The 10 Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold At Auction

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A classic car can have a special meaning, making a car collector willing to pay any amount, in order to own the vehicle. To some, a classic car is a work of art that holds a historic, sentimental or simply an aesthetic value that makes it a must own for the buyer.

Collecting cars can be one of the most expensive hobbies a person can have. Many cars placed on the block at auctions are in limited supply and owning such a car gives you a unique item others will come to admire.

For many of us, whether we are buying a new or used car, the worry of how we will pay for it can be burdensome, but for those die-hard classic car collectors no amount is too much.

The following ten cars are the most expensive ever sold at auction:

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196

Original price:  $29,600,000 
Price Adjusted for Inflation:  $29,967,886
Sold by:  Bonhams Auction on July 12, 2013

Produced in Germany, this car brought Mercedes-Benz back into the world of grand prix racing. The car was Germany's Formula One entry in the 1954 and 1955 Formula One sessions, winning 9 of the 12 races in which it was entered.

1967 Ferrar 275GTB

Original Price:  $27,500,000 
Adjusted Price:  $27,841,786
Sold by:  RM Auctions on August 17, 2013

Only ten of these cars were ever made and according to the L.A. Times one of them, owned by Steve McQueen, will be up for auction this August. The car is fully restored and was purchased by the late actor in 1967 while he was filming "The Thomas Crown Affair."

Must Read: 10 Cars That Retain Their Value

1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Original Price:  $16,390,000
Adjusted Price:  $17,182,830
Sold by:  Goodings & Co. August 21, 2011

The 1957 Testa Rossa debuted at the Nurburgring 100kms and went on to have a long racing career. The car sold at the 2011 auction is the prototype created by Ferrari, the world's first Testa Rossa.

Only 34 of these cars were made, but the Testa Rossa would go on to dominate the racing scene for half a decade, with wins at the 24 Hours Le Mans in 1958, 1960 and 1961.

Must Read: 10 Cars That Retain Their Value

1964 Ferrari 250 LM

Original Price:  $14,300,000 
Adjusted Price:  $14,477,729
Sold By:  RM Auctions on November 21, 2013

Standing just 4.4 inches tall the Ferrari 250 LM was designed by Carrozzeria Scaglietti, only 32 models were ever made. In 1965 the 250 LM was a success on the track, entering and winning the 24 Hours Le Mans.

Must Read: 10 Cars That Retain Their Value

1953 Ferrari 340-375MM Berlinetta 'Competizione'

Original Price:  $12,812,800 
Adjusted Price:  $12,972,045
Sold by:  RM Auctions on May 25, 2013

"Combining rarity, powerful mechanical specifications, important racing history, and ravishing coachwork, 0320AM is one of three 340/375 MM works race cars that Ferrari entered at the 1953 24 Hours Le Mans," RM Auctions said on its website.

In November 1953 this car was one of 5 Ferraris entered in the famous Carrera Panamericana, where Enzo Ferrari showcased the car to the North American market, RM Auctions said.

Must Read: 10 Cars That Retain Their Value

1957 Ferrari 205 Testa Rossa
Original Price:  $12,402,500 
Adjusted Price:  $13,663,708
Sold by:  RM Auctions on May 17, 2009


This car is one of the most famous racing cars in history. The 250 Testa Rossa first debuted at the 1957 24 Hours Le Mans and though it did not finish the race, this car would go on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958, 1960 and 1961.

Must Read:  10 Cars That Retain Their Value

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

Original Price:  $11,770,000 
Adjusted Price:  $12,090,736
Sold by:  Goodings & Co. on August 19, 2012

This car was first introduced at the 1936 Paris Motor Show, customers could only get one by special order and only 26 were ever made. Its specialized engineering, craftsmanship and sleek style make this supercar one of the most sought after by collectors.

Must Read:  10 Cars That Retain Their Value

1960 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Competizone Spyder

Original Price:  $11,275,000 
Adjusted Price:  $11,582,247
Sold by:  Goodings & Co. on August 19, 2012

There are only 50 California Spyders in existence and supercars.net describes this Ferrari as "a rarity in competition...the typical buyer was interested in a fully-equipped road car that could be occasionally raced at the track with success."

Must Read: 
10 Cars That Retain Their Value

1968 Ford GT40

Original Price:  $11,000,000 
Adjusted Price:  $11,299,754
Sold by:  RM Auctions on August 17, 2012


Ok, so we lied...all the cars aren't European.  This is a high performance race car winning the 24 Hours Le Mans four years in a row from 1966 to 1969. The cars original purpose was to beat its competition, the Ferrari, in long distance sports races.

Must Read:  10 Cars That Retain Their Value

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder

Original Price:  $10,894,900 
Adjusted Price:  $11,933,873
Sold by:  RM Auctions, Sotheby's on May 18, 2008

Less than 100 California spyders were made between 1957 and 1962. This car was once owned by actor James Coburn and was purchased at the 2008 auction by British radio host Chris Evans.

Must Read: 10 Cars That Retain Their Value

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