Most expensive cars sold at auction revealed – from 1937 £10m French ‘rolling sculpture’ to star of Steve McQueen film

Most expensive cars sold at auction revealed – from 1937 £10m French ‘rolling sculpture’ to star of Steve McQueen film

A LIST of the most expensive cars ever sold at auction has been revealed.

The impressive record includes 1937 £10 million French “rolling sculpture” and the film star motor from Steve McQueen’s film Le Mans.

Most expensive cars sold at auction revealed – from 1937 £10m French ‘rolling sculpture’ to star of Steve McQueen film
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A 1937 Talbot-Lago T150 SS has become the most valuable French car sold at auction[/caption]

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An attendee drives in a 1969 Porsche AG 917k race vehicle, formerly driven by actor Steve McQueen in the movie “Le Mans”[/caption]

Alamy

A 1955 Mercedes-Benz, one of only two such versions in existence, was auctioned off for a whopping £114 million[/caption]

The classic car market is a sought-after place by the rich and famous of the world who are looking to invest their cash.

These rare and highly-desirable vehicles have been sold for staggering prices at auction houses.

1960 Ferrari 250GT SWB

When renowned Ferrari British collector Richard Colton passed away in 2015, he wished for his beloved car to be donated to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The prised motor was sold for over £6.6 million to raise funds for a new lifeboat which was named after the collector and his late wife Caroline.

The red 250 Ferrari was one of just 167 made and has been described by experts as “one of the most beautiful cars in the world”.

1957 Jaguar XKSS

The Jaguar D-type racing cars were designed specifically to win the Le Mans 24-hour race.

But following the 1955 Le Mans disaster – which killed 84 including one driver and injured 121 – Jaguar began to pull out from endurance racing.

With many D-types remaining, the British company decided to convert them into road-going models and shipped them to the US.

The fire in 1957 destroyed nine cars, leaving only 16 to be sold at the time.

One of the magnificent restored models was auctioned off for £10.4 million in 2023.

1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato M

A classic Aston Martin has been sold for £10.1 million in 2018 which made it the most valuable British car ever bought at an European auction.

Only one of three of its kind, this rare model was driven by British Formula One legend Jim Clark.

The two-times F1 world champion drove the car during the RAC Tourist Trophy at Goodwood and in the Paris 1,000 Kilometres at Montlhery.

Prior to the auction, the car has been owned by the same family since 1971.

1937 Talbot-Lago T150C SS Goutte d’Eau

After going under hammer for an impressive £10.6 million, this “rolling sculpture” has become the most valuable French car ever sold at auction and the most expensive Talbot-Lago in existence.

This was the first time the motor had been put up for public sale since 1950.

The coupe has four-wheel mechanical brakes, a front independent suspension, a live rear axle, and a Wilson pre-selector gearbox that lets the driver “pre-select” the next gear.

The 87-year-old car – sometimes referred as a “teardrop” – has only appeared at numerous auto shows before.

Porsche 917K

This film star motor had car enthusiasts excited as it was previously featured in the Steve McQueen movie Le Mans.

Check the actual clip from the movie of McQueen driving the car above.

In the film, the famed actor crossed the finish line in this exact model.

According to Motor Authority, the Porsche 917 was one of the company’s most successful race cars, winning both the Can-Am Series in North America and Europe.

The 917 has sold for £11.1 million at an auction in August 2017.

1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

In December 2015, the most collectable Aston Martin ever produced was up for bidding and went under hammer for a whopping £11.3 million.

It was built for competition and only 19 models were built at the time.

The DB4 GT Zagato have a rich history full of victories, including Aston Marton’s win at the Le Mans in 1959.

The competition among collectors for this model is fierce as it’s one of the rarest to be sold.

Car auctions: What to know

Car auctions are a way to sell vehicles based on a bidding system with the highest offer securing the deal.

Auctions aren’t restricted to the rich and famous as thousands of cars are sold at motor auctions in the UK each week.

Here’s what you need to know before attending an auction:

  1. Be prepared: Do your research on the car you would like to purchase beforehand.
  2. Check the car: Cars will usually be lined up before the start, so make sure to arrive early to inspect the desired car thoroughly.
  3. Have a back-up: Be ready for disappointment as your desired motor may be sold to someone else and select a few back-ups.
  4. Be realistic: Realise that there won’t be a “perfect” car at an auction and adjust expectations accordingly.
  5. Set a budget: It is easy to overspend in the heat of the moment during bidding. Ensure you have set a budget and do not go over it.

Key phrases to look out for:

  • ‘No major mechanical faults’ – suggests that there shouldn’t be any issues with the car’s drivetrain, gearbox, suspension, or engine. 
  • ‘Specified faults’ – the auctioneer will read out specific faults.
  • ‘Sold as seen’ – the vehicle is sold with any and all problems it may have. The auction company will rarely entertain complaints regarding the mechanical or cosmetic condition of these vehicles after sale.
  • ‘Sold with a warranted mileage’ – The car is being offered based on the report, which confirms the mileage through an independent check.

2003 Ferrari F2003-GA

Driven by the Formula One legend Michael Schumacher in 2003, this very car had won him his sixth World Championship title.

It is also the third most valuable Formula One car ever sold.

The vehicle achieved seven victories, five pole positions, and five fastest laps prior to being superseded in 2004 by the almost identical F2004.

The legendary car has been sold for £11.8 million in November 2022.

1995 Mclaren F1

Made by British car manufacturer, this sports car was sold for £12.4 million in 2017.

The F1 was one of just 64 road models produced in 1995.

With the driver’s seat positioned in the middle, the car boasts a number of unique designs and technologies.

It is lighter and more streamlined than many contemporary sports cars.

This arrangement also improves driver visibility over traditional seating arrangements.

2013 Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 W04

Sold for £15 million in 2023, this car has been driven by Lewis Hamilton in 14 of the 19 races in 2013 season.

Although this model doesn’t bear any world champion winning titles, the status of Hamilton has carried its prestige.

It did however bring Hamilton a win at 2013 season’s Hungarian Grand Prix and third-place finishes in Malaysia, China and Belgium.

It has become the second most valuable F1 car ever.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe

A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 went under hammer at an auction for an eye-watering £114.4 million.

It is the most expensive car ever sold in history and one of the two coupes made by Mercedes.

Both cars have remained under ownership of Mercedes, which made this sale a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The horrifying event involving an open-top 300 SLR racer at the 1955 Le Mans inspired the creation of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe.

These vehicles were practically unstoppable until the tragic incident that resulted in driver Pierre Levegh’s death.

The Uhlenhaut coupe had to comply with sports car racing regulations and remained road legal.

Getty – Contributor

Ferrari 250GT SWB was sold for £6.6 million in 2015 to raise money for life-boat[/caption]

RM Sotheby’s

1957 Jaguar XKSS is one of the 16 of its kind and has sold for £10.4 million in 2023[/caption]

Alamy

A 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato during the Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration race[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

World Formula One champion Michael Schumacher of Germany tries out the brand-new Ferrari F2003-GA model[/caption]

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A 1995 McLaren F1 supercar on display during the Gooding and Company auction[/caption]

The Mega Agency

A Formula One car driven by Lewis Hamilton sold for £15 million in 2023[/caption]

Reuters

1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT was previously driven by British F1 legend Jim Clark[/caption]

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