Most car buyers don’t consider purchasing new vehicles to be an investment. In fact, most of us expect our beloved automobiles to depreciate over the years. There are some classic cars, however, that could actually earn you quite a lot of money!
Cars that proved to be great investments come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from a legendary 1960’s Ferrari all the way to the less obvious alternatives, such as a German minibus. Some of the cars on this list are bound to skyrocket in value even further!
Ferrari 250 GTO: $70 Million
What is faster than the iconic Ferrari 250 GTO? Its skyrocketing value that only seems to keep rising. What was once a legendary grand tourer is now renowned for its unbelievable price history. Ferrari only built 36 of them in total, and collectors are prepared to break the bank to get their hands on one of the few units.
Back in 1962, the 250 GTO would set you back $18,000, or $153,000 adjusted for inflation. Today, that same car is worth tens of millions of dollars. In 2018, a 250 GTO sold at auction for a whopping $70 million!
Porsche 930 Turbo: $100,000
The 930, built between 1975 and 1989, remains one of the most iconic variants of the iconic Porsche 911. At first, the vehicle came fitted with a turbocharged 3.0L flat-six. Both air-cooled and rear-mounted, of course.
The German automaker built just 2,,819 units of the 3.0L-powered 930 before upgrading the powerplant to a 3.3L for the 1978 model year. Then, there are the limited versions such as the Slantnose or the Speedster, which are even more desired by collectors. Buyers should be prepared to pay at least $100,000 for a unit in decent condition, which is a far cry from the $37,000 retail.
Ford Mustang: $70,000
Love it or hate it, Ford’s Mustang inevitably became a part of American culture. Few cars are as recognizable as the original pony car. We all remember the iconic car chase in Bullitt, where a green GT390 Fastback is driven by none other than Steve McQueen.
Back in 1966, the Mustang retailed for $3,500, which is equal to about $28,000 today. Over five decades later, buyers can easily expect to pay at least $70,000 for a well-preserved unit. Not to mention the limited variants such as the Shelby GT350, which are worth even more.
Shelby Cobra: $5.1 Million
The Cobra represents the absolute best of American and British engineering. Back in the 1960s, Carroll Shelby approached AC with the intent of creating a small, souped-up sports car powered by a V8 under the hood. Ford supplied the powerplants, while the chassis came from AC.
Out of the different versions, the units powered by the 427 V8 remain the most valuable. Today, you’d have to spend at least a million dollars to become the owner of one. The 427 Super Snake is perhaps the rarest of all Cobras, as there is only one unit left in the world. The car sold at auction in early 2015 for a staggering $5.1 million!
Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing: $4.2 Million
The 300SL is a legendary sports car built by the German automaker in the 1950s. The car was based on the W194 race car and instantly became renowned for its impressive performance. The unique gullwing doors are perhaps the most distinguishable feature of the 300SL. In 1999, the Gullwing was voted the “sports car of the century”.
In the mid-1950s, the Gullwing was sold for $7,300. Today, that same vehicle is worth well over a million dollars. In fact, one sold for $4.2 million at an auction back in 2012.
BMW M3 (E30): $60,000
The first-ever BMW M3 was introduced in 1986 for the following model year. The German automaker wanted to build a performance-oriented sports car based on the coupe 3-Series. The iconic M3 has stayed with us ever since.
The value of the E30 M3 has skyrocketed over the last decade. The 2000s saw a drop from the car’s original $35,000 price tag. At the beginning of the 2010s, however, the prices began to surge. Today, you’d have to spend at least $60,000 for a high-mileage unit in decent condition.
Chevrolet Corvette C1: $70,000
Believe it or not, but the original Chevrolet Corvette was not an instant success. While Chevrolet built high expectations after showing a spectacular concept version of the Corvette, the production version did not live up to the hype. Sales figures plummeted, Chevy sold just 700 units in 1955. The automaker had to improve the vehicle, otherwise, it would have to be discontinued.
The C1 retailed for around $3,500, which is a little over $33,000 adjusted for inflation. Today, you’d have to spend at least $70,000 for one. Rarer variants easily sell for well above $150,000.
