If you’re looking to start a collection of automobiles and are on the look out for a worthy collectible to add to your collection, you better be ready to fork out some real dough as the most desirable and highly coveted of collectible cars command an insurmountably high price at auction. From a US$48.4 million Ferrari to the the most expensive pre-war car of the century. Here are eight classic cars to add to your collection.
1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 4153 GT
Kicking off a list of most desired classic car to add to a collection with the most expensive car in the world the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 4153 GT. It is one of only 39 examples of the 250 GTO that were built between the year 1962 and 1964. Extremely rare, the vehicle was purchased by American collector David MacNeil for a tear-jerking US$70 million in a private sale in 2018. Besides the present vehicle, the record holder for most expensive car to sell at auction goes to another Ferrari grand tourer, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti, chassis number 3413, which fetched US$48.4 million at RM Sotheby’s 2018 Monetery Car Sale for a jaw-dropping US$48.4 million.
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R, chassis no. 196 010 00006/54
Nicknamed the Silver Arrow for its bullet-like silhouette and speedy acceleration that won against the likes of Maserati and Ferrari in 1954 Grand Prix, making German history when it brought home the country’s first win since 1939. It is famed for its ultra-lightweight frame that weighed only a mere 46kg. It is one only 16 produced, of which only 10 still exists today, but the present model is the only one remaining in private hands. Despite the dents and blemishes from two seasons of intense racing, the model still fetched a significant sum at Bonhams’ The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia in 2013 where it went under the hammer for US$29.6 million.
1956 Aston Martin DBR1
Before its Bond fame, British independent marque Aston Martin was known for both beauty and speed on the track. A case in point is the rare 1956 Aston Martin DBR1, winning nine out of 18 wins throughout its career. It is the most successful race car in Aston Martin history, boasting racing legends like Sir Stirling Moss, Reg Parnell, Roy Salvador and Caroll Shelby among its drivers. Adding to its fame and exclusivity, it is one of only five built with the British compan’y badge fitted on it; which may explain the significant price tag of the model when it was sold at auction at RM Sotheby’s for US$22.5 million in 2017 but not before a seven-minute bidding war ensued.
1935 Duesenberg SSJ
The 1935 Duesenberg SSJ is an American automotive legend produced by the brotherly duo behind the Duesenberg automobiles. Although the manufacturer was only in production between 1913 to 1937, the marque had earned multiple accolades during its time. Part of their impressive range of vehicles was the 1935 SSJ which featured a short-wheeled base and a stronger engine. Only two of these models were produced and delivered to American movie stars Clark Gabel and Gary Cooper, the latter being the present model in question. It wasn’t until 2018 when it found its way to the auction block at Gooding & Company’s 2018 Monterey Car Week did it make modern day history as the most expensive American car ever sold at a total of US$22 million.
1955 Jaguar D-Type
At the birth British luxury manufacturer Jaguar’s 1955 D-Type, there was only one goal in the marque’s mind: Winning the Le Mans 24-Hour tour. It is undeniably one of the most notable racing cars ever made, competing between 1954 and 1959, the 1955 Jaguar D-Type boasts innovation and speed that led to its 1955, 1956, and 1956 wins. The model was kept in pristine condition which might justify its large price tag of US$21.7 million – selling at RM Sotheby’s in 2016.
1995 McLaren F1
British automative manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sportscars and supercars McLaren changed history when it rolled out the world’s first carbon fibre road car, a Formula 1 vehicle – the McLaren MP4 / 1, in 1981. The brand has since been billed for its beautifully sleek, streamlined aesthetics and exhilaratingly quick acceleration, that continues to make headlines. Most recently, in August 2021, a rarely driven 1995 McLaren F1 – coined to be the ultimate road car to beat all supercars – was sold for a mindblowing sum of US$20.5 million at a Gooding & Company auction, making this model the most expensive F1 of all time; and the most expensive vehicle to have sold at auction in 2021. It is one of only 106 models made, and features some very unique design highlights such as a single row of three seats with the driver situated in the middle; and a gold plat3ed heat shield installed within the engine compartment.
Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic
French automobile manufacturer Bugatti was known to conquer the road in acceleration, speed and magnificently beautiful and sleek designs. The marque is famed for its many incredible collectible classics that often stir the crowd in excitement whenever one is presented at auction. The Type 57 in particular, which where produced for only seven years – totaling only 710 models, is so highly coveted that a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic set the world record for most expensive car in the world when it fetched more than US$30 million at a Gooding & Company auction in 2010. The model is so sought after desired that it is said that a collector could spend years searching for their desired year, trim and variant.
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider
An epitome of Italian luxury, the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by the Italian luxury car manufacturer Alfa Romeo is the Italian equivalent of a Bugatti Atlantic. Specifically the present vehicle, coined Immortal 2.9, is one of only seven of its kind that boasts a magnificently restored state after its parts were scattered during WWII. Amazingly, it was restored back to its complete original state by UK 2.9 expert Tony Merrick. In 2016, it was the first Immortal 2.9 offered at public auction. It realised a sum of US$19.8 million at RM Sotehby’s Monetery 2016 Classic Car Sale, making it the most-expensive pre-war car until it was superseded by the 1935 Duesenberg SSJ Le Grande Rodster in 2018 (US$22 million).