“Ka-Ching!” 5 of the Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold at Auction

by / Wednesday, 26 November 2014 / Published in Automotive News

Going straight to the dealer or checking out secondhand gems aren’t the only fixes to getting you a sweet new ride. You’ve heard of auctions before, right? Maybe even been to one. The auction is a good place to trade your bills for all sorts of masterpieces made from precious metals and steel tubes. It’s where lots of car enthusiasts found their most beloved babies—and I tell you, these are the happiest owners, who, despite their thinner pockets, enjoy full garages.

But maybe I’m cheating you: they don’t actually have thinner pockets. The prices upon their babies even make them richer. Dying to get what I mean? Here are five of the most expensive cars that the world of auction ever saw, staged, and sold.

1904 Rolls-Royce 10hp Two-Seater

1904 Rolls-Royce 10hp Two-Seater

The veteran of this list may fall behind in power and the modern elegance we’re used to, but you cannot say that it does in terms of reputation. Our 1904 Rolls-Royce is the fourth the name has ever built. This deluxe carriage—minus the horses—was built with such impeccable craftsmanship that when it was sold at the 2007 London Olympia show, it made the record of being the most expensive Rolls-Royce ever sold. For what price you ask? Only a good $7.25 Million, a price very much worth all its value.

1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe

1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe

If the first in our list holds the reputation for being our most expensive oldie, this bad boy, in contrast, has to be our biggest fighter. Contrary to the name “royale”, our 1931 Bugatti actually has a rags-to-riches story.

Six of it were actually made to be sold especially to royals, hence the name, but since no one bit the bait during the Great Depression, none of the six was sold to their intended market. What was sold in the 1987 auction in London was from Ettore Bugatti’s own collection, sealed safe from WWII in his own estate. For this reason, and especially since its 12.7 liter engine is the largest in a car, it was sold for $9.7 Million. It’s still the one of the most sought-after classics until today.

1931 Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase Coupe

1931 Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase Coupe

Can you see this one back in the day – spotless, elegant, beloved? Through 1928 and 1936 only less than 500 were made of Mr. Sassy Pants. And even in that big number, only five enthusiasts were documented of owning the Duesie. That only speaks of how exclusive the clientele of this baby was. But that’s not all. The particular 1931 coupe sold at the 2011 California auction used to be owned by a Mr. George Whittell, Jr. who ran the car for only 12,500 miles. That’s a baby he definitely took care of! Of course, that must be why another lucky man took it home for a $10.34 Million tag.

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R “Silver Arrow”

Winning two world titles in only 18 months and an overall 9 out of 12 races, no wonder this was one of the most valuable cars that ever caused a buck fight. But who exactly used this baby? Only F1 legend Juan Miguel Fangio! Need reminding? He won the World Championship of Drivers five times, the record that took Michael Schumacher 46 years to break! This sexy beast was already rare with only 14 made originally, but think that with the 10 existing today, this is the only one not in Benz possession or in a museum. That it’s also an F1 legend makes it all the more awesome. Who wouldn’t buy this vehicle for $29.6 Million? Just ask the man who just did in 2013.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta

Basically, our Berlinetta has done a lot of racing, which eventually lead to its gargantuan sale of $38.1 Million. So Ferrari wins this list not only because, well, it holds the record for the most expensive car ever sold at auction. If you didn’t know, it also holds the most number of cars under the category—dope!

There’s more actually, but to list them all would keep your jaw dropping lower and lower. We wouldn’t want that to lock open forever, would we? For now we dream about this (not-so) humble five.

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