The Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold at Auction

If you like wearing fancy hats and hobnobbing around the golf links while bidding millions of dollars for classic cars, you probably go to Pebble Beach, Calif. every August.

One of the world's top car shows takes place on California's Monterey Peninsula every year, with rare classic cars on display, vintage races and record-setting top-shelf car auctions. The 2018 event begins Friday, Aug. 17.

There are at least a couple of serious record-breaking contenders at this year's auctions, according to Hagerty, a classic car insurance and valuation company. The one looking to score the big bucks is a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO with a presale estimate of $45 million to $60 million at RM Sotheby's. It's not far-fetched: a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for a whopping $70 million in a private sale in June, according to media reports.

With that in mind, here's a look at some of the most expensive and beautiful cars ever sold at auction.

Photo:© Kimball Studios / Courtesy of Pebble Beach Concours

1. 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta
1. 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta

1. 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta

$38.12 million

The most expensive car ever is this Ferrari 250 GTO, which sold for a whopping $38.12 at the Bonhams auction at California's annual Monterey car auctions in August 2014.

Photo: Bonhams

2. 1957 Ferrari 335s
2. 1957 Ferrari 335s

2. 1957 Ferrari 335s

$35.7 million

This Ferrari sold at Artcurial's Retromobile sale in Paris in February 2016. Only four of these were made. The car once raced in the 1957 Mille Miglia, a 992-mile race around public roads in Italy.

Photo: Artcurial

3. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196
3. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196

3. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196

$29.6 million

This 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 sold for $29.6 million at the Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. in July 2013.

Photo: Bonhams

4. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM
4. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM

4. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM

$28.05 million

This Ferrari was developed to compete in the 1956 edition of the Mille Miglia race in Italy, (that's why it has the MM on the name) and is one of only four built. It sold for $28.05 million at the RM Sotheby's Auction in New York in December 2015.

Photo: RM Sotheby's

5. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider
5. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider

5. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider

$27.5 million

This Spider sold for $27.5 million at the RM Auctions in Monterey, Calif. in August 2013. The RM auction house now partners with Sotheby's.

Photo: Darin Schnabel /RM Auctions

6. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti
6. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti

6. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti

$26.4 million

Another Ferrari, this one went for $26.4 million in Monterey, Calif. in August 2014 by RM Auctions. It has a 320 hp V-12 engine with six Weber 38 DCN carburetors.

Photo: RM Sotheby's

7. 1956 Aston Martin DBR1
7. 1956 Aston Martin DBR1

7. 1956 Aston Martin DBR1

$22.5 million

RM Sotheby's sold this race car in August 2017, also in Monterey. The car was the overall winner at the 1959 Nürburgring 1000 KM. The auction house called it the most important model in Aston Martin history.

Photo: RM Sotheby's

8. 1955 Jaguar D-Type
8. 1955 Jaguar D-Type

8. 1955 Jaguar D-Type

$21.78 million

This race car was the overall winner of the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans, raced by Ecurie Ecosse. It sold for $21.78 million by RM Sotheby's in Monterey in 2016. 

Photo: Patrick Ernzen /RM Sotheby's

9. 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring
9. 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring

9. 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring

$19.8 million

Monterey in 2016 was a good year for RM Sotheby's, who also sold this 1939 Alfa Romeo for $19.8 million. The car is one of approximately 12 surviving Touring Spiders.

Photo: Darin Schnabel /RM Sotheby's

10. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
10. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

10. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

$18.47 million

The Spider, which sold for $18.47 million at the Artcurial Retromobile auction in Paris in February 2015, was one of the barn finds of the Baillon collection, which included over 60 cars unearthed from storage in France, some of them covered in old books and magazines.

Photo: Artcurial

11. 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione
11. 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione

11. 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione

$18.4 million

This 1954 beauty sold for $18.4 million at the Bonhams Auction in Goodwood, U.K. in June 2014.

Photo: Bonhams

12. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione
12. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione

12. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione

$18.15 million

One of only nine alloy-bodied LWB California Spiders, Gooding & Company sold this '59 Ferrari for over 18 million in August 2016 in Monterey.

Photo: Gooding & Company

13. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti
13. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti

13. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti

$17.6 million

One of only 32 examples produced, this '64 Ferrari has a 320 hp, 3,286 cc aluminum-block V-12 engine. It sold for $17.6 million in Monterey in August 2015.