Ford Thunderbird: $85,000
The original Ford Thunderbird was a lavish convertible that debuted for the 1955 model year. The car was made to serve as an alternative to the Corvette, which had just gone on sale two years before. Interestingly, the Thunderbird initially turned out to be more successful than Chevrolet’s convertible. Ford managed to sell over 50,000 units before ending the production of the first-gen Thunderbird in 1957.
Back in 1955, you could become the owner of a shiny Thunderbird for just $3,400, or $33,200 adjusted for inflation. Today, however, you’d have to spend at least $85,000 for the first-gen Thunderbird in decent condition.
Dodge Charger R/T: $140,000
The mighty Dodge Charger remains one of the most iconic American muscle cars of all time. In 1967, a buyer could purchase a Charger for $4,000, or around $30,000 adjusted for inflation. It was truly a fantastic deal back then!
Today, powerful variants of the Charger can easily surpass $140,000. If you’re in the market for a classic Charger, opt for the one equipped with the 440 V8 under the hood. Cars with matching numbers are the most valuable to collectors.
Pontiac Bonneville: $175,000
The original, first-gen Bonneville is a rare car for American standards. The car debuted back in 1958 and was replaced by the second generation just a year later! The car’s short production run made the car sought-after by collectors, as Pontiac had only built 3,096 units.
Back in 1958, a brand new Bonneville would cost you around $3,000, which is equal to $27,100 today. If you want to purchase a 58 Bonneville in 2021, expect to pay upwards of $175,000. Prices are expected to rise even further within the coming years.
Jaguar E Type
It’s difficult to find a British sports car as iconic as the E-Type. Its styling has gone down in history. At the time of the car’s debut in 1961, Enzo Ferrari called the E-Type the most beautiful car he had ever seen. While the earlier units came powered by a flat-six, the ones built after 1971 featured a powerful V12 under the enormous hood.
Back when it was new, the E-Type was available for around $5,200, or $45,000 adjusted for inflation. Today, an E-Type would set you back at least twice as much. Rarer variants sell for even more.
Chevrolet Camaro Z/28: $90,000
The original Camaro hit the market for the 1967 model year. It had only been in production for two years before being replaced by the second-gen in 1969. The base model came with a 140-horsepower flat-six under the hood, while the souped-up Z/28 came powered by a 4.9L V8.
Back in the 60s, the Camaro had a sticker price of $3,200, which equals around $25,000 adjusted for inflation. Today, a first-gen Z/28 Camaro could easily sell for upwards of $90,000. Don’t even get us started on the rare COPO 427, worth over half a million dollars.
Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz: $250,000
The fourth generation of the Cadillac Eldorado, which debuted for the 1959 model year, quickly became an icon of the 1950s. Its massive body was over 220 inches long, and the car’s exterior styling is simply spectacular. Despite its popularity, it was replaced by the fifth-gen barely two years after the launch.
The Biarritz trim level is the rarest version, with just 1400 units made in total. In 1959, the Eldorado Biarritz started at $7,400, the equivalent of over $66,000 today. In 2021, A fourth-gen Eldorado Biarritz is worth over a quarter of a million dollars!
BMW M3 CSL (E46): $100,000
The M3 based on the E46 3-Series is the newest vehicle that has made it on our list. The special CSL variant of the M3 E46 was sold in 2004. BMW limited the production run to just 1383 units in total, all of which were painted either Silver Grey Metallic or Black Sapphire Metallic. If you come across an M3 CSL in a different color, it is either a replica or it had been repainted.
In 2004, you could pick up the M3 CSL for around $75,000. Today, that same car would cost you at least $100,000.
Corvette C4 ZR1: $40,000
Many die-hard Corvette enthusiasts are not massive fans of the mighty C4. Afterall, the fourth generation of the American sports car was a direct successor to the iconic C3, hence the expectations were high. The C4 was a step up in terms of performance and styling, and that did not seem to appeal to everyone.
The fourth-gen Corvette, including its souped-up ZR1 variant, remained underrated for decades. Their prices dropped dramatically from the original $66,000 MSRP by the early 2000s, but they’re beginning to shoot back up. Today, expect to spend upwards of $40,000 for a ZR1 in decent condition.
Honda NSX: $100,000
Honda revived the NSX nameplate after an absence that lasted nearly two decades. The original NSX dates back to the 1990s, it truly revolutionized the high-performance automobile industry! The sports car hit the US market for the 1991 model year.
