25 Cars Sold for $260 Million in 2016

Top Auction CarsHigher Rollers
When most folks think about ultra-luxurious or expensive vehicles, automotive marques such as Bentley and Rolls-Royce often come to mind. These new cars easily sell upwards of $200,000, but there is an entirely different level of automobile for sale at auction each year, and the vintage and unique models that fall under the gavel make new luxury cars seem cheap. Of the top 25 vehicles sold at auction in 2016, the lowest priced car sold for more than $4 million. According to Hagerty Insurance (Hagerty is the world’s leading insurance provider for classic vehicles, and host to the largest network of classic car owners), $1.29 billion worth of cars were sold in 2016 at auctions in North America. Click through to see the 25 amazing vehicles that sold for the highest prices in 2016.

© RM Sotheby's1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico by Pininfarina
Selling Price: $4,400,000
Auction: RM Sotheby’s, Amelia Island
One of only 18 similar vehicles ever built, the Ferrari 400 Superamerica was offered only to Ferrari’s best clients. Built on a race-derived chassis, this special Ferrari boasts a 340-horsepower V12 engine under its hood. This particular car was the show car at the 1962 Turin Automobile Show and has only had four owners.

© Mecum Auction, Inc.1966 Ford GT40 MkI
Selling Price: $4,400,000
Auction: Mecum, Monterey
The Ford GT40 went down in history when it beat the legendary Ferraris 330 P3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. Although this GT40 did not race, it was the first road car delivered in North America. Built at the Ford Advanced Vehicles factory in Slough, Buckinghamshire, England, this GT40 was briefly used as a test and evaluation car on Ford’s test track. Shortly after, it served as Ford North America’s official Promotional GT40. Before its sale this year, the same family had owned the car for 40 years and it only shows 11,000 miles on the odometer.

© Mecum Auction, Inc.2014 Ferrari LaFerrari
Selling Price: $4,700,000
Auction: Mecum, Monterey
One of two LaFerraris sold at auction in Monterey this year, we speculate that this one garnered a slightly higher price due to its exclusivity. Given the low production number of these extreme hypercars, the LaFerrari is already unique, but this one is painted in Nero DS Opaco paint — one of only three finished in this sinister-looking color. Unveiled just a few years ago at the Geneva Motor Show, the LaFerrari boasts a hybrid 6.2-liter V12 with electric motors to produce a combined 963 horsepower. The LaFerrari can reach 60 mph in less than 3 seconds and achieve 186 mph in 15 seconds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1979 Porsche 935
Sale Price: $4,840,000
Auction: Gooding & Co., Pebble Beach
In the revered world of race-proven Porsches, there are certain machines that stand out from others due to the stature of their drivers as well as their achievements on the track. This 1979 Porsche 935 is one of those cars. It has been in 72 top-level races and was an overall winner and five-time participant in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. It also achieved a class win and a second place overall in its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut in 1979, where it was driven by veteran racer and Hollywood icon Paul Newman.

© Rod Hatfield, Automotive Content Experience1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider by Scaglietti
Sale Price: $5,225,000
Auction: RM Sotheby’s, Monterey
This 750 Monza Spider was sold new to Allen Guiberson of Dallas, Texas, who owned and campaigned several early Ferraris. The car was finished in the distinctive color combination of white with a dark blue triangle as seen on the car today. The 750 Monza’s first race was the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1955. With legendary drivers Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby behind the wheel, the Monza earned second place overall. Following a highly successful racing career with three of America’s greatest drivers, its careful preservation by Jim Hall (one of the three drivers) for over 60 years has made this one of the finest examples in existence.

