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THERE has never been a better time to be a billionaire car enthusiast. Commentators in the United States have pointed out that there are now more cars for sale costing $ 1million (£ 757,145) or more than there are for under $ 20,000 (£ 15,143) .

While it may be intended as a rallying cry for cheaper new cars, it hints at the growing willingness of buyers, even at the bottom of the market scale, to pay more for bigger vehicles. and more efficient products purchased under financing agreements.

This makes a fair point, however, as extremely wealthy car buyers are now spoiled for choice.

The most expensive new cars in the world

It’s hard to say for sure which is the most expensive new car available today. Car manufacturers such as Bugatti, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce will often build extremely limited, sometimes unique production models that cannot legitimately be considered production cars because there are too few of them.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie, with its price starting at £ 2.5million, could well be seen as a competitor with 150 units to build. Even the track-focused Valkyrie AMR Pro with 40 slated for production at around half a million more on top of the “regular” Valkyrie can be considered.

Then there’s the Gordon Murray Automobiles T.50 fan car, which starts at £ 2.36million. That’s pre-tax, which means around £ 2.8million in all and everything. Only 100 of these will be made, so it’s even more exclusive than the Valkyrie, but if you’re ultra-rare, another 25 track-only examples of the T.50S Niki Lauda will be built, costing over $ 3.1 million. pounds each. .

For production cars you can cite the Koenigsegg Jesko, for example, the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 or the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport, all of which deserve a mention with their price tag exceeding £ 2.5million. That’s a relatively small change, however, from some of the designs that manufacturers can build for ultra-wealthy customers.

Bugatti La Car Noire hycar concept in geneva 2019

The Bugatti La Car Noire was already sold to a wealthy Bugatti enthusiast by the time it was completed in mid-2021. The price of the Chiron-based hypercar was around £ 11.4million.

The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail only saw three units built by Coachbuild, a special division of Rolls-Royce Bespoke, the company’s customization arm.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail - the most expensive cars in the world

Featuring custom bodywork inspired by the Rolls-Royces of old and vintage racing yachts in addition to an overwhelming level of luxury, the price was rumored to be $ 28million (£ 21.1million) , which would make it the most expensive new car ever sold.

All of this highlights two main points when it comes to buying an extremely expensive and exclusive car.

The first is that if a customer can imagine it, an automobile manufacturer can build it at an extremely high price.

The second is that if an automaker such as McLaren Special Operations or Rolls-Royce Coachbuild can produce an incredibly special car, it will likely be able to find a customer willing to pay for the exclusivity.

What’s the most expensive car ever sold at auction?

The most expensive car ever to be auctioned was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, which cost $ 48.4 million (£ 36.5 million) in 2018 at a Sotheby’s auction during the week automobile from Monterey, California.

The model had seen competitions and hill climbs and had belonged for the twenty years before its sale to an American Ferrari enthusiast, Dr Gregory Whitten.

The second most expensive car sold at auction was another GTO which sold for $ 38.1million (£ 28.8million) in 2014. Another GTO sold in the private sale la most expensive of all time for $ 70 million in 2018.

Only 36 GTOs were built between 1962 and 1964 and the model was designed for GT racing and to compete with models like the AC Cobra and the Aston Martin DB4 GT.

The models were powered by the 3 liter version of the legendary Colombo V12 engine.

While it looks great and has a magnificent engine, it wasn’t particularly innovative for the time and was a solid rather than dazzling performance on track. In the 1970s, the GTO was an outdated racing car with models sold for four-figure sums.

But from the late 1970s, as the values ​​of classic cars started to climb, the values ​​of GTOs also increased. A 36-piece series is quite exclusive, but each model was very slightly different as each was handcrafted.

The combination of looks, engine, hand-built bodywork and the fact that this is a racing car from what many consider the golden age of Ferrari, has meant that ‘apart from a few bumps in the 1990s, GTO values ​​have been on the rise ever since, resulting in both the highest price ever paid at a private sale and the most expensive car sale ever at auction.

Top 10 Most Expensive Cars Ever Auctioned

But what about the other insanely expensive cars auctioned off? Let’s take a look at the top ten which is, as you might expect, dominated by Ferraris, some with colorful racing stories.

Auto Price Where and when
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO £ 36.5million Sotheby’s, Monterey, 2018
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO £ 28.8million Bonham’s, La Caille, 2014
1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti £ 27million Artcurial, Paris, 2016
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 £ 22.3 million Bonham’s, Goodwood, 2013
1956 Ferrari 290MM £ 21.2million Sotheby’s, New York, 2015
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB / 4 * S NART Spider £ 20.8million Sotheby’s, Monterey, 2013
1964 Ferrari 275 GTB / C Special by Scaglietti £ 19.9 million Sotheby’s, Monterey, 2014
1956 Aston Martin DBR1 £ 17million Sotheby’s, Monterey, 2017
1956 Ferrari 290MM £ 16.6 million Sotheby’s, Los Angeles, 2018
1935 Duesenberg SSJ £ 16.6 million Gooding, Pebble Beach, 2018

There are a number of factors that affect auction prices when it comes to rare classic cars, namely badge, rarity and provenance. The latter is especially important when it comes to classic and historic racing cars, as the attachment of one or two legendary names can lead to even higher prices.

Mercedes-Benz W196 1954 from Fangio
Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196, which was auctioned off at Bonham in 2013 for £ 22.3million

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