A 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster sold for $9,900,000 by RM Sotheby’s leads the list of the most-expensive cars sold at public auction in 2016. After the January classic and collector car sales during the annual Scottsdale week in Arizona and the Kissimmee auction in Florida, an eclectic collection of marques makes up the list of the ten most-expensive cars sold at public auction in 2016. Although the list is led by a Mercedes-Benz, Ferraris are the most-common brand amongst the ten most-expensive cars in 2016, two Duesenbergs are also on the list and, perhaps more surprising, two Plymouth Hemi Cuda American muscle cars. Although RM Sotheby’s has sold the most-expensive car thus far in 2015, half the cars on the top-ten list were sold by Gooding at Scottsdale 2016.
List of the Top Ten Most-Expensive Cars in 2016 (January)
The ten highest results for cars sold at public auction thus far in 2016 were:
|Year||Car||Price ($)||Auction House||Auction|
|1||1937||Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen||9,900,000||RM Sotheby’s||Arizona|
|2||1950||Ferrari 166 MM /195S Berlinetta Le Mans||6,490,000||Gooding||Scottsdale|
|3||1967||Ferrari 330 GTC Speciale||3,410,000||Gooding||Scottsdale|
|4||1929||Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe by Murphy||3,000,000||RM Sotheby’s||Arizona|
|5||1970||Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible||2,942,500||Mecum||Kissimmee|
|7||1971||Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible||2,530,000||Mecum||Kissimmee|
|8||1929||Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton||2,420,000||Gooding||Scottsdale|
|10||1965||Shelby 427 Competition Cobra||2,255,000||RM Sotheby’s||Arizona|
1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster
The 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster set the new Scottsdale classic car week record when it sold for $9,900,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 auction. It narrowly missed out on becoming only the third Mercedes-Benz to have sold for over $10 million.
The 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen is an original US delivery car with known history. It is one of the earliest 540 Ks made and has the desirable long tail, high door configuration. It is believed to have covered only 10,277 miles since new.
1950 Ferrari 166 MM / 195S Berlinetta
Gooding’s top result at Scottsdale 2016 was $ 6,490,000 for a 1950 Ferrari 166 MM / 195 S Berlinetta Le Mans. This car won the 1950 Giro delle Calabria as an official Ferrari works entry. It was sold to Brigg S Cunningham in 1950 and upgraded by Ferrari to 195S specification. It was the first closed Ferrari competition car delivered to the USA.
1967 Ferrari 330 GTC Speciale
The 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC Speciale set a new model record when it achieved $3,410,000 at the Gooding 2016 Scottsdale auction. Only four of the 330 GTC Speciale cars were ever made with this model originally belonging to Maria Maddalena Da Lisca, a Tuscan heiress and the wife of the pasta maker Piettro Barilla. She enjoyed the car and drove 33,000 km in it in less than two years. A standard Ferrari 330 GTC rarely achieves a fifth of this price.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top
The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe by Murphy sold for $3 million by RM Sotheby’s at Scottsdale 2016 as the most-expensive American car thus far sold this year at public auction. It is one of only six built and has covered only 17,000 miles since new. Although fully restored, the car is remarkably original.
1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible
The Lemon Twist yellow 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible sold for $2,942,500 – the highest result at the 2016 Mecum Kissimmee auction. Only 14 of these convertibles were built in 1970, of which only five were fitted with the A833 4-speed transmission. The car has its original but rebuilt E47 426/425 HP Hemi V-8 engine. The car has covered only 27,500 miles since new and is in a remarkably original condition.
2003 Ferrari Enzo
The 2003 Ferrari Enzo that Gooding sold for $2,860,00 was one of eight Ferraris Gooding offered at Scottsdale 2016 from the Tony Shooshani Collection. This was the third highest result for an Enzo at public auction: RM Sotheby’s sold two for more in 2015: $6,000,000 for the Pope’s Ferrari at Monterey 2015 and $3.3 million in New York for a very low mileage example that belonged to Floyd Mayweather.
1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible
A Sno-White 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible achieved a strong $2,530,000 at the Mecum Kissimmee 2016 auction. This car with its powerful 426/425 HP Hemi V-8 engine was the first of only five automatic convertibles produced in 1971. The car was restored in 2003 by Julius Steuer.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton
The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton that Gooding sold for $2,420,000 at the 2016 Scottsdale auction is the second Duesenberg on the top-ten list. The car was originally owned by John Duval Dodge, son of one of the founders of the Dodge Brothers Company. It is believed to have been the only Duesenberg ever sold new in Detroit.
1995 Ferrari F50
A 1995 Ferrari F50 sold for a model record $2,400,000 at the Gooding 2016 Scottsdale auction. It was the first time a standard F50 has sold for over $2 million at public auction. The car was one of the eight Ferraris Gooding offered from the Tony Shooshani Collection.
1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra
The 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra, chassis CSX3010, that RM Sotheby’s sold for $2,255,000 at the 2016 Arizona sale was one of only 23 Competition Cobra 427s built and the only one to have won championships in two countries. It won the 1968 US SCCA A Production Championship and the 1971 Eastern Canadian Endurance Championship.
Million-Dollar Cars at Public Auctions in 2016
Thus far in 2016, around* 36 cars have been sold at public auction for over a million dollars:
January 2016: 36 – 4 at Kissimmee (Mecum) and 32 at Scottsdale, Arizona (Barrett Jackson, Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s)
In the battle of the auction houses:
The list takes the published results of the following auctions into consideration:
Next Major Classic Car Auctions in 2016:
- February 2016: Paris (Artcurial, Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s)
- March 2016: Amelia Island (Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s)