The most expensive cars sold at public auction in 2022 were a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, a 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider, and an ex-Michael Schumacher Ferrari F1 racer.
The list of the ten most expensive cars sold at public auction in 2022 is led by a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé — the most valuable car in the world. It is followed by a 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider that was raced by amongst others Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, and Carroll Shelby. The third most expensive car in 2022 is the 2003 Ferrari F1 racing car in which Michael Schumacher secured his sixth world championship and by far the most expensive modern Formula 1 racer ever. The fourth priciest car at auction in 2022 is a prewar classic: a 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe — the most expensive French car ever. Half of the ten most expensive cars sold in 2022 were classic mid-century Ferraris with the Monterey Motoring Week auctions in California, USA, still the likeliest venues to sell the most valuable cars in the world.
List of the Top Ten Most Expensive Cars Sold at Auction in 2022
The 10 highest results achieved for cars sold at public auction in 2022 were:
|Year||Car||Price ($)||Auction House||Auction|
|1||1955||Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe||143,000,000||RM Sotheby’s||Stuttgart|
|2||1955||Ferrari 410 Sport Spider||22,005,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey|
|3||2003||Ferrari F2003-GA F1 racing car||14,880,000||RM Sotheby’s||Geneva|
|4||1937||Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe||13,425,000||Gooding||Amelia Island|
|5||1937||Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante||10,345,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach|
|6||1937||Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Roadster||9,905,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey|
|7||1924||Hispano-Suiza H6C Tulipwood Torpedo||9,245,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey|
|8||1960||Ferrari 250 GT SW Berlinetta Competizione||9,066,600||Gooding||London|
|9||1957||Ferrari 500 TRC Spider||7,815,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey|
|=10||1954||Ferrari 375 America Vignale Cabriolet||7,595,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey|
|=10||1966||Ferrari 275 GTB/C||7,595,000||RM Sotheby’s||Monterey|
Note: As on 9 Nov 2022 but no further car is likely to make it onto this list at remaining auctions in 2022. Include the auction premium. May include post-hammer deals and charity lots.
Most Expensive Cars of 2022 Sold at Public Auction
The most expensive cars sold at public auction thus far in 2022 were:
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé
A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé became the most valuable car in the world when it sold for a world record €135 million ($143 million) at a special auction arranged by RM Sotheby’s for the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. It increased the record for the most expensive car ever by over $90 million with the opening bid of €50 million more than the highest price ever paid for a car at auction.
The record 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé was one of two prototypes developed for the works racing program that was canceled. It was used as a company car by Rudolf Uhlenhaut, chief engineer of the racing department. Both 300 SLRs were part of the Mercedes-Benz Museum collection and its sale to a private owner was rather unexpected.
1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider
The 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider that sold for $22,005,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2022 classic car auction was also by far the most expensive car sold during any of the 2022 Monterey Week sales. It became the 15th car ever to sell for more than $20 million at a public auction (nominal).
The 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider was raced in period by amongst others Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, and Carroll Shelby. It was entered into 40 races, won 11, and achieved podium finishes 19 times. The car retained the matching-numbers engine, chassis, and body, and is fitted with the original fuel tank inscribed by Carroll Shelby “Mr. Ferrari told me that this was the best Ferrari he ever built”. Shelby won more races in this Ferrari than in any other car.
2003 Ferrari F2003-GA F1 Racing Car
The ex-Michael Schumacher 2003 Ferrari F2003-GA F1 racing car, chassis no. 229 sold for a record CHF 14,630,000 (US$ 14,880,000) at Sotheby’s Geneva 2022 Luxury Week sale making it by far the most valuable Formula One car of the modern era ever sold in a public auction. The previous record was held by another ex-Michael Schumacher Ferrari, an F2001 which sold for $7,504,000 in a similar fashion at Sotheby’s evening contemporary art sale in New York on 16 November 2017.
During Schumacher’s title-winning 2003 Formula One season, he secured five victories in chassis #229: the Grand Prix in Spain, Austria, Canada, Italy, and the United States. Furthermore, the car secured three pole positions, three fastest laps, and a further two podium finishes in Monaco and France. This astonishing race record made chassis #229 instrumental in securing the sixth World Championship for Michael Schumacher and the fifth consecutive constructor’s title for Ferrari.
1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe
A magnificent 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe sold for $13,425,000 as the most expensive car in the Gooding Amelia Island 2022 sale and the highest result of any car sold at the Amelia Island 2022 classic car auction. It set the new Talbot-Lago marque record and is also the most expensive French car ever sold (in nominal terms). This Talbot-Lago is the only French marque other than Bugatti to have achieved results in excess of $10 million at auction.
Figoni et Falaschi produced only a limited number of Goutte d’Eau bodies of which this car is the only example of two built with fully enveloping, skirted front fenders to have maintained its original bodywork.
1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante
A 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante sold for $10,345,000 as the most expensive car in the Gooding Pebble Beach 2022 classic car sale and the second most expensive car at all auctions during Monterey Week 2022. It was the fourth Bugatti to achieve over ten million dollars — all were offered in Gooding auctions.
Bugatti built only 42 examples of the Type 57S chassis of which only 17 were fitted with Atalante coachwork. This example early on was returned to Molsheim to receive a Roots-type supercharger to become one of the very first 57SCs.
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Roadster
The top Mercedes-Benz result at RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2022 was $9,905,000 paid for a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Roadster — the second highest price ever paid for a regular Mercedes-Benz roadgoing car (but of course quite a but cheaper than the most expensive Mercedes-Benz ever).
