Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2022

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There’s nothing quite like the classics. While today’s cars have the speed, design, great engine performance and all the extras, the classics have that vintage feel and appeal that drive car aficionados crazy. When some of the most memorable classic cars hit the auction blocks, it should come as no surprise that the wallets come out and the heavy hitters engage in bidding wars that lead to price tags that’ll leave you nothing short of speechless.

With timeless models from names like Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford, a ten million dollar price tag is not unheard of in auction circles. In fact, the most expensive cars are known to go for more than 15 million dollars when all is said and done, if they are in excellent condition.

Updated list (2016) – Most Expensive Cars Sold at an Auction

DateModel YearVehiclePrice
Aug 12 20141962Ferrari 250 GTO$38,115,000
Feb 5 20161957Ferrari 335S$35,711,359
Jul 12 20131954Mercedes Benz W196$29,600,000
Dec 10 20151956Ferrari 290 MM$28,050,000
Aug 17 20131967Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider$27,500,000
Aug 16 20141964Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale$26,400,000
Aug 19 20161955Jaguar D-Type$21,780,000
Aug, 20 20161939Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider$19,800,000
Feb 6 20151961Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider$18,500,000
Jun 27 20141954Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione$18,400,177
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The following ten cars are notorious for having attracted some of the biggest and wealthiest heavy hitters, leading to the highest prices ever recorded in the classic car auction circle. Don’t expect to see these cards out on the road, as most traditional insurance companies wouldn’t offer standard insurance coverage for these particular cars.

1. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 Racer – $29,496,308

Sold on: July 12, 2013

This Mercedes-Benz is the true king of classic cars. Despite its eye-appealing design and stunning top speed of 180 mph, it is its history that gives it its iconic status (and jaw-dropping price tag when in pristine condition). The car was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, and was the winning car for two Grand Prix races. It is known as the first to use desmodromic valves and fuel injection developed by Mercedes engineers.

The record 29 million dollar sale that took place on July 12, 2013 was not the first time that this car changed owners. This 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 Racer was previously owned by the Emir of Qatar, and before that, Friedhelm Loh.