Several marques including Mercedes Benz, Bugatti, Alfa Romero, Duesenberg, Ferrari, Ford, and Porsche had cars sold at public auction for between $10 and $12 million. The first car to have sold for more than $10 million at public auction was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider back in 2008.
The $10 to $12 million cars also include the most expensive Mercedes Benz passenger car and the first Porsche and Bugatti to have sold for more than $10 million. The 1968 Ford GT40 Lightweight and 1930 Duesenberg Model J were the first American cars to have sold for more than $10 million at public auction. The 2017 Ferrari LaFerrari is the first 21st-century car to have sold for over $10 million.
Cars Selling for between $10 and $12 Million at Public Auction
The following cars sold at public auction for prices between $10 and $ 12 million:
|Year||$10 – $12 million||Price $||Auction House||Auction||Auction Date|
|1933||Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza||11,990,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2016|
|1936||Mercedes Benz 540K Spezial Roadster||11,770,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2012|
|1964||Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti||11,550,000||RM||Monterey||2014|
|1960||Ferrari 250 GT SWB||11,440,968||H&H||Duxford||2015|
|1960||Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider||11,275,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2012|
|1968||Ford GT40 Lightweight||11,000,000||RM||Monterey||2012|
|1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider||10,894,900||RM||Maranello||2008|
|1959||Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione||10,840,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2021|
|1937||Bugatti Type 57S Atalante||10,447,150||Gooding||London||2020|
|1932||Bugatti Type 55 Roadster||10,400,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2016|
|1937||Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante||10,345,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2022|
|1931||Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase Coupe||10,340,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2011|
|1967||Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti||10,175,000||RM||Monterey||2014|
|1982||Porsche 956||10,120,000||Gooding||Pebble Beach||2015|
|2017||Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta||10,043,000||RM Sotheby’s||Maranello||2017|
Note: The list takes only cars into consideration that have sold at standard public auctions. It also uses only nominal prices and exchange rates at the time of sale.
These cars are the cheapest of the really expensive cars. See also: The Most-Expensive Cars of All Time – $10 Million Plus for a full listing of cars selling for more than $10 million at public auctions.
1936 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza
A 1936 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza achieved $11,990,000 at the Gooding Pebble Beach 2016, as the second highest result ever for an Alfa Romeo at public auction. The marque record was set only the day previously at $19,800,000 for a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider. This Alfa Romeo was extensively raced during the 1930s and 1940s but retained its original Brianza coachwork. It won the 1947 Italian Sports Car Championship when raced by the Balestrero Team.
1936 Mercedes Benz 540K Spezial Roadster
The 1936 Mercedes Benz 540K Spezial Roadster sold for $11,770,000 by Gooding at Pebble Beach was the most-expensive car sold at auction in 2012. It was also the first Mercedes Benz car sold for more than $10 million and was the most-expensive Mercedes Benz and German car sold at auction until the 1954 Mercedes Benz W196R Formula 1 car increased the record to near $30 million. (Since ballooned to $143 million for the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé sold in 2022.)
This 1936 Mercedes Benz 540K Spezial Roadster remains the most-expensive road-going car with a three-pointed star. Remarkably, it had only three previous owners before the 2012 auction.
The previous record for a Mercedes Benz was $9,680,000 paid for a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540K Spezial Roadster in 2011 at the RM Auctions Monterey sale.
1964 Ferrari 250 LM
In contrast to the more expensive 250 LMs, this 1964 Ferrari 250 LM was never raced in period. This contributes to its good overall condition but it lacks the historic panache that comes with a competition history.
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB
The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB selling for $11,440,968 by H&H in Duxford, UK, in 2015 is in more than one way a surprise in this list. It is the most-expensive 250 GT Berlinetta without a racing pedigree and is also by far the most-expensive car ever sold by the British auction house H & H.
The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB was the second of only nine right-hand drive 250 GT SWB cars imported into the UK. The car had a single owner for the past four decades and is in maintained but unrestored condition with some cosmetic and technical modifications. However, it is a matching numbers example that could be restored back to its original configuration.
1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider
The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider that Gooding sold for $11,275,000 at the 2012 Pebble Beach sale is the only long-wheelbase California Spider that had achieved more than $10 million at public auction.
This 1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider was one of only nine produced with an alloy body by Scaglietti. It was delivered with competition specification. It was the 1960 Chicago Motor Show Car and was part of the Sherman Wolf Collection.
1968 Ford GT40 Lightweight
The 1968 Ford GT40 Lightweight that achieved $11,000,000 at the RM Auctions Monterey 2012 sale was the most-expensive American car ever sold at public auction at the time of sale. The record was only increased to $13,750,000 by the 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra sold at Monterey 2016.
This 1968 Ford GT40 Lightweight won its debut race at Spa driven by Jacky Ickx and Dick Thompson. It was later used as a camera car for the Steve McQueen “Le Mans“ movie.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
Four 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spiders have sold for more than $10 million at public auction but chassis 2377GT, the 13th of 56 built, was the first car ever to have sold for more than $10 million. Its second owner was the film star James Coburn.