© Gooding & Company1955 Porsche 550 Spyder
Sale Price: $5,335,000
Auction: Gooding & Co., Amelia Island
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is a well-known car collector with an affinity for Porsches. This year Seinfeld put several of his vehicles on the auction block, this 550 Spyder being the star attraction. In addition to its famous owner, this 550 Spyder stands out as being completely original — it is unrestored , showcased in the same color as it was when delivered. This sports car has only had three owners, and there are a mere 10,500 miles on the odometer.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1950 Ferrari 166 MM Berlinetta
Sale Price: $5,445,000
Auction: Gooding & Co., Pebble Beach
This Ferrari 166 MM was built in April 1950, making it the 18th of just 25 Barchettas built by Carrozzeria Touring. Purpose-built for competition, this example is finished in Italian racing red with the more Spartan “nude” interior, rather than the more luxurious Lusso treatment. The Barchetta (“small boat” in Italian) made its racing debut at the Mille Miglia on April 23, 1950. Since then it has established an impressive racing history and remains one of the few unrestored racing Ferraris.

© Rod Hatfield, Automotive Content Experience1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ‘Tour de France’ by Scaglietti
Sale Price: $5,720,000
Auction: RM Sotheby’s, Monterey
The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione was incredibly successful in competition, but the grueling six-day Tour de France really showcased the capabilities of this then-new sports-racing car. The car shown here is part of the first series of nine TdFs built, and was delivered in Milan in April 1956. The car was restored to original condition in 2000, and has since been shown and driven at select events around the world. In 2006 the TdF was awarded third in class at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

© Bonhams Auctions1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster
Sale Price: $5,921,097
Auction: Bonhams, Chantilly, France
This is not a car you see every day — only 354 Mercedes Benz 500K cars were ever produced, and only 29 of those were built with roadster coachwork. In 1935 this 500K was displayed on the Mercedes-Benz stand at the Berlin Motor Show and was purchased by metal-fastener magnate Hans Friedrich Prym. This Mercedes Benz 500K was stolen at the end of World War II, but resurfaced during the 1970s in the USA. It was sold at Pebble Beach in 2011 for $3,767,500, but when the new owner decided to exhibit the car at a show in Essen, Germany, the Prym family managed to have the car impounded. After some negotiation, the 500K Roadster was returned to the Prym family.

© Bonhams Auctions1956 Porsche 550 Spyder
Sale Price: $6,104,365
Auction: Bonhams, Chichester, UK
The Porsche 550 was one of motorsport’s most dominant race cars in the 1950s, out-performing almost all other models in its class. The little Porsches were extremely quick in a straight line, claiming a top speed of 137 mph and the ability to reach 62 mph in less than 10 seconds — both figures quite impressive for the time period. This particular 550 is all original; it has never been restored. “The car is so original, that you could travel back in time 60 years and find it in much the same condition. It’s exactly how a 550 would have looked, smelt and felt like when James Dean famously purchased his example back in 1955,” said Bonhams International Group Motoring Director James Knight. This was the highest auction price ever achieved for a Porsche 550.

© Gooding & Company1950 Ferrari 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans
Sale Price: $6,490,000
Auction: Gooding & Co., Scottsdale
This 1950 Ferrari Touring Berlinetta is one of six built on the 166 MM chassis, and was actually the show car at the 1950 Paris Auto Salon. At that time it was sold to famed American race team owner Briggs Cunningham, who had Ferrari upgrade the specifications to a 195 S. This means its 2.3-liter V12 engine puts out approximately 170 horsepower. This example had an impressive three-year international racing history.

© RM Sotheby’s2016 Ferrari LaFerrari
Sale Price: $7,000,000
Auction: RM Sotheby’s Charity Auction, Daytona
Production of the extreme Ferrari LaFerrari was to be limited to just 499 vehicles, but in August Ferrari Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that one additional LaFerrari would be built to be auctioned off for charity. Proceeds from the sale would benefit the reconstruction of Central Italy after the devastating earthquakes of 2016. “It is an honor for RM Sotheby’s to be entrusted with the sale of this important car and to help raise significant funds for a desperate cause,” says Rob Myers, CEO and Chairman of RM Sotheby’s. “The earthquakes which have struck Central Italy this year devastated the lives of thousands of people, and the money raised by the sale of this LaFerrari could not be put to a better use. The $7 million set a record price for a 21st century automobile sold at auction.

