classic auction
Car Reviews

Top 6 Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold in a Car Auction

By Daisy Emah-Emah Updated: 07/26/2022 Posted: 06/10/2022

Collectors and enthusiasts are willing to spend millions on rare classic cars. It makes you begin to wonder if truly cars are depreciating assets. Maybe – or maybe not. 


Some lose their value once you get into the driver’s seat while others have proven to be of value over history. One such important history is the car racing history. The top one percent of the world’s population has the funds to acquire the rarest of items – autos included. These cars are many times bought from racing teams, private collectors, and collections. Classic cars are the rarest and also a worthwhile investment for those who can afford them and this isn’t changing anytime soon.


You’ll be amazed at how much these rare classic cars are sold at auto auctions like RM Sotheby, Bonhams, and others. Also, over the years the records are beaten as more rare items keep popping up at the auction. 


Let us take a look at the unbelievable amount some cars have sold at these auctions.  List of the most expensive cars to be sold at a car auction. 


Most Expensive Cars at The Auctions

1. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe – $142,000,000

The 1995 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is topping the chart, sold at an exclusive auction by RM Sotheby in Germany. At the invite-only auction at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, the starting bid for the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe was higher than the winning bid of the Ferrari 250 GTO.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe | Mercedes-Benz

In seven decades the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe had only covered 3756 miles. Named after its creator and chief engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut and bought by a private collector on 5 May 2022 for $142,000,000. The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe is a rare automobile and also only two prototypes are built at the time. 


2. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Scaglietti – $48,405,000

Second on our list is the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, with a starting bid of $35 million finally sold at $48,405,000 on 26 August 2018. Owned by vintage racing driver Dr. Gregory Whitten prior to its sale in 2018. The auction took place at RM Sotheby’s sale in Monterey. The Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti chassis no. 3413 is the third of 36 GTOs built.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Scaglietti | Patrick Ernzen/RM Sotheby’s | Car and Driver


3. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta – $38,115,000

The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTOis a 3 consecutive time winner of FIA World GT Championships. It comes with a 5-speed manual transmission and a V12 engine that gives out 296hp. Only 39 250 GTOs were built by Ferrari and this is the most raced. Because of its status and value, it is a piece of art. It held the record of the most expensive car sold at an auction for four years. On 14 August 2014, it sold at the auction for $38,115,000 by Bonhams, in the Quail. 

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta | © Bonhams | Classic Car Auctions


4. 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti – $35,711,359

The 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti with chassis no. 0674 has a long racing history and has rightfully earned its place on the list. Known as one of the most beautifully shaped Ferraris ever made. Competed in many races winning the World Manufacturers Championship in 1957 and is also one of four built. On 5 February 2016, it sold at auction for $35.7 million by Artcurial in Paris.

1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti | Artcurial | Autoweek


5. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 – $29,600,000

The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 sold in its authentic condition for $29,600,000 during an auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed car event on 12 July 2013 by Bonhams. It is a Formula One race car driven by world champion Juan Manuel Fangio and was covered in scratches and dents when sold. 

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 | BONHAMS | Autoweek


6. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM – $28,050,000

The 1956 Ferrari 290 MM was built for Juan Manuel Fangio to race at the 1956 Millie Miglia and came in 4th place. It’s one of four built and also raced by Alfonso de Portago and Wolfgang von Trips. It also earned its place as the most expensive car sold in 2015. It sold for $28,050,000 at RM Sotheby’s auction in New York City on 10 December 2015.

1956 Ferrari 290 MM | RM Sotheby | Autoweek


7. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider – $27,500,000

The iconic 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider is one of ten built. Powered by 300-hp V12 and made an appearance in the movie The Thomas Crown Affair with Steve McQueen. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider with chassis no. 10709 also raced by Denise McCluggage at Sebring. It sold for $27,500,000 on 17 August 2013 by RM Sotheby’s in Monterey Sale. 

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider | RM Sotheby’s Auction | Autoweek


8. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale Scaglietti – $26,400,000

The 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti with chassis no. 06701 sold at the RM Sotheby in Monterey Sale, for $26,400,000 on 16 August 2014. The 275 GTB/C Speciale is an upgraded version of the Ferrari 275 GTB. Designed in 1965  to challenge the Ford GT40 and Shelby Cobra Daytona.  

Most Expensive Cars

1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale Scaglietti | RM Sotheby Auction | Autoweek

The 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale Scaglietti is one of 3 that was built with a V12 engine and also produces 320hp. Designed with the rarest Ferraris and was the first Ferrari to feature an independent rear suspension. It was lighter and faster than a standard 275 GTB road car.


Further Reading

  1. Buying the Best Used Honda Car for Sale 
  2. How to Choose the Right Used Hyundai for Sale 
  3. Used Ford Car for Sale: How to Choose the Right One 
  4. Best Used Cars You Can Buy This Year Under $10,000