It was one of the coolest cars in its price range, yet its value quickly dropped from the initial $60 000 retail price tag. Fast-forward to 2021 and the prices are skyrocketing. Buyers should expect to spend at least $100,000 for a unit in great condition.
Volkswagen Golf GTI
Any fan of hot hatches should have heard about the original Golf GTi from the late 1970s. This vehicle is considered to be the first performance-oriented hatchback, thus creating the hot-hatch segment. Its 130-horsepower engine could send this tiny vehicle to 60mph in just 9 seconds. The Golf GTi was renowned for its exceptional handling, which had never been seen in a hatchback before.
In the 70s, you would have to pay around $6,000 to become the owner of a brand new Golf GTi. Expect to pay upwards of $20,000 for a first-gen Golf GTI in 2021. Low mileage units preserved in mint condition will set you back even more.
Pontiac GTO Judge Convertible: $200,000
Good luck finding this one. The regular GTO Judge is already relatively rare, compared with other muscle cars from the same era. The 1970 Judge Convertible 455, however, is in an entirely different league. In fact, Pontiac only built 17 of them in total!
Under the hood, the convertible is fitted with GM’s 7.4L big-block V8 rated at 335 horses. Back in 1970, one of these cars would cost just $4,000, or $27,000 adjusted for inflation. That’s quite a deal, especially considering that the same car would be worth over $200,000 today.
Plymouth Cuda: $4.1 Million
The rarest variant of the Cuda, the 1970-71 Plymouth Cuda Hemi Convertible, is very much a holy grail of the muscle car world. Similar to the previously-mentioned Pontiac GTO Judge Convertible, this variant of the Cuda saw a very limited production run. In fact, Plymouth only built 17 of them before shutting down the assembly line!
Any 1970-71 Cuda with a factory-fitted Hemi V8 is rare already, as Plymouth only dropped the motor in 600 coupes and 17 convertibles. Back in 1971, the Cuda Convertible with a Hemi under the hood would cost you $4,700 ($31,600 adjusted for inflation). The same vehicle was sold at an auction for a whopping $4.1 million.
Chevrolet Corvette C2 (L88): $2.5 Million
While practically any C2 would have made for a decent investment, an example powered by the big-block L88 V8 motor is a whole different story. In fact, this is considered to be the ultimate pinnacle of classic Corvettes, it simply does not get better than this. The American automaker only built 20 second-gen Corvettes with the L88 under the hood, all of which were sold in 1967.
Back in the late 60s, you would have to pay $6,000 for a brand new L88-powered C2. Today, that same car would be worth millions of dollars! One of them was auctioned off in January for a cool $2.5 million.
Dodge Charger Daytona: $900,000
The 1960s were a fun decade for American motorsport and NASCAR in particular. Back then, the regulations allowed automakers to modify the car’s bodies to make them more aerodynamic. This resulted in the birth of some of the most iconic American cars of all time. Among those is the Dodge Charger Hemi Daytona.
Dodge only built 504 units of the Hemi-powered Charger Daytona. Its most iconic features are certainly the unique front fascia, as well as the enormous rear wing. In 1969, this muscle car was sold for $5,000, or $35,600 adjusted for inflation. Today, that same vehicle is worth nearly a million dollars!
Lamborghini Countach: $300,000
The Countach needs no introduction. This legendary Italian supercar remains a dream car for petrolheads all over the world. Despite its popularity, the Countach was incredibly difficult to drive and received mixed reviews from the press at first.
Automobile collectors seemed to have forgotten about the Countach for a while. Back in the 2000s, the price for a used one dropped as low as $100,000. Today, however, you’d have to spend at least $300,000 to become the owner of a Countach.
Mercedes SL Pagoda (W113): $80,000
This vehicle shared a similar story with the previously-mentioned Chevrolet Corvette C4. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the W113 for the 1963 model year as a successor to the legendary 300SL. The expectations were through the roof, and the vehicle seemed not to have lived up to them. The German automaker sold just 23 855 units of the 280SL Pagoda variant of the W113.
At one point, prices for used Pagodas dropped as low as $20,000 for units in decent condition. Today, the average price for a 280SL Pagoda is above $80,000.
