2023 (May): The most expensive cars sold at auction thus far in 2023 are a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, a 1972 Ferrari 312 PB works racing team car, and a 2022 Bugatti Chiron Profilée.
The list of the ten most expensive cars sold at public auction thus far in 2023 spans more than a century from the 1912 Simplex to the unique 2022 Bugatti Chiron Profilée. The most expensive cars thus far in 2023 were sold at Amelia Island in Florida, Scottsdale in Arizona, Villa Erba in Italy, and in Paris by Gooding, RM Sotheby’s, Artcurial, and Bonhams.
Top-Ten Lists for: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 & all time.
List of the Top Ten Most Expensive Cars Sold at Auction in 2023
The 10 highest results achieved for cars sold at public auction thus far in 2023:
|Year||Car||Price ($)||Estimate||Price (€)|
|1||1962||Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider||18,045,000||Gooding||Amelia Island|
|2||1972||Ferrari 312 PB||13,033,720||RM Sotheby’s||Villa Erba|
|3||2022||Bugatti Chiron Profilée||10,677,742||RM Sotheby’s||Paris|
|4||1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta||7,128,360||RM Sotheby’s||Villa Erba|
|5||1951||Ferrari 340 America Barchetta Touring Superleggera||6,222,222||Artcurial||Paris|
|6||2010||Pagani Zonda R Revolucion Specification||5,340,000||RM Sotheby’s||Amelia Island|
|7||1995||Ferrari F50||5,065,000||RM Sotheby’s||Amelia Island|
|8||1912||Simplex 50 HP 5 Passenger Torpedo Tourer||4,845,000||Bonhams||Scottsdale|
|9||2003||Ferrari Enzo||4,421,572||RM Sotheby’s||Paris|
|10||1931||Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe by Murphy||4,295,000||RM Sotheby’s||Amelia Island|
Note: Prices include the auction premium. May include post-hammer deals and charity lots if the price was disclosed publicly.
Most Expensive Cars of 2023 Sold at Public Auction
The most expensive cars sold at public auction thus far in 2023 were:
1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
The most expensive car sold in the Gooding Amelia Island 2023 was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider that achieved $18,045,000 — the second-highest result for a California Spider ever but still setting a new Amelia Island auction week record.
This short-wheel-based California Spider is one of only 37 finished with covered headlights and the only one delivered in a color scheme of an aquamarine-hued Azzurro Metallizzato (MM 16240) exterior with Naturale Connolly Vaumol leather upholstery.
1972 Ferarri 312 PB
A 1972 Ferrari 312 PB, chassis 0886, sold for €12,042,500 ($13,033,720) as the most-expensive car at the RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba 2023 Sale in Italy. This Scuderia Ferrari Works car was campaigned by the factory to the landslide win in the 1972 World Sportscar Championship of Makes — the last time Ferrari sports prototypes competed and won the championship.
The 1972 Ferrari 312 PB, chassis 0886, won its debut race — 1972 Buenos Aires 1,000 KM — as well as the 1972 Nürburgring 1,000 KM race. In the same year, it achieved second place at the 1972 12 Hours of Sebring and third at the 1972 Monzo 1,000 KM race.
2022 Bugatti Chiron Profilée
The unique 2022 Bugatti Chiron Profilée sold for €9,792,5000 (US $10,677,74) as the most expensive car in the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2023 classic car auction. This was the highest price ever paid in a public auction for a new car and also set the new Chiron model record. It is the second-most-expensive Bugatti ever in nominal terms and only the fifth Buggati ever to achieve over $10 million at a public auction.
The 2022 Bugatti Chiron Profilée was developed as a less radical interpretation of the Chiron Pur Sport but as production slots for all 500 Bugatti Chirons were already filled, only this one example was ever produced. The Profilée, with a top speed of 380 km/h, integrated aspects of the Pur Sport character, while maintaining the elegance of models like Chiron or Chiron Sport. The Profilée is the last Bugatti to be sold with the iconic W-16 quad-turbo engine and has a European single-type approval.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta
A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta by Scaglietti sold for €6,586,250 ($7,128,360) as the second-highest result at the RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba 2023 classic car auction in Italy.
This 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta was the 62nd of 165 built and was the last SWB built in the 1960 body style. First delivered new to US West Coast Ferrari dealer MCM Modern Classic Motors of Reno, the car later featured in the 1968 film The Love Bug. The SWB was Ferrari Classiche certified in October 2008 and retained its matching-numbers chassis and engine according to factory records.
1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta Touring Superleggera
The 1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta Touring Superleggera sold for €5,706,000 as the most expensive car at the Artcurial Paris Retromobile 2023 classic car auction after a bid of €20 million was insufficient to buy the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM.
The 340 America’s in-period racing history included participating in the Hours of Le Mans 1951, Tourist Trophy 1951 with Mike Hawthorn, 12 Hours of Sebring 1953, and Daytona Speed Week 1954.