© RM Sotheby’s1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta by Touring
Sale Price: $8,231,154
Auction: RM Sotheby’s, Monaco
This Ferrari 340 began being assembled in January of 1951 — the third of twenty-three 340 chassis to be built — and went to Carrozzeria Touring for the Barchetta coachwork five months later. Sold in Paris in June of that year to Pierre Louis-Dreyfus who would eventually take over the multi-million-dollar business known today as the Louis-Dreyfus Group. Louis-Dreyfus raced this Ferrari 340 at Le Mans in 1951 and 1952. With a 4.1-liter V12 engine putting out 217 horsepower, the 340 is rumored to be able to top 150 mph.

© Bohnams Auctions1953 Jaguar C-Type Roadster
Sale Price: $8,240,738
Auction: Bohnams, Monaco
The Jaguar C-Type — also known as the XK120-C — was a racing sports car sold from 1951–1953. Only 53 were purchased, and the car was quite successful at the track. This particular C-Type achieved ninth place at the grueling 24 Hours of LeMans in 1953 — one of four C-Types that finished in the top 10 that year. A single family owned this classic race car for the last 53 years, and it is practically all original.

© Bonhams Auctions1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Sports Tourer
Sale Price: $9,735,000
Auction: Bonhams, Amelia Island
Not often does a supercharged Bugatti Type 57S come up for sale, and this one stands out further with its unique coachwork by Vanden Plas. According to the auction house, this car is “One of the greatest and most collectible cars of the pre-war era.” With a supercharged V8 under the hood, the Type 57SC can hit 120 mph — quite impressive for the 1930s. Bonhams refers to the Type 57S as being “virtually a Grand Prix car in touring car guise.” This example is the most valuable Type 57SC ever sold at auction.

© RM Sotheby’s1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen
Sale Price: $9,900,000
Auction: RM Sotheby’s, Arizona
With its elegant lines, lightweight construction and powerful motor, the Mercedes-Benz 540K is already a rather unique and prestigious vehicle. Only 419 chassis were ever built and even fewer feature the long tail and high door. This example was originally delivered to the U.S. and sold in New York for about $14,000 — a rather large sum in 1937, which is why only a handful were ever sold in America. With less than 11,000 original miles on the odometer, this 540K had belonged to the seller for 26 years.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
Sale Price: $10,400,000
Auction: Gooding & Co., Pebble Beach
Revolutionizing the world of high-performance automobiles, Ettore Bugatti was among the first, in 1910, to recognize that performance could be improved by reducing weight instead of increasing engine size. A prime example of this is the Type 55. This roadster was completed in April 1932 and was fashioned with Jean Bugatti (Ettore’s son) Roadster coachwork, making it the second example ever built and the first completed that year. Noted Bugatti historian David Sewell inspected this car in 2006 and stated: “Overall this is a truly outstanding example of the highly sought-after Type 55 Jean Bugatti roadster. It retains most if not all of its original component parts . . . this car must surely rank amongst the very best of surviving Type 55 Bugattis, indeed it may well be the finest of them all.”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza
Sale Price: $11,990,000
Auction: Gooding & Co., Pebble Beach
Introduced in 1931, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 was the premier high-performance sports car of its day, carrying a powerful inline 8-cylinder engine with twin overhead camshafts and a gear-driven supercharger. This Alfa was first registered in Genova on August 10, 1933, and remained in the region for the next 17 years. During this time it was purchased by a succession of prominent Italian racing drivers and successfully campaigned for many years. Eventually purchased by an American engineer, the car came to America in 1954. Restored in the early 1980s, the Monza went on to have another racing career and is still in superb mechanical condition today.

© Brian Traylor, Automotive Content Experience1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione
Sale Price: $13,500,000
Auction: Gooding & Co., Pebble Beach
In October 1959 Ferrari debuted the all-new 250 GT Berlinetta at the Paris Auto Salon. The 250 GT SWB Berlinetta was available in road-going form with a steel body, or in competition specification with lightweight aluminum coachwork. The 250 GT SWB Berlinetta shown here — chassis no. 1759 GT — is the sixth example built and among the very first competition cars completed for the 1960 model year. As noted on Ferrari build sheets for 1759 GT, this car was purpose-built to compete in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.