Buick GNX: $100,000
Before shutting down the assembly line of the Buick Regal, the American automaker decided to create a souped-up variant of the car to celebrate its production one last time. Buick manufactured 547 units of the 2-door Regal GN, all of which were then sent to McLaren Performance Technologies (not to be confused with McLaren Automotive) for mechanical upgrades. The final product was the GNX, which could reach 60mph in just 4.6 seconds!
In 1987, the GNX had a sticker price of $29,000. Today, the same car is valued at over $100,000.
Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 Convertible: $1 Million
This is yet another extremely rare drop-top version of a legendary muscle car with a big-block V8 under the hood. In 1970, Chevrolet decided to fit the 454-cubic inch motor in a convertible variant of the Chevelle. The American automaker only sold 20 of them before discontinuing the vehicle that same year.
Back in ’70, a big-block Chevelle SS Convertible was available for sale at $4,800, or about $32,600 adjusted for inflation. Today, a genuine example with matching numbers can be sold for over a million dollars.
Volkswagen T1: $150,000
Back in the 1950s, nobody could have thought that a T1 minibus could become a timeless classic worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. After all, Volkswagen built these vehicles with practicality and utility in mind. However, the T1 quickly became an icon of the automotive industry, praised primarily for its beautiful exterior styling.
Today, a Volkswagen T1 restored to its former glory could fetch well over $150,000 at auctions. Units that have seen better days could be picked up for around $50,000, which is well over the original sticker price back in the 1950s.
Ferrari Testarossa: $120,000
The Testarossa is one of the most recognizable supercars of the 1980s, alongside the Lamborghini Countach or the Ferrari F40. The Testarossa featured a rear-mounted 4.9L flat-12 rated at 422 horsepower. The Testarossa was one of the fastest cars of its time, with a 0-60 sprint in less than 4.8 seconds.
Back in the ’80s, a brand new Testarossa started at $181,000 in the United States. Prices quickly dipped down to as little as $40,000 in the 2000s. In the 2010s, they began to pick up once again. Today, expect to spend upwards of $120,000 for a Concours-quality unit.
BMW 2002: $145,600
The 2002 nameplate was used to distinguish a two-liter version of BMW’s 02 Series from the variant powered by a 1.6L motor. The base model 2002 was offered with the engine tuned to make 99 horses, while the optional tune increased the power to 118hp. A turbocharged 168-horsepower variant was launched in 1973 as BMW’s first turbocharged production car ever.
Back in the early 70s, a BMW 2002 would set you back $6,700 ($41,900 adjusted for inflation). While the prices dipped in the late 20th century, they shot back up within the last years. A turbocharged 2002 was auctioned off for $145,600 in early 2018.
Ford Sierra RS Cosworth: $100,000
The regular Ford Sierra is anything but performance-oriented. The European division of Ford decided to fix that in 1986 with the debut of the Sierra RS Cosworth. This souped-up monstrosity was based on the Sierra, though its performance was nothing like the base model. It could sprint to 60mph in 6.5 seconds! The car saw great success in rallying throughout the next years.
Back in 1988, the Sierra RS Cosworth was available for around $18,000. All 1,653 units quickly sold out within three years. Today, that same car can easily reach $100,000 at auctions.
Datsun 510: $50,000
What can you buy for $2,500? A nice laptop, perhaps. In the 1970s, $2,500 could get you a brand new Datsun 510. This small sedan is extremely light and agile, making for a fantastic driving experience.
$2,500 back in 1972 would be the equivalent of $14,700 today. Nonetheless, it is still a reasonable price tag considering what the Datsun 510 has to offer. Today, the same vehicle can be sold for over $30,000, given that the car is in good condition inside and out. Pristine units can reach as much as $50,000!
Volkswagen Beetle: $35,000
Who would have thought that a vehicle as common as the Volkswagen Beetle could ever see an increase in value? The car was launched in 1938 as The People’s Car, i.e. an automobile that anyone could afford. Over the next decades, Volkswagen managed to build over 21 and a half million units of the Beetle.
Back in 1967, a brand new Beetle could be bought for around $5,000. Today, that same car could be worth over $35,000, given that it is well-preserved and not modified. Units with low mileage can be sold for even more, and the figures are only expected to rise in the coming years.
