The team at Cayman Autos is passionate about cars — especially luxury cabriolets! We often spend our lunch breaks chatting about the latest folding roof designs, the newest cabriolets on the market and the classic old cars that are now worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Our team is filled with cabriolet nerds!
We were recently chatting with a client about their pristine luxury cabriolet and the conversation turned to what it might be worth. Luxury vehicles that are kept in great condition can significantly appreciate in value over the years. We are so accustomed to working on classic Ferraris, Mercedes-Benz’s, BMW’s, and Jaguar’s that we rarely think about how much they sell for!
So, we decided to do some research and have identified the 5 most expensive cars sold at auction. The eye-watering prices that these classic cars sell for will really motivate you to keep your beloved cabriolet in great working order. If you maintain your car well enough, it could eventually be worth a few million pounds!
#5 — 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider
The fifth most expensive car to sell at an auction has an interesting story behind it. A young man named Eddie Smith moved to Lexington in North Carolina in 1937 with only $15 in his pocket. He began working as an usher in a movie theatre and held many different jobs over the next few years.
Eddie eventually started a Woman’s apparel business named National Wholesale. The business was incredibly successful and suddenly Eddie had enough money to buy his dream car — a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider. It was a special model, designed for the American market. It had a production run of 25 cars, but only 10 cars were produced due to a lack of demand.
Eddie loved to drive his Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider and often took it down Sebring for the 12 Hours race. He always kept it in pristine condition over the years.
A rare car like this drew a lot of attention from car lovers. Eddie received numerous offers to purchase the vehicle over the years. Ralph Lauren even visited Eddie to drive the car and make an offer! He was turned down and Eddie Smith kept the car until he passed away in 2007.
The car stayed garaged for a few years until Eddie’s son put it up for auction. The incredible rarity and pristine condition saw it go for a jaw-dropping $27.5 million (£22 million).
#4 — 1956 Ferrari 290 MM
This 1956 Ferrari 290 MM is a remarkable vehicle with an interesting history and racing pedigree. It was custom-made for Juan Manuel Fangio so he could race in the 1000 mile Mille Miglia road race in 1956. Fangio is considered to be one of the greatest racing drivers of all time and was the winner of five Formula One world titles.
It is a beautiful car that is designed to reach some hair-raising speeds! The powerful 3.5-litre V-12 engine is capable of reaching 320 HP at 7200 rpm, with a maximum speed of 280 kilometres per hour (170 mph).
In 2015, RM Sotherbys sold a pristine 1956 Ferrari 290 MM for the equally hair-raising price of $28 million (£22.5 million). That would put a dent in the bank account!
#3 — 1954 Mercedes-Benz W19
The Mercedes-Benz W196 is a classic Formula 1 racing car that was produced for the 1954 and 1955 racing seasons. It was very successful on the track, winning 9 out of the 12 races it competed in. The W196 was driven by some very famous drivers, including Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Hans Herrmann, and Karl Kling.
In 2013, a Mercedes-Benz W196R with the chassis serial ‘00006/54’ sold for £19.7-million Sterling ($29.6 million, including auction premium) — a world record at the time. The high price was a result of the rarity of this vehicle, it’s age, and the fact that it is the only remaining W196 in private hands. A big price, but one worthy of a historically important race car!
#2 — 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti
The Ferrari 335 is extremely rare sports car that was produced in 1957-58. It was built to compete with the highly successful Maserati 450S, which was dominating many races at the time. The 335 certainly had the power to do it — the V12 engine is capable of 390 horsepower (290 kW) at 7400 rpm. This massive power plant gives it a maximum speed of around 300 kilometres per hour (190 mph).
Only four 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scagliettis were ever produced, which has made it an incredibly valuable collector’s item. In 2016, a 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti sold for an incredible price of €32.1 million at an auction in Paris. The vehicle had been in the hands of a French collector for more than 40 years and is pristine condition. That’s a lot of money to pay for a high-end racing car that can’t be driven on public roads!
#1 — The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
The Ferrari 250 GTO is an iconic Grand Tourer that was manufactured between 1962 and 1964. It was designed by Giotto Bizzarrini and Sergio Scaglietti to race in the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s “Group 3 Grand Touring Car” category.
The car’s sleek aerodynamic design and Tipo 168/62 V12 engine made it very successful on the track. The Ferrari 250 GTO managed to win the over-2000cc class of the FIA’s International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 1962, 1963, and 1964.
It has become the most sought-after car in the world because of its beauty and rarity — only 39 were ever made! Of the cars produced, three used a larger 4-litre 330 engine which required Ferrari to increase the size of the bonnet. They are usually referred to as the “330 GTO”. Another three had revised bodywork and were designated as being “Type 64” 250 GTOs.
Brand new Ferrari 250 GTOs sold for around $18,000 in 1962 (about £6,400). As people came to appreciate the beauty of this car, the price really took off. Collectors saw this remarkable car as an embodiment of the Ferrari spirit.
In 2012, a 1962 250 GTO that was previously owned by champion race car driver Stirling Moss set an all-time record, selling for more than $38 million USD (£30 million). That incredible figure was surpassed less than a year later, when another 250 GTO was sold for $52 million (£42 million) — making it the most expensive car ever sold! Better start saving now if you want to buy one!
Thanks for reading The 5 Most Expensive Cars Sold At Auction! If you need help looking after your much-loved cabriolet, contact us today on 01306 885566!