Photo: Patrick Ernzen/RM Sotheby's

14. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
14. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

14. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

$17.16 million

This red Ferrari was sold by Gooding & Company at Amelia Island, Fla. in March 2016.

Photo: Gooding & Company

15. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
15. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

15. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

$16.83 million

Gooding & Company also sold this '61 Ferrari the previous year in Monterey, in August 2015.

Photo: Gooding & Company

16. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale
16. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale

16. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale

$16.5 million

This horse power behemoth sold for $16.5 million, also at the Gooding & Company Monterey auction in August 2015.

Photo: Gooding & Company

17. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
17. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

17. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

$16.39 million

This Ferrari sold for $16.39 million at the Gooding & Company auction in Pebble Beach, Calif. in August 2011.

Photo: Gooding & Company

18. 1995 McLaren F1
18. 1995 McLaren F1

18. 1995 McLaren F1

$15.62 million

Sold by Bonhams at the Quail Lodge Auction in Monterey in August 2017, the McLaren F1 goes 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and 0-100mph in 6.35 seconds, with a top speed of 240 mph.

Photo: Bonhams

19. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
19. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

19. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

$15.18 million

The Spider sold for $15.18 million at the Gooding & Co Auction in Pebble Beach, Calif. in August 2014.

Photo: Gooding & Company

20. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C
20. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C

20. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C

$14.52 million

This race car was one of only 12 built. Gooding & Company auctioned it off for over $14.5 million at the Monterey event in August 2017.

Photo: Gooding & Company

21. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM
21. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM

21. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM

$14.3 million

The Ferrari sold for $14.3 million at the RM Auction in New York in November 2013.

Photo: RM Sotheby's

22. 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato
22. 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato

22. 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato

$14.3 million

The 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato sold for $14.3 million at the RM Sotheby's Auction in New York in December 2015. It was the 14th of just 19 DB4GTs tailor-made by coachbuilder Zagato. The auction house described this car as an "English soul with an Italian suit."

Photo: Patrick Ernzen/RM Sotheby's

23. 1970 Porsche 917k
23. 1970 Porsche 917k

23. 1970 Porsche 917k

$14.08 million

A 917k similar to this one was sold by Gooding & Company at Pebble Beach in August 2017 for $14.08 million.

Photo: Brian Snelson from Hockley, Essex, England/ Wikipedia

24. 1998 McLaren F1
24. 1998 McLaren F1

24. 1998 McLaren F1

$13.75 million

This McLaren sold for $13.75 million at the RM Sotheby's Auction in Monterey in August 2015.

Photo: RM Sotheby's

25. 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra "CSX 2000"
25. 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra "CSX 2000"

25. 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra "CSX 2000"

$13.75 million

The CSX 2000 was the very first Shelby Cobra. This one was sold by RM Sotheby's in August 2016 at the Monterey auctions for $13.75 million.

Photo: RM Sotheby's

26. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB competizione
26. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB competizione

26. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB competizione

$13.5 million

Gooding & Company sold this '60 Ferrari at the Monterey auctions in August 2016.

Photo: Gooding & Company

27. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione 'Tour de France' by Scaglietti
27. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione 'Tour de France' by Scaglietti

27. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione 'Tour de France' by Scaglietti

$13.2 million

This hottie placed first overall at the 1956 Tour de France Auto, and sold for $13.2 million in Monterey in 2015.

Photo: RM Sotheby's

28. 1953 Jaguar C-type Lightweight
28. 1953 Jaguar C-type Lightweight

28. 1953 Jaguar C-type Lightweight

$13.2 million

This race car finished fourth overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953. It is one of the final C-Types built and the rarest of the racing Jaguars. The Jag sold for $13.2 million at the RM Sotheby's Auction in Monterey in 2015. 

Photo: RM Sotheby's

29. 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta 'Competizione'
29. 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta 'Competizione'

29. 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta 'Competizione'

$12.8 million

RM Auctions sold this '53 Ferrari in May 2013 at the Villa Erba auction in Italy for $12.8 million.

Photo: RM Sotheby's

30. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
30. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

30. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

$12.4 million

RM Auctions sold this '57 Ferrari for $12.4 million in Maranello, Italy in May 2009.

Photo: Darin Schnabel/RM Sotheby's

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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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