Porsche Carrera RS: $467,000
Back in the early 1970s, the Porsche Carrera RS powered by an air-cooled 2.7L boxer was the ultimate version of the Porsche 911. The Renn Sport (or RS for short) moniker was more than just a way to boost sales. The Carrera RS produced 210 horses and featured an array of modifications, such as a track-ready suspension system.
The car was such a success that the initial 500-unit production run was extended to 1580 examples in total. Today, the Carrera RS is one of the most sought-after roadgoing Porsches of the 20th century.
Toyota FJ40: $100,000
The modern Toyota Land Cruiser exists purely because of the original FJ40. This spartan off-roader featured a wheelbase much shorter than its American competitors, as well as exceptional performance on any surface. The car debuted for the 1960 model year, and production lasted until the 1980s in the US.
The FJ40’s $3,000 sticker price seems unbelievable today. That amount is the equivalent of $23,000 today, which is still a great deal considering the capabilities of the FJ40. Today, you would have to spend as much as $100,000 for a well-maintained unit.
The Mini is, without a doubt, the most iconic British car of all time. It’s been around ever since 1959 and is still produced today, although in a slightly different form and by BMW as opposed to a British automaker. The first Mini packed a fuel-efficient 33-horsepower motor that could manage 40 miles per gallon. It also featured a lot more interior space than you would expect!
In 1959, the Mini would cost only 500 pounds, or USD $14,400 adjusted for inflation. Today, the same car in pristine condition can easily sell for $25,000.
Donald Nelson Frey was responsible for the birth of the original Ford Mustang, as well as the iconic Bronco. This capable compact SUV first debuted for the 1966 model year in SUV, pickup, and roadster body styles. It was sold at $2,200, which is the equivalent of $17,500 today.
Today, a well-maintained 1966 Bronco is worth more than a brand new one from 2021. Car collectors should prepare at least $40,000 for units in decent condition, while the Concours-ready ones can sell for as much as $80,000.
GMC Syclone: $30,000
The Syclone is a souped-up, high-performance pickup truck based on the GMC Sonoma. It debuted for the 1991 model year and was discontinued just a year later. GM sold below 3,000 units in total, all of which came powered by a 4.3L turbocharged V6 under the hood. At the time of its debut, the Syclone was the quickest pickup truck of all time. It could reach 60mph in just 4.3 seconds.
The Syclone was quickly forgotten and its prices plummeted. Today, however, they are back on the rise. Expect to pay at least $30,000 for a Syclone in good condition.
Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z: $10,000
The third-gen Camaro was surprisingly overlooked by car collectors around the world. The decked-out IROC-Z debuted for the 1985 model year as the most powerful variant of the car, its name paid homage to the International Race of Champions sponsored by Chevrolet.
Under the hood, the IROC-Z packed a 245-horsepower 350-cubic inch V8 motor. Its value dropped to as little as $3,000 over the years. Today, the prices are skyrocketing to well above $7,000. Well-maintained units with low mileage could easily sell for above $10,000.
Dodge Viper RT-10: $40,000
Did you know that Carroll Shelby was responsible for the birth of the Dodge Viper? Some petrolheads even go as far as to consider the Viper as the modern Shelby Cobra. The car initially debuted for the 1992 model year, powered by a monstrous 400-horsepower V10 under the hood.
Back in ’92, a brand new Viper RT-10 would cost around $5,000. Today, the prices are starting to surge. Now is the perfect chance to get one, before the value continues to skyrocket! Expect to pay around $40,000 for a unit in fair condition.
Ford Mustang GT (Fox-body): $8,000
The mighty Ford Mustang rose to fame once again in the 1980s. The Mustang II, which was the direct successor of the original pony car, proved to be a massive failure in terms of both sales figures as well as the performance it offered. Ford replaced the miserable second-gen with the Foxbody for the 1979 model year.
In the 1980s, a brand new V8-powered Mustang GT would cost you a little more than $8,000, or $21,700 adjusted for inflation. Mustang made over 2.6 million Fox-body Mustangs in total, thus the value dipped in the next years. It’s steadily coming back up, though. Expect to pay above $8,000 for a well-preserved unit.
