceeds went to various charities.
The car has a 300-horsepower V12 engine partnered with a five-speed manual transmission. It originally came in metallic blue but was repainted to red in the 1980s.
3. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti (New York, 2015)
Price: $ 28,005,000
This 1956 Ferrari 290 MM with chassis no 0626 was the most expensive car sold in a public auction in 2015. The car belonged to Scuderia Ferrari in the 1950s. One of its most notable races was the 1956 Mille Miglia when it finished fourth behind three other Ferraris. It continued racing in the U.S. until 1964. The car has avoided crashes throughout its career, leaving it in mint condition.
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2. 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta (Quail Lodge, 2014)
Price: $ 38,115,000
This 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta with chassis number 3851GT was the 19th car off the assembly line in 1962. It was immediately raced by French privateer Jo Schlesser and Henri Oreiller in the 1962 Tour de France Automobile. Oreiller had a fatal crash on October 7, 1962, as he raced at the Montlhery Autodrome.
The car underwent a major rebuild by Ferrari soon after and was termed as a 1962-63 model. It went through different owners, winning races along the way. Ferrari aficionado Fabrizio Violati acquired it in 1965 and kept it in his collection of historic Ferraris. The car also participated in historic races until Violati’s death in 2010. It has been kept in its race-ready condition until it was auctioned off in 2014.
1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (Monterey, 2018)
This 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO with chassis number 3413 is the most expensive car ever auctioned off in the world. It was the third of 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs that came off the assembly line in 1962. More than that, it is one of only four cars upgraded by automotive design company Scaglietti to have more aggressive bodywork. The 250 GTO was raced from 1962 until 1965, and bagged victories.
This car has been authenticated to be a very original example of a Ferrari 250 GTO. While a different engine is fitted for daily use and racing, the original engine also came with the sale.
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