A great way to save money when you buy a used car is to visit an auction. If you choose well and avoid getting caught up in a bidding frenzy, it’s easy to walk away with a real bargain. At the other end of the scale, if your car is something special, selling it at auction is the perfect way to generate the kind of buzz that could see the price soar.
Feast your eyes on 10 of the most expensive classic cars ever sold at auction. Impressed by the numbers? We certainly were!
10. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster – $1.45 million
In July 1984, Christie’s sold a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster for $1.45 million. Just 58 of these supercharged sports cars were built between 1934 and 1936.
9. Aston Martin DBR2 – $3.4 million
One year after the 500K Roadster, Christie’s sold this one-of-a-kind Aston Martin DBR2 racing car, for $3.4 million. The car’s value has increased considerable since then.
8. 1931 Bugatti Royale (Berline de Voyager) – $6.5 million
The Bugatti Royale Berline de Voyager, was built in 1931 but kept as part of Bugatti’s private collection. Hidden away from the Nazis during the war, the car was eventually exported to the United States.
7. 1929 Birkin Bentley – $7.9 million
When the Birkin sold during the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed, it became the most expensive car ever manufactured in the UK to be sold at auction, a title previously held by a 1904 Rolls Royce.
6. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California – £10.9 million
In May 2008, radio presenter and car fanatic Chris Evans paid almost 11 million dollars for this Ferrari at an auction in Italy. The car had previously been owned by actor James Coburn.
5. 1936 Mercedes 540K – $11.7 million
Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone owned one of these rare vehicles and sold it for $6.3 million in 2007. Five years later, one of the remaining 26 models still in existence sold for almost twice as much.
4. 1931 Bugatti Royale (Kellner Coupe) – $14.9 million
More than 15 feet long and powered by a 12.7 litre aircraft engine, the Kellner Coupe had been launched at the height of the great depression and was a sales flop as a result, but would go on to become one of the most valuable cars of all time.
3. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa – $16.39 million
The Testa Rossa race car dominated Le Mans during the late fifties and early sixties. Famous for its distinctive red valve covers – the name means red head – just 34 of the 250 Testa Rossas were ever built.
2. 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO – $19.4 million (2010)
Two years after he bought his multi-million dollar California, Chris Evans sold it in order to fund the purchase of this car. The GTO is hugely sought after in collecting circles but owners tend to hang on to them – only 2 have come up for auction in the last 20 years.
1. 1936 Bugatti Type 57C Atlantic – $43.7 million
With just three models ever built and a single prototype, this Bugatti is one of the rarest cars around. Little wonder then that this vehicle broke all records for cars sold at auction when it went under the hammer in 2010.
A special thank you to Louis Rix, automotive enthusiast from CarFinance247.co.uk, the UK’s leading car finance supplier for contributing such an informative and fun article.
Tesla Model S Wins ‘World’s Greatest Drag Race’
Each year, Motor Trend holds a ‘World’s Greatest Drag Race’ featuring some of the fastest, most exciting sports cars, supercars and hypercars ever made. And this year, not a single one of them won.
The high-octane race part of the magazine’s “best driver’s car” competition and features the finalists doing a simultaneous quarter mile race against each other on an airstrip — the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, this time around.
As you would imagine, the list of contenders is what every car enthusiast’s dream is made of. See for yourself:
- Ferrari 488 GTB
- McLaren 570GT
- Porsche 911 Turbo S
- Mercedes-AMG GT R
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
- Porsche 718 Cayman S
- Lexus LC 500
- Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
- Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
- Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
- Aston Martin DB11
- Nissan GT-R NISMO
The Mazda MX-5 RF, despite being in contention for the “best driver’s car” title, is grossly underpowered and was forced to watch from the sidelines, wishing the track was a little twistier. To make things interesting, Motor Trend decided to replace the Mazda that wished-it-could with the Tesla Model S P100D Ludicrous, a car we’ve all wanted to see frolic with the likes a Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche in terms of pure speed.
And — you guessed it — the relatively unassuming, electric-powered Model S, the heaviest car on the track, beat them all! In fact, it would have crushed the race if not for the Ferrari 488 GTB and Porsche 911 Turbo S being hot on its heels. It’s quite something to see…
Guess which car came in last?
Aston Martin DB11 Volante Is One Sexy Convertible
Aston Martin has unveiled the DB11 Volante, which joins the DB11 Coupe that arrived a year earlier.
Beautiful from just about every angle and billed as the ultimate open-top grand tourer, the Volante is powered by a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 503 horsepower (510 PS) and 513 lb-ft. of torque, which is put to better use thanks to the car having a bonded structure that is 57 pounds (26 kg) lighter yet five percent stiffer than its predecessor, the DB9 Volante.
An 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels. A more powerful V12 engine is expected to be added to the lineup at a later date.
Featuring the latest acoustic and insulation materials to reduce wind noise and provide protection against the elements, the DB11 Volante’s eight-layer fabric top can be lowered in 14 seconds and raised in 16 seconds remotely using the key fob or while driving at speeds of up to 31 mph.
The top’s more compact design has increased truck space by 20-percent increase in trunk space compared to the DB9 Volante’s.
The new Aston Martin DB11 Volante goes on sale in the first quarter of 2018 with a starting price of $216,495 in the United States.
Tom Brady is the New Face of Aston Martin
In what many would consider an odd pairing, Aston Martin has entered into a long-term partnership with Tom Brady to promote its vehicles. The football heavyweight is the new celebrity spokesman for the British automaker.
In case you’re not on the same page, that’s an American football player shilling for the most British automaker there is. We are truly living in an interesting world…
Brady has quarterbacked his team to five Super Bowl championship, so Aston Martin has a reason for selecting him:
“Tom is an inspirational leader and athlete who is clearly aligned with our view of Aston Martin. His performances on the football field — not just recently but throughout his career — are an inspiration for us all.”
But that could be said about any number of top athletes, notably those with a more international reach. The irony that Brady plays for the New England Patriots, a team whose mascot is a minuteman, rebels who incited the American Revolution against Britain, shouldn’t be lost on you.
But none of this matters to the man; it’s all about the money:
“Aston Martin exemplifies dedication to the craft of car making through a meticulous attention to detail. While 104 years of heritage are reflected in each hand-built car, with product from the DB11 to the Aston Martin Valkyrie, this brand is primed to excel for the next 100 years as well. As a long-time fan and driver I am honored to join the Aston Martin team at this special moment in the company’s history.”
As part of the partnership, Brady will curate his own Aston Martin based on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S, twelve of which will be sold to the public. “Category of One: Why Beautiful Matters” is the title of his campaign.