8 Incredibly Rare & Expensive Cars That Have Sold At Auction

1962 Shelby 260 Cobra "CSX 2000", US$13,750,000

Also known as the CSX 2000, the 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra is the very first Shelby Cobra; with a V8 gearbox by legendary designer and driver Carroll Shelby himself. Many believe it to be the most important American sports car in history. The car was finally sold by RM Sotheby’s after over five decades of single ownership.

1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, US$14,300,000

The 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato is one of the most expensive British cars ever sold at auction, fetching US$14,300,000 at an event in New York run by RM Sotheby's. However, that price doesn't even get it on to the list all-time list. Here we look at the most expensive cars ever sold at auction and the reasons they're worth so much. With only 19 DB4 GTs graced with coachwork by Zagato, just having the opportunity to see a DB4GT Zagato is a dream few realize. So treasured by their owners, not a single example has traded hands for the greater part of a decade.

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1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider, US$19.8 million

It has a chassis crafted by big-time Italian car builder Carrozzeria Touring. Moreover, it is one of only 12 Touring Spiders around. Known in the car community as the Italian equivalent of the Bugatti Atlantic, the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider was the ultimate Italian sports car of its generation. The car is the first “Immortal 2.9” to be offered at public auction this century.

1955 Jaguar D-Type, US$21,780,000

It is the legendary overall winner of the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans, raced by Ecurie Ecosse. It has a 250HP, 3,442 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine with three Weber 45 DCO3 carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension, live rear axle trailing links and transverse torsion bar, and four-wheel disc brakes. The car is the only Le Mans-winning C- or D-Type that has survived intact and remained essentially original to its winning form.

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1931 Bugatti ‘Type 41’ Royale Kellner Coupe, US$20,343,468 (adjusted for inflation), sold in 1987 for US$9.7 million

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The car was sold over two decades ago. We wonder what it would cost if it ever went up for auction again. The enormous price of the car is likely due to the fact that the 15-foot masterpiece is one of only six ever built. Ettore Bugatti originally planned to build 25 units and sell them to royalty (hence the regal-sounding name). But not even the wealthy were willing to spend much money during the Great Depression. As a result, none of the the six Royales were ever sold to any royals. This particular car is straight out of Ettore's personal collection, as it was preserved in a garage on his estate, surviving WWII behind a protective wall.

1954 Mercedes W196, US$29,967,886

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Raced by five-time World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, it won a number of Grand Prixs and sold for a then world record price during the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed auction in 2013. The 2.5 litre straight-eight single-seater, with chassis number 00006/54, won the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races in Juan Manuel Fangio’s hands. The 1954 W196’s racing pedigree does not stop there. Sir Stirling Moss drove the same model of car when he won his first British Grand Prix in 1955.

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1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti, US$35,807,096

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The direct descendant of the 315 S, the 335 S made its debut at the infamous 1957 Mille Miglia with Alfonso De Portago replacing an unwell Luigi Musso at the wheel at the last minute. The 335 S also took part in the Le Mans 24 hour, turning in the fastest lap at an average of over 120 mph.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta, US$38,115,000

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The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta is currently the most valuable car to be sold at auction. It realized its US$38,115,000 sale price at Bonhams' 2014 Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California. After the start of a passionate bidding war that at times resembled a tennis match, complete with moments of silence interrupted by cheers, the audience erupted in applause when the fall of the gavel confirmed the final price. The car is one of just 36 of the cars built by Ferrari in the early 1960s.

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