2010 Pagani Zonda R ‘Revolución Specification’
A 2010 Pagani Zonda R ‘Revolución Specification’ sold for $5,340,000, as the highest result in the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2023 auction. (The 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider sold after the auction for an undisclosed sum but presumably around $9 million.)
This Pagani Zonda was one of only ten track-focused R versions produced and was upgraded by the factory in 2014 to ‘Revolución Specification’
1995 Ferrari F50
A 1995 Ferrari F50 sold for a very strong $5,065,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2023 classic car auction. It was only the third time an F50 achieved more than $5 million in a public auction.
This Ferrari F50 was the 36th of 349 built. It has driven only 1,342 km (834 miles) since new. It was owned for the first 27 years by a single Hong Kong-based owner.
1912 Simplex 50hp 5 Passenger Torpedo Tourer
A 1912 Simplex 50hp 5 Passenger Torpedo Tourer sold for a sensational $4,845,000 as the top result at the Bonhams Scottsdale 2023 classic car auction and the most expensive car sold during the 2023 Scottsdale auction week.
The result was nearly double the presale estimate making the 1912 Simplex 50hp 5 Passenger Torpedo Tourer the most expensive pre-First World War car ever sold at public auction. It also took the Simplex marque record.
This remarkable car had an equally remarkable first owner — US tennis superstar Eleanora Sears, who received it as a gift from her fiance Harold Vanderbilt (but they never married). She is considered one of the first female motorists in the US, one of the first women to drive a racing car, and the first woman to contest a speeding ticket.
2003 Ferrari Enzo
The 2003 Ferrari Enzo sold for €4,055,000 ($4,421,572) as the second-most-expensive car in the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2023 classic car auction. This Enzo was finished in a rare black over black (Nero) and was fitted from new with large-sized racing seats. This is the second-highest result for an Enzo ever at a public auction. The record holder remains the final of 400 Enzos produced: the 2005 Ferrari Enzo that was donated to Pope John Paul II that sold for $6,050,000 at RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2015.
1931 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Convertible Coupe
A 1931 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Convertible Coupe by Murphy achieved $4,295,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2023 classic car auction. This large Duesenberg Model J retained numbers-matching chassis, firewall, engine, and coachwork.
The Model J was previously owned by Pacific Auto Rentals and featured in several classic Hollywood films. It was also part of such major collections as the Imperial Palace of Las Vegas, Koch, and Oscar Davis.
Million-Dollar-Plus Cars Sold at Public Auctions in 2023
In 2023, at least* 131 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 35 — 13 at Kissimmee (13 – Mecum), 22 at Scottsdale / Arizona (12 – RM Sotheby’s, 6 – Bonhams, 4 – Barrett-Jackson)
- February 28 — 28 at Paris (14 – RM Sotheby’s, 8 – Artcurial, 6 – Bonhams)
- March 45 — 44 at Amelia Island (20 RM Sotheby’s, 15 — Gooding, 8 – Broad Arrow, 1 – Bonhams), 1 at Glendale (Mecum).
- April 3 — 1 at Virginia (1 – Gooding), 2 at Palm Beach (2 – Barrett-Jackson)
- May 20 — 17 at Villa Erba (17 – RM Sotheby’s), 3 at Indianapolis (3 – Mecum)
In the battle of the auction houses:
- 63 – RM Sotheby’s
- 16 – Gooding & Co
- 17 – Mecum
- 13 – Bonhams
- 8 – Artcurial
- 8 — Broad Arrow
- 6 – Barrett-Jackson
The list takes the published results of the following 2023 auctions into consideration:
- January: Kissimmee (Mecum), Scottsdale / Arizona (Barrett-Jackson, Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s)
- February: Paris (RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams, Artcurial)
- March: Amelia Island (Bonhams, Broad Arrows, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s), Glendale (Mecum)
- April: Mark Smith Estate in Lynchburg, Virginia (Gooding), Goodwood Members (Bonhams), Houston (Mecum), Palm Beach (Barrett-Jackson)
- May: Villa Erba (RM Sotheby’s), Indianapolis (Mecum).
The next major classic car auctions in 2023 include:
- June: Greenwich (Bonhams), Bonmont-Geneva (Bonhams), Le Mans (RM Sotheby’s & Artcurial), Tulsa (Mecum).
- July: Goodwood Festival of Speed (Bonhams), Kissimmee (Mecum), Harrisburg (Mecum), Carrera Collection (RM Sotheby’s).
- August: Monterey Week (Bonhams at Quail Lodge, Broad Arrow, Gooding at Pebble Beach, Mecum, RM Sotheby’s).
- September: Goodwood Revival (Bonhams), Dallas (Mecum), Audrain-Newport (Bonhams), New Orleans (Barrett-Jackson).
- October: Indianapolis (Mecum), The Zoute (Bonhams).
- November: Las Vegas (Mecum), London (Bonhams), F1 Abu Dhabi (Bonhams).
- December: Kansas City (Mecum), London (Bonhams).