Chevrolet Impala SS: $22,495
The Impala SS is a high-performance 4-door sedan from the 1990s that’s incredibly underrated. The car debuted for the 1992 model year. It was never a popular choice among buyers, despite a 260-horsepower V8 under the hood that sent the Impala SS to 60mph in under 7 seconds.
If you ever come across one of these, it’s definitely worth buying! Car buyers can expect to spend at least $20,000 for a well-preserved unit. Although it’s lower than the original $22,495 sticker price, it is likely to skyrocket further in the coming years.
2001 Ferrari 550 Gt1 Prodrive – $4,290,000
The most expensive car sold by far at the Monterey Car Week 2020 (replacement) auctions was a 2001 Ferrari 550 Gt1 Prodrive. It received an estimate of $4,290,000 and set the world record for the most-expensive car ever sold at an online auction.
This vehicle was the second of only 12 built by Prodrive for Care Racing Development. It was also the winner of the 2004 24 Hours of Spa and the 2004 FIA GT Championship.
King Leopold 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports – $12,681,550
At the Gooding London 2020 auction, the King Leopold 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports sold for an incredible amount of $12,681,550, making it the most valuable car at the auction.
This also made it the second Bugatti to have ever sold for over $10 million at a public auction. This particular Bugatti is known to have been driven by some of the most accomplished drivers of its time and placed 3rd at the Monaco Grand Prix.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder – $17,160,000
This 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder was auctioned off by Gooding & Company, being originally owned by the Italian architect and designer, Gianfranco Frattini. Since its original ownership, the car only traded hands twice before being sold in 2016.
This vehicle was also featured in the 1963 film Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, and is one of the 37 examples to have sport factory headlight covers.
1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale Bertone – $16,500,000
The 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale Bertone has bodywork from Carrozzeria Bertone that was supposedly inspired by the Prancing Horse “Sharknose” race cars of a different era.
Making the car worth even more is that it was the personal car of Nuccio Bertone, who owned the coachbuilding company after it was passed down to him by his father, Giovanni Bertone. This vehicle has won numerous prestigious awards as well as show trophies. This is not a car for the faint of heart.
Three Alfa Romeo Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica Concept Cars – $14,840,000
In 2020, the most expensive car lot was home to three Alfa Romeo Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica Concept Cars, which were the 1953 BAT5, 1954 BAT7, and 1955 BAT9. They were sold as a single lot for $14,840,000 by RM Sotheby’s at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York.
The three cars were never shown together and the cosigner bought the cars individually. The first time they were ever seen together was at Pebble Beach, California in 1989.
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Competizione – $18,150,000
This is another example of a Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder. However, this one, in particular, is different for numerous reasons. One of the biggest being that it’s a Competizione, meaning that it has upgraded disc brakes and suspension on top of a specialized motor.
Furthermore, it has covered headlights and is only one of nine LWB California Spiders to have lightweight alloy bodywork. It was given the Platinum Award and Competizione Cup Winner at the 2011 Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach to top it all off.
1995 McLaren F1 – $15,620,000
The 1995 McLaren F1 was a concept first drawn up in the 1980s with the goal being to build a road car that borrowed heavily from Formula One racing technology. The car has an astonishing 5,000 individual components and has been described as having the greatest-designed modern engine of all time.
The car also comes with four-wheel independent suspension and drilled and vented Brembo disc brakes. In 2017, it sold for more than $15 million.
1935 Duesenberg SSJ – $22,000,000
Incredibly, there were only two Duesenberg SSJs ever built. This particular one that was sold actually belonged to the Hollywood legend Gary Cooper and became the most expensive American car ever sold when it was bought in July at Pebble Beach for a whopping $22 million.
Considered to be one of the most powerful cars of its time, it had a top speed of 140 mph and was a popular model for the rich and famous for riding in.
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante – $10,447,150
At the Gooding London 2020 sale, this rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S sold for almost $11 million! This made it the third Bugatti ever to reach over $10 million in the auction and set a new record for any Type 57 model.
The initial owner of this car was the famed British racing driver and known Bugatti enthusiast Earl How. This particular version is one of 17 fitted with the Alante coachwork. This car is no toy.
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 – $29,600,000
Quite the stylish car, this 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Grand Prix car was driven by the renowned five-time Formula One world champion Juan Manuel Fangio.
