Picture your ideal, dream classic car – it could be anything from a ’75 Mercedes 280 SE to a ’69 Chevrolet Camaro. But what if money was no object – that lottery ticket paid out; a generous relative left you a seven-figure sum; the Nigerian prince that emailed you wasn’t a scam? I’m sure we all have a car (or five) in mind that we’d rush out to an auction to buy, and some wealthy, lucky individuals have done just that over the years.
With an onslaught of dozens more classic cars hitting auctions in August, and in the interests of jealousy, desire, nostalgia and (of course) collating information, we’ve compiled a list of five of the most expensive classic cars to go under the hammer. Whether you’ve made The Sunday Times Rich List and are putting together a shopping list, or just want to dream, feast your eyes on these jaw-droppingly engineered (and priced) classic cars…
5. Ferrari 330 TRI/LM (1962)
Cost: £6m ($9.3m)
LM stands for the famous 24-hour race at Le Mans, this is the ultimate evolution of the Testa Rossa racing line. It won the 1962 Le Mans race with over 400 horsepower under the bonnet and Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien sharing the driving. It was Ferrari’s last front-engined racer and is also the last front-engined car to win Le Mans – so little wonder it reached a price of £6m.
4. Bugatti Type 41 Royale Kellner (1931)
Cost: £6.3m ($9.8m)
Known, for many years, as the world’s most expensive car this 1931 Type 41 Bugatti is not just big on price. Featuring a 12.7-litre aircraft-inspired engine and a 15 foot wheelbase, only six of these vehicles were ever produced thanks, in part, to its broadly unaffordable price during the depression. Still out of reach for many, its $6.3m price tag is worth every penny.
3. Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (1957)
Cost: £10.5m ($16.4m)
No. 0666 was the first of the Testa Rossas – a name which translates as ‘red head’ and taken from the colour of the car’s cylinder heads – and it was also an ex-Scuderia Ferrari team car which raced at Le Mans. Adding to the car’s appeal was an award-winning restoration by Dennison International in NART (North American Racing Team) livery.
2. Ferrari 275GTB/4 NART Spyder (1967)
Cost: £17.6m ($27.5m)
This month, one of just 10 Ferrari 275GTB/4 NART Spyders, set a record for the most expensive price reached by a road-going classic car – with all proceeds of the sale going to a children’s charity. Dubbed by Road & Track magazine as “the most satisfying sports car in the world,” the beautiful Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyders were the brainchild of Ferrari’s North American distributor and famous Le Mans winner, Luigi Chinetti. Chinetti had seen a likely demand for Ferrari’s beautiful ‘four-cam’ coupé as a full convertible in the North American market, and he set about convincing Ferrari that they should permit him to commission a limited series of cars from the coachbuilder Scaglietti.
1. Mercedes-Benz W196 (1954)
Cost: £19.6m ($30m)
This 1954 Mercedes, which was auctioned off earlier this year, holds the record as the most expensive car in the world at auction. The GP machine, which sold for a record-shattering £19.6m in July 2013, was famous for taking ‘El Maestro’ – the late Juan Manuel Fangio – to victory in the Swiss Grand Prix, and now has ‘world’s most expensive car’ to add to its famous CV.
This guest post was provided by Tom McShane; motoring enthusiast, millionaire-wannabe and blogger for used car parts supplier Taroni’s Motor Salvage. His dream classic car would be the’62 Ferrari 250 LM – but he hasn’t found that winning lottery ticket just yet.