This 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster was a highly desired long-tail, covered-spare variant, a low-mileage example presented in incredibly original condition. Cosmetically refinished in the 1950s but never truly restored and retaining an astonishing degree of originality throughout, this 540 K Special Roadster is the purest and most desired of all Special Roadsters. In this remarkably Monterey auction, two 500 Ks and six 540 Ks were sold in the same auction.
1924 Hispano-Suiza H6C Tulipwood Torpedo
The wood-bodied 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6C Tulipwood Torpedo sold for $9,245,000 to set a new marque record at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2022 sale. The car, commissioned by aperitif heir and gentleman racer André Dubonnet for the 1924 Targa Florio, was the sole example produced. It is undoubtedly the most famous Hispano-Suiza in the world and has been part of several famed private collections.
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione
A yellow 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione sold for a strong £7,762,500 (US $8,974,000) as the top result in the Gooding London 2022 auction. The competition-proven variant featured lightweight aluminum coachwork by Scaglietti wearing a vivid and historically significant livery. It has a well-documented period race history, including its significant presence at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Most Expensive Car Sold for Charity in 2022
2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 DIN001
The top result in the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2022 sale was $3,600,000 paid for the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 DIN001 that was sold for charity.
The first retail production 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 was auctioned to benefit Operation Homefront, the US national nonprofit celebrating 20 years of building strong, stable, and secure military families.
Million-Dollar-Plus Cars Sold at Public Auctions in 2022
Thus far in 2022, at least* 289 cars were sold at public auctions for over a million dollars. (*Definitions vary, results include auction premium, charity lots, and post-hammer deals announced in first published results.)
- January 39 — 13 at Kissimmee (13 – Mecum), 26 at Scottsdale / Arizona (12 at RM Sotheby’s, 12 at Barrett-Jackson, 2 at Worldwide).
- February 12 — 12 at Paris (9 at RM Sotheby’s, 3 at Bonhams)
- March 48: 34 at Amelia Island (2 at Bonhams, 20 Gooding, 12 RM Sotheby’s), 6 at Paris (6 at Artcurial), 4 at Glendale (4 at Mecum), 1 at Fort Lauderdale (1 at RM Sotheby’s), 3 at Palm Beach (3 Barrett-Jackson)
- May 23: 14 at Monaco (5 at Bonhams, 9 at RM Sotheby’s), 1 at Stuttgart (RM Sotheby’s), 8 at Indianapolis (8 at Mecum Indy)
- July 4: 1 at Las Vegas (1 at Barrett-Jackson), 1 at Gstaad (Bonhams), 2 at Le Mans (Artcurial)
- August 116: 116 at Monterey (11 at Bonhams, at 15 Broad Arrow, 28 at Gooding, 12 at Mecum, 50 at RM Sotheby’s).
- September 15: 3 at St Moritz (RM Sotheby’s), 1 at Goodwood Revival (Bonhams), 7 at London (Gooding), 2 at Gene Ponder / Texas (RM Sotheby’s), 2 at Audrain (Bonhams).
- October 12: 7 at Zoute (Bonhams), 1 at Paris (Artcurial), 1 at Houston (Barrett-Jackson), 3 at Gloversville NY (Broad Arrow)
- November 20: 13 at London (RM Sotheby’s), 1 at Geneva (Sotheby’s), 6 at Munich (RM Sotheby’s)
In the battle of the auction houses:
- 119 – RM Sotheby’s
- 55 – Gooding & Co
- 37 – Mecum
- 32 – Bonhams
- 18 — Broad Arrow
- 9 – Artcurial
- 17 – Barrett-Jackson
- 2 – Worldwide Auctioneers
The list takes the published results of the following auctions into consideration:
- January: Kissimmee (Mecum), Scottsdale / Arizona (Barrett-Jackson, Bonhams, Gooding Online, RM Sotheby’s, Worldwide).
- February: Paris (RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams).
- March: Amelia Island (Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s), Paris (Artcurial), Glendale (Mecum), Fort Lauderdale (RM Sotheby’s), Fangio’s 300 SL Roadster (RM Sotheby’s sealed-bid), Auburn (Worldwide).
- April: Houston (Mecum), Goodwood Members (Bonhams), Palm Beach (Barrett-Jackson).
- May: Monaco (Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s), Stuttgart (RM Sotheby’s), Indianapolis (Mecum Indy).
- June: Tulsa (Mecum), Goodwood Festival of Speed (Bonhams), Las Vegas (Barrett-Jackson).
- July: Gstaad (Bonhams), Le Mans Classic (Artcurial), Orlando (Mecum), Harrisburg (Mecum).
- August: Monterey Car Week (RM Sotheby’s Monterey, Gooding Pebble Beach, Mecum Monterey, Bonhams Quail Lodge, Broad Arrow Monterey).
- September: Dallas (Mecum), London (Gooding), Beaulieu (Bonhams), Gstaad (RM Sotheby’s), Bonhams (Goodwood Revival), Gene Ponder / Texas (RM Sotheby’s), Audrain (Bonhams), Fountain City (Mecum).
- October: Zoute (Bonhams), Paris (Artcurial), Chicago (Mecum), Chattanooga (Mecum), Barrett-Jackson (Houston), Hershey (RM Sotheby’s), Newman/Haas Racing (RM Sotheby’s).
- November: London-Brighton (Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s), Geneva (Sotheby’s), Munich (RM Sotheby’s), Las Vegas (Mecum), Milan (Bonhams)
- December: Kansas (Mecum)
The next major classic car auctions include:
- December: Miami (RM Sotheby’s), London (Bonhams)
- January 2023: Kissimmee (Mecum), Scottsdale / Arizona (Barrett-Jackson, Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s)
- February 2023: Paris (Artcurial, Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s)