On top of the car’s rarity, this helped to increase the price drastically when it was finally sold at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013. The vehicle was considered to be in authentic condition with the typical marks and blemishes as if it had just been raced on the track.
1962 Shelby 260 Cobra – $14,300,000
The Shelby Cobra is an American-British sports car with a Ford V8 engine. They have been produced and sold periodically in both countries since 1962 in various models.
However, this car is special for a reason. Known as CSX 2000, this was the very first Shelby Cobra ever built, establishing the Shelby legacy. It was finally auctioned off in 2016 from the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust. This is the Shelby of all Shelby Vehicles.
1956 Aston Martin DBR1 – $22,550,000
Selling for an astonishing $22.5 million at Monterey Car Week in 2017, this 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 is the most expensive British car ever sold at auction.
Not only is it incredibly stylish and rare, but was also the first in a run of five DBR1s that saw great success on the tracks in the 1959 Nürburgring 1000 with Sir Stirling Moss behind the wheel of this speedy vehicle. This car definitely isn’t a toy.
1994 McLaren F1 LM – $19,800,000
The McLaren F1 LM is built for the racetrack and is built as an homage to the five McLaren F1 GTRs that competed and finished the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans in first, third, fourth, and thirteenth.
The car is so impressive, that in order for it to be street legal, some modifications would have to be made. This car was so sought after at the Monterey, California auction, that it almost was sold for more than $20 million!
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider By Touring – $19.8 Million
In 2016, this 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring sold for $19,800,000 at Sotheby’s Monterey. It is the most expensive pre-World War II car ever sold and is also the most expensive Alfa Romeos ever sold at public auction, and the eighth highest-price ever paid at an auction.
The only other pre-World War II car that ever sold for more than $10 million at auction was a 1931 Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase Coupe.
1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato – $15,000,000
The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato is a sports car designed by Zagato and made between 1960 and 1963. It was introduced to the public in 1960 at the London Motor Show, and although the factory planned on producing 25 of the vehicles, demand wasn’t as anticipated, and only 20 were released.
This car was the only delivered new to Australia where it saw success on the tracks in the 1960s. At auction in 2015, was the first time a Zagato was on the block in some time.
1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster – $12,800,000
The Mercedes-Benz 540K is a product of Germany that was built from 1936 to 1940. It was available as both a two-and-four seat cabriolet, a four-seat coupe, or a seven-seat limousine, making it one of the largest cars of its time.
In 2012, the car was brought in at the Pebble Beach auctions by a Prussian Baroness, whose family kept it through World War II, and later had it shipped to the United States.
1931 Duesenberg Model J – $11,500,000
The Duesenberg Model J is a luxury automobile that was designed and built to be one of the most powerful and luxurious cars in the world at the time. The vehicle was first unveiled in 1928, just one year before the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression.
This put a halt on the production. The car was available with a supercharger after 1932 until production of the car fully stopped in 1937. When the car was sold, it had just 12,000 miles on it.
1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rossa Spider – $11,200,00
The Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rossa Spider was built by Ferrari to win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and was the last Ferrari racing sports car with a front-mounted engine and the last series in the Testa Rossas.
The “I” in the name indicates that it has an independent rear suspension. This car was sold in 2007, and was once driven by Phil Hill and Oliver Glendebien in 1962, who won Le Mans.
1968 Ford GT40 – $12,200,000
In 2012, just one of three lightweight Ford GT40 race cars ever built was driven up at the auction block in Monterey, California. This particular vehicle was special for several reasons, one of them being that it had been driven by drivers such as Jacky Ickx and Mike Hailwood.
During its time on the track, the car won Spa and Monza and was also featured in the Steve McQueen racing film, Le Mans in 1971.
1953 Jaguar C-type Works Lightweight – $13,900,000
The Jaguar C-Type is a racing sports car that was built by Jaguar from 1951 to 1953 with the “C” standing for competition.
It was designed by Jaguar’s Chief Engineer William Heynes with the body also being helped by William Heynes, Bob Knight, and later Malcolm Sayer. A total of 53 were built, with 43 of them being sold to private owners, mostly in the United States. This specific car was the second of just three lightweight factory racers built.