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Under the hammer: Famous cars sold at auction

Under the hammer: Famous cars sold at auction - News

Ever wondered how much money some of your favourite Classic Cars are being sold for at auction rooms all over the world?

With some of the wealthiest men in the car collecting world spending countless millions on some of the most sought-after automobiles around, you may be surprised by some of the astonishing figures.

Here at, we'll be dissecting some of the most valuable and interesting cars that have been sold at auction, and what this means for the automotive industry.

  • 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

There isn't a better place to start than the most expensive car that's ever been sold at a car auction. On 26th August 2018, a beautiful Ferrari 250 GTO was sold at RM Sotheby's auction room for a staggering $48.4m, which is a full $10m dollars more than the next car on the list, thus smashing the record and looking unlikely to be beaten any time soon.

With just 36 models being produced, the 250 GTO is widely regarded as one of the most rare and beautiful cars ever made. Initially used in racing, the car finished second overall on its debut at the famed 12 Hours of Sebring in 1962.

  • 1995 McLaren F1

The most expensive car sold at auction in 2021 was the classic McLaren F1 from 1995. Going for $20.4m at auction in Pebble Beach, California, the car designed for Le Mans domination remains one of the most elusive supercars ever made, with only 106 models made 27 years ago.

Dubbed "The finest driving machine yet built for the public roads", the McLaren F1 was designed to be the highest performing car ever made. And with a 6.1L V12 motor that churns out a top speed of 240mph, it's no wonder. But the crowning achievement would come at Le Mans in 1995, where the car would take a dominant victory on its debut in front of over 200,000 people.

  • 1931 Bugatti Royale

Back in 1987, the most expensive car sold at auction was an old Bugatti Royale from 1931, going for $9.8m at Christie's auction in London, England. Only seven were made with the intention of selling them to a hyper-luxurious clientele, but during the great depression it became a hard task. And now, with only three left in existence, they've become like gold dust to the motoring collector.

Built with a 12.8L straight-eight engine, and old design concepts of leaf springs and a clutch that was attached to the chassis instead of the engine, the Royale truly was a one-of-a-kind car. Its luxurious nature still oozes to this day – a car that'll never go out of style.

  • 1884 Le Marquise

The oldest car to be sold at auction for a high price was an 1884 Le Marquise, almost 127 years after its original manufacture, in Hershey, Pennsylvania on 7th October 2011.

The car doesn't even use modern fuels, but instead runs on coal, wood, and fire, and can take anything up to 40 minutes to have enough steam to drive.

It even has a top speed of just 38mph, which is a far cry from some of the 200+ mph hypercars of today, showing just how far the industry has come in the last 120 years.

If you've ever wanted to get behind the wheel of a vintage motor at a venue near you in the UK, have a look at our Classic Car Experiences at to live through the nostalgia trip of a lifetime. Book onto a date from our Events Calendar or purchase one of our Gift Vouchers.

27 May 2022

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