When this 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider achieved €7,040,000 ($10,894,900) at the RM Auctions Maranello sale in 2008, it set a new world record for the most-expensive car in the world. It took the record from the 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe that Christie’s sold more than two decades earlier in 1987 for $9,800,000 (currently over $20 million in adjusted prices).
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione
A rare 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione in Italian flag livery sold for $10,840,000 as the second most expensive car sold at Gooding Pebble Beach 2021 and of all the Monterey Car Week 2021 sales.
Between 1957 and 1962, Ferrari built just 106 California Spiders: 50 examples of the original long-wheelbase (LWB) model, and 56 of the later short-wheelbase (SWB) variant. Further, of the 50 LWB California Spiders built, only about 10 were prepared new from the factory with competition features.
This Competizione version with its distinct Italian flag livery was one of very few originally delivered in Europe and accounted for most of the LWB California Spider in-period racing experience in Europe.
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante
The rare and extremely desirable, 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante sold for $10,447,150 at the Gooding London 2020 sale, as only the third Bugatti to ever have achieved more than $10 million at auction. It set a new model record for any Type 57 version while a new Bugatti marque record was set at $12.7 million in the same sale.
This rich, well-documented 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante was delivered new to famed British racing driver and Bugatti enthusiast Earl Howe. It is one of only 17 fitted with Jean Bugatti’s sensational Atalante coachwork.
1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
A 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster sold for $10,400,000 at Gooding Pebble Beach 2016, at the time of sale the most-expensive French car and most-expensive Bugatti ever sold at public auction. In 1987, $9.8 million was paid for the 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe – more than $20 million in current money.
This 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster competed in the 1932 Mille Miglia race driven by Achille Varzi and may have been used as personal car by Jean Bugatti.
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. 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.
1931 Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase Coupe
The 1931 Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase Coupe that sold for $10,340,000 at the Gooding 2011 Pebble Beach sale was the first American car ever to have achieved over $10 million. Only the 1968 Ford GT40 Lightweight, 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra, and 1935 Duesenberg SSJ have since sold for more. It is also the oldest car to have broken the $10 million barrier.
The 1931 Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase Coupe is an early Frank Herseay masterpiece. This one-off with coachwork by Walter M Murphy was built to the specifications demanded by its original owner Captain George Whittel Jr. Many consider it the most elegant American automobile ever made. It was the second most-expensive car sold in 2011.
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4
A 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti sold for $10,175,000 at the RM Auctions 2014 Monterey sale – around three to four times more than could be expected for a normal 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4. The magic connection for chassis 10621 was having Steve McQueen as its original owner,
McQueen bought the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 while waiting for his 275 N.A.R.T. Spyder to be repaired after an accident. He wisely had the original Nocciola (metallic gold) color changed to red.
1982 Porsche 956
The 1982 Porsche 956 that Gooding sold for $10,120,000 at the 2015 Pebble Beach sale was only the third German car to have sold for more than $10 million and at the time set a new marque record – since increased to over $14 million for a 1970 Porsche 917K.
This 1982 Porsche 956 is of course a very special car. It was the third of only 10 Works Porsche 956s built but most memorably won the 1983 Le Mans 24 Hours race outright with Al Holbert / Hurley Haywood / Vern Schuppen. The previous year, when it was a Porsche 956 1-2-3 finish, the same car was second overall while driven by Jochen Mass and Vern Schuppen. It also scored victories at Spa, Fuji, Brands Hatch and Kyalami. Further famous drivers racing the car included Jacky Ickx, Derek Bell and John Watson.
The 1982 Porsche 956 was sold, not surprisingly, in the iconic Rothmans livery it wore during the 1983 Le Mans race. (A Le Mans win makes all the difference: The 1982 Porsche 956 that finished third in the 1982 race achieved only €2,352,000 / $3,175,000 at the RM Auctions 2014 Paris sale. Somewhat disappointingly, the record-setting 917K was never raced!)
2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
The cheapest of the really expensive cars is a 2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta that sold for €8,300,000 ($10,043,000) at the RM Sotheby’s Ferrari Maranello auction in 2017. This car was the final of 210 Aperta models built and was sold as a charity lot with the full amount donated by Ferrari to Save the Children. The LaFerrari Aperta featured a unique paint work. It was the first Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta offered at auction so naturally set a new model record but more significantly it became the most-expensive 21st century car sold thus far.
- The Most-Expensive Cars of All Time – $10 Million Plus for a full listing of cars selling for more than $10 million at public auctions.
- Cars Sold for Over $20 Million – The Most-Expensive Cars Ever
- Cars Sold for $15 to $20 Million – Mostly Italian (but not only Ferraris) and a Brit
- Cars Sold for $12 to $15 Million – including the most-expensive American car ever
- Cars Sold for $10 to $12 Million – a mixed bunch of great marques (This article)