© Rod Hatfield, Automotive Content Experience1962 Shelby 260 Cobra “CSX 2000”
Sale Price: $13,750,000
Auction: RM Sotheby’s, Monterey
The Shelby Cobra is one of the best known and most sought after American sports cars ever built, and this CSX 2000 is the very first example. Carroll Shelby took the A.C. Ace — a small British roadster — and fit a big American V8 engine under the hood. Performance was outstanding; 60 mph could be achieved in around 4 seconds, and rave reviews came in from every publication that had a chance to get behind the wheel. This car has remained in its original condition — never restored — and has always belonged to Carroll Shelby. When the gavel fell at RM Sotheby’s, it was the first time this car had ever been sold, and it now claims the title for garnering the highest price ever paid for an American car.

© Gooding & Company1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
Sale Price: $17,160,000
Auction: Gooding & Co., Amelia Island
The California Spider is the quintessential collector Ferrari, and this one is a perfect example. One of 37 built with covered headlights, the Ferrari 250 GT was delivered new in Milan and had three owners. As Gooding & Company President and Founder David Gooding said before the auction, “With only three owners from new and a rich and fascinating history, this covered-headlight SWB California Spider has never before been offered for public sale and is being presented for the first time outside of Italy.” Power comes from a 3.0-liter V12 engine producing 240 horsepower with a 4-speed manual gearbox.

© Brian Traylor, Automotive Content Experience1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Comp
Sale Price: $18,150,000
Auction: Gooding & Co., Pebble Beach
The Ferrari 250 California Spider is easily one of the most recognizable and beloved sports cars of all time. Typically built as a sports car, a small number were built in race-ready trim. Only nine LWB California Spiders were originally constructed with alloy coachwork, and of those an even smaller number left the factory with competition features — this was one of those models. Completed on November 23, 1959, the car shown here was one of the last LWB (long wheelbase) California Spiders every produced. According to Gooding, “Considering its incredible rarity, superb racing record, and faultless presentation, this alloy-bodied California Spider is surely among the greatest Ferrari competition cars and, quite possibly, the ultimate open 250 GT.”

© Rod Hatfield, Automotive Content Experience1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring
Sale Price: $19,800,000
Auction: RM Sotheby’s, Monterey
In its time the Alfa 8C 2900 was one of the most luxurious sports cars available. According to RM Sotheby’s, “The 8C 2900 was not a mere sports car, but the most advanced, modern, and compelling sports car that money could buy. Each wheel carried independent suspension; its Vittorio Jano-designed straight-eight engine was two alloy banks of four cylinders, with not only dual overhead camshafts, but two Roots-type superchargers, as well. As exciting and dramatic as the 2.9 chassis itself was, they benefitted from the addition of some of the most sensuous and well-balanced coachwork of the pre-war era.”

© Rod Hatfield, Automotive Content Experience1955 Jaguar D-Type
Sale Price: $21,780,000
Auction: RM Sotheby’s, Monterey
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most prestigious endurance races in the world, and this Jaguar D-Type — XD 501 — is the actual car that won that grueling race in 1956. According to RM Sotheby’s, this is the only Le Mans-winning D-Type that has survived intact and remains original to what it was when it crossed the finish line at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Only two private owners have had possession of this legendary car — the most recent holding onto it for the last 16 years. The auction literature states that this D-Type is “Not merely a significant and markedly well-preserved D-Type, nor a star in the forefront of important racing Jaguars, XKD 501 can inarguably be held among the most historic British sports cars ever made.”

© Artcurial's Retromobile Auction1957 Ferrari 335 Sport
Sale Price: $35,763,848
Auction: Artcurial’s Retromobile, Paris, France
It may not be the most expensive car ever sold at auction, but it runs a close second. (The record is still held by a 1962 Ferrari GTO that sold for $38 million in 2014). Only four of these vehicles were ever built, and this one had been kept by a French collector for the last 40 years. A pure race car, the 335 Sport makes 390 horsepower from its 4.0-liter V12 engine and boasts a top speed in excess of 180 mph. Raced by many big names — including Sir Stirling Moss — it is said that this car helped Ferrari win the Constructors’ World Championship title in 1957.


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