You might think that a gorgeous Aston Martin DB4/GT Zagato fetching nearly £9.5 million in 2015 would be one of the world’s most expensive cars ever sold at auction.
In fact, it didn’t even get into the top ten! It did become the most expensive British car ever to sell at auction, but even this record was smashed this year by a 1956 Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type that changed hands for over £16 million.
In the rarefied air of classic car auctions, millions of pounds have changed hands on a succession of world famous and extremely rare cars.
The highest selling at auction list is dominated by one manufacturer, Ferrari, with no less than five cars in the top seven selling for huge sums. Leasing a new one might seem a bargain by comparison.
7. Jaguar D-Type 1955 (£16,650,000)
This is the D-Type discussed above that became the most expensively auctioned British car this year. This stunning Scottish blue coloured beauty with classic wooden rimmed steering wheel is set off with its white stripes and racing roundels.
It won the 1956 24 Hours Le Mans race.
6. Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale 1964 (£21,600,000)
An extremely rare model with aluminium bodywork and a tuned V12 engine built to homologate its new 275 GTB race car, Ferrari built only three of this model.
It was built to challenge the Ford GT40 and the Shelby Cobra (the first one ever built became the highest selling American made car at auction this year).
5. Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder 1967 (£22,550,000)
One of only ten in the world when it changed hands at auction in 2013, this car made a film appearance in ‘The Thomas Crown Affair.’
The ‘NART’ part of the car’s name stands for ‘North American Racing Team,’ and these Ferraris appeared as a result of importer Luigi Chinetti realising there was a demand for open-topped cars in America.
4. Ferrari 290 MM 1956 (£23,000,000)
One of only four in existence, this racing Ferrari broke various auction records when it sold in 2015. It became the most expensive car sold in New York City and the most expensive one ever sold by auction house RM Sotheby.
3. Mercedes-Benz W196 1954 (£24,272,000)
This Grand Prix Mercedes was auctioned by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013, and was apparently sold in realistic racing condition with a few blemishes and a layer of dirt as if it had just finished a race.
2. Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti 1957 (£29,300,000)
The curvy 335 has a formidable race history including the fabled Le Mans, and only four of them were built. Ironically the new owner can’t drive his purchase on the roads as it can only be used for racing.
1. Ferrari 250 GTO 1962 (£31,277,000)
A famous model name, only 39 250 GTOs were ever built. So when this immaculately maintained example appeared at auction, interest and therefore bids were always going to be high thus making it the most expensive car sold at auction to date.
It was specially built to contest the 1963 FIA World GT Championships; it won, as it also did again the following year.
Further up the list – still dominated by Ferrari
To date, the Aston Martin mentioned above appears 17th in the most expensive list. It’s a list still dominated by Ferrari with no less than eight out of the ten places from eight to 17 occupied by a model from the Maranello-based manufacturer.