30 Cars Guaranteed to Break the Bank
The call of the open road is a powerful one, and if you’ve got the money to burn, there’s no bigger thrill than collecting some of the fastest, priciest and oldest cars in the world. From Ferrari to Ford, and Bugatti to Mercedes-Benz, these sports cars, race cars and roadsters represent the highest level of automobile craftsmanship and design in the world (plus they have the price tags to prove it).
1962 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California SWB
Sports car fans have long loved the stylish and powerful GT Spyder, and in 2012, a buyer at a Sotheby’s auction put a price tag on that love with a winning bid of $8.5 million. The sale, which took place during Monterey Car Week, cemented Ferrari’s status as one of the most highly-coveted sports car manufacturers in the world.
1956 Aston Martin DBR1
This classic race car from legendary British manufacturer Aston Martin is the only car to have won the World Championship and Le Mans in the same year (1959) and remains one of the most iconic racing cars ever. In 2017, it also became the most expensive British car ever sold at auction when it was sold to a private buyer for an astonishing $22.5 million.
Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe
This stylish and stream-lined model was meant to be Bugatti’s ultra-luxurious offering for aristocracy and royalty (hence the name), but its production run from 1927 to 1933 coincided with the height of the Great Depression, and only seven cars were ever made. This model, Kellner, came out of a private collection and was sold by Christie’s in 1987 for a then-record $9.7 million.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
Of all the cars collectors go wild for, there’s something about the sleek race car lines and powerful mechanics of the Ferrari 250 GTO that puts it in a class above the rest. This beauty also came with a legendary racing history, which helped it sell for an eye-popping $48.4 million at auction in 2018.
1964 Ford GT40 Prototype
Seven figure sales are pretty common for high-end European race cars, but not for American ones. This makes winning a $7 million bid on this ultra-rare Ford GT40 even more remarkable. Nicknamed “Blue Oval,” this powerful prototype was the iconic American car manufacturer’s first foray into the high-stakes world of endurance racing.
Icona Vulcano Titanium
Combining top-of-the-line performance features with a sleek titanium exterior, the latest version of the Icona Vulcano from Italian car manufacturer Cecomp is the kind of car you buy when you already have everything else. And it’s high-end design is reflected in the price tag, for this one-of-a kind model will set you back about $2.8 million.
1962 Shelby Cobra CSX2000
Among the ranks of hardcore car collectors, few are as revered as the Shelby Cobra. The result of American car designer Carroll Shelby merging a powerful American engine with a sporty British chassis, the Cobra represented a game-changing sports car design. This 1962 prototype, model number CSX2000, is where it all began, and in 2016, it sold at auction for $13.75 million.
1966 Ford GT40 Mk II
This 1966 Ford GTO Mk II is a genuine piece of racing history. Just two years after building a GTO prototype, Ford gave the GTO Mk II to famed drivers Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson for its Le Mans debut, where it secured an impressive third place win. Nearly half a century later, it entered the record books again with an auction price of $9.7 million.
1965 Shelby Cobra Roadster CSX
It only took a few years for the Shelby Cobra to go from prototype to reality, and this 1965 Cobra Roadster marks a highpoint of American sports car ingenuity. Built to order, and faithfully restored to factory condition around 2012, this roadster came out of a private collection and sold at auction for an impressive $1.595 million.
In 1954, Jaguar introduced the legendary D-Type, which took home wins at Le Mans three years in a row. When they took the car out of production, the extra 16 chassis were labeled under the model XKSS and sold to the public. In 2016, Jaguar re-introduced the XKSS and put nine cars into production with a sticker price of over $1 million.
1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing Coupe
With its distinctive gullwing look and sporty mid-century design, the Mercedes 300SL coupe is highly sought-after. When they do come up for sale, be prepared to spend anywhere from $900,000 to upwards of $1.4 million for one in mint condition. And if you needed any more evidence of this classic car’s credibility, avid car collector Jay Leno reportedly has one in his collection.
Mercedes Benz W196
Ask any fan of Formula 1 racing what their favorite car is, and chances are they’ll reply with the iconic Mercedes Benz W196. Incorporating cutting-edge technology and design, the W196 dominated the 1954 and 1955 racing seasons and commanded a record $30 million when it came up for auction in 2013.
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS
Some cars on this list are valuable simply due to how few were produced. Others are due to who raced them or how many Le Mans they won. But the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS is sought after by collectors for how it combines the smooth drive of a road car with the style and performance of some of Porsche’s most successful race models.
1932 Alfa Romeo Tipo
Held every year in West Sussex, England, the Goodwood Festival of Speed celebrates historic motor racing with a motor hill climb and a highly-anticipated auction. In 2018, one of the centerpiece sales was a single-seater 1932 Alfa Romeo Tipo B that sold to a private buyer for a staggering $6 million.
Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita
Koenigsegg has been a leading manufacturer of high-performance sports cars since 1994, but in 2009, the Swedish company took their work to a new level of luxury with the release of the CCXR Trevita. A base price of $4.8 million makes it one of the most expensive cars in the world.
1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar
Porsche spent years developing the prototype for the winning design of the 959 series, which ended up being one of the German manufacturer’s most successful race models ever. This particular vehicle, which is believed to have its original engine, was auctioned off by Sotheby’s in 2018 for nearly $6 million.
1963 Ferrari 250 GTO
Car collectors typically specialize in one particular model or manufacturer, and for WeatherTech CEO David MacNeil, it’s all about Ferraris. He already owned half a dozen of the high-performance race cars when he shelled out a staggering $70 million for a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO at a private auction in 2018.
1963 Chrysler Turbine Car
Like the 1970 Dodge Hemi R/T convertible, it’s what’s under the hood of the 1963 Chrysler Turbine that makes it so desirable. For a brief period in the mid-1960s, Chrysler moved away from traditional piston engines and developed a turbine engine that required less maintenance and could run on several different types of fuel. Of the 55 models that were made, less than 10 are still left in existence.
1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car
The Bonneville Speedway, part of the majestic Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah, is the setting for many of the world’s land-speed records. It’s also reportedly the inspiration for this classic 1954 concept car from Pontiac, which made two models (bronze and green) that still exist today. The green model sold for $3.3 million when it came up for auction in 2015.
1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
Introduced at the 1960 London car show, the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato is a rare piece of race car history. The original production run was slated at 25 cars, but poor sales led Aston Martin to cease manufacturing at just 20. So, it was no surprise when this sought after Zagato sold for $13.3 million when it went up for auction in July 2018.
This 1954 concept car by Oldsmobile is as priceless as they come. It’s the only remaining model of Oldsmobile’s XP-20 prototype project and marries a Chevrolet Corvette body with a Super 88 V8 engine. Often billed as one of the most influential dream cars of the 1950s, this rare model sold at auction in 2005 for $3.3 million.
Unveiled at the Qatar Motor Show in 2013, the Lykan Hypersport is a peek into the future of high-performance sports cars. The super sleek car is the result of a collaboration between engineers from the Lebanon-based W Motors and Italian engineers, and production was extremely limited. So, if you want one, it’ll cost you about $3.4 million.
1947 Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport
The French car manufacturer Talbot-Lago was synonymous with luxury cars during its heyday in the 1930s and 1940s, and the Grand Sport was their ultra-premium offering. Just 29 were ever built and few survive today, but when a 1947 model came up for auction in 2013, it stunned spectators with a final winning bid of $2.3 million.
1970 Dodge Hemi Coronet R/T Convertible
Some collectors appreciate design changes while others obsess over what’s under the hood. That’s the case with this 1970 Dodge convertible, which is considered to be one of the Holy Grails of American muscle cars (because of its incredibly rare and powerful Hemi V8 engine). If you can find this street-car classic in excellent to mint condition, be prepared to drop around $1 million.
1995 McLaren F1
Every year at Monterey Car Week, there’s one auction that collectors, sellers and industry insiders peg as “the one to watch.” In 2017, that distinction went to Bonham’s, which handled the sale of a 1995 McLaren F1, the first one ever imported to the United States. The final gavel price? A whopping $15.62 million.
1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
Ferraris have always commanded high prices at auction and in private sales, but in recent years, their value has skyrocketed even further. This one-of-a-kind 1957 Testa Rossa racing prototype didn’t disappoint. In 2011, it sold for a staggering $16.3 million at the annual Gooding & Co. Pebble Beach auction in Monterey County, California.
1935 Duesenberg SSJ
As in art, provenance in cars is extremely important. A win or two at Le Mans or a high-profile owner can be worth millions to the right buyer. Which goes a long way to explaining why this 1935 Duesenberg SSJ, not typically the kind of car collectors go after, sold for a jaw-dropping $22 million in 2018. (It used to be owned by none other than actor Gary Cooper).
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring
The Alfa Romeo 8C line, which dates back to the early 1920s, hit its stride in the 1930s with the 2900 series that combined featherweight design with high-powered performance. This 1939 Lungo Spider came out of a private collection and landed at Sotheby’s auction house, where it sold for an astonishing $19.8 million.
Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
There are cars that are hard to find, and then there’s the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, a car so rare that even the head of Alfa Romeo couldn’t begin to estimate it’s worth. (He eventually settled on $10 million). “Stradale” translates to “road-going,” which perfectly describes how the company incorporated the racing influence of the historic Tipo 33 on this street-legal version.
2013 Lamborghini Veneno
For the last 50 years, Lamborghini has had the last word in Italian luxury sports cars. To celebrate their milestone anniversary in 2013, they announced the highly-anticipated release of the limited edition Veneno at the annual Geneva Motor Show. The car wowed attendees with its ultra-high-performance design and eye-popping sticker price of $4.5 million.