January 8, 2019

Top ten most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

The top ten cars sold at auction in 2018 totalled almost £130m. We look at the highlights and why they commanded such a premium.

  1. Alfa Romeo Tipo B Grand Prix Monoposto – sold by Bonhams for £4.5m

This car is referred as one of the most iconic and important designs in competition history. Remaining in the same family for 30 years before it was sold by Bonhams in Summer 2018, this particular Tipo B will hopefully be seen on the international racing circuit in 2019 and beyond.

  1. Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar – sold by RM Sotheby’s for £4.6m

The first of five top ten sales of 2018 by RM Sotheby’s, this special Porsche 959 that was sold by the auction house during Porsche’s 70th anniversary sale in America, is one of three Works Porsche 959s used in anger on the gruelling 1985 edition of the Paris-Dakar rally. Its competition history as well as its concours and collector status earned it its final sale price.

  1. Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France Berlinetta – sold by Gooding & Company for £5.2m

It’s no surprise that Ferraris feature highly in this top ten list, but this 250 GT Tour de France is a rare example indeed. The fifth of just 36 built in Maranello, it retained in the same ownership for 52 years before Gooding & Company was trusted to sell it at public auction at Pebble Beach last year. Raced at the 1958 Targa Florio, with a Concours-winning restoration and in a colour other than red, it was an interesting prospect for many bidders on the day.

  1. Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale – sold by Gooding & Company for £6.4m

Another Ferrari, another Gooding & Company sale, this time a ‘one-of-a-kind’ 275 GTB. One of the most iconic and sought-after silhouettes and again in a gorgeous colour (that isn’t Ferrari’s statement red), this car has numerous bespoke coachwork details and was even displayed at various European motor shows in period.

  1. Ford GT40 Mk II – sold by RM Sotheby’s for £7.7m

Coming third overall at the 1966 Le Mans 24 hours, heritage Ford GT40s like this rarely grace the auction podium. The fourth of all the Mark II cars made, we hope to see this fantastic Ford GT40 at many of the historic racing meets for which it is eligible.

  1. Aston Martin DB4 Zagato – sold by Bonhams for £10.1m

‘2 VEV’ is one of the most iconic Aston Martins made. Not only was it driven by legends such as Sir Stirling Moss OBE and Jim Clark, it was one of two of the ‘VEV’ semi-works cars and one of just three configured in the ultra-light DP209 specification. Bonhams sold it in the summer of 2018 from long-term ownership.

  1. Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype – sold by RM Sotheby’s for £16.9m

This is one of very few Aston Martins that command a multi-million-pound premium, much like ‘2 VEV’. A unique Aston Martin Works prototype, which was the last-ever David Brown competition car, it caused a buzz when it was sold in Monterey.

  1. Duesenberg SSJ – sold by Gooding & Company for £17.3m

2018 saw the most expensive American car ever sold, by specialists Gooding & Company. A record broken, this Duesenberg SSJ is one of just two cars of its type built and, importantly, it was delivered new to Hollywood icon Gary Cooper in 1935.

  1. Ferrari 290 MM – sold by RM Sotheby’s for £17.3m

A late entry to the 2018 auction record books, this special Ferrari 290 MM justifiably earned every penny of its record-breaking fee at RM Sotheby’s Petersen Automotive Museum sale. Owned by the Chinetti family (the dealer manager that convinced Ferrari to make the 275 NART Spyder) for almost 30 years, this car was not only an official Scuderia Ferrari Works racer for 1956/7 but also got podium finishes at the Mille Miglia and 100 KM of Buenos Aires. Driven by Sir Stirling Moss OBE and with matching-number status, it was beautifully restored and retains its 1957 12 Hours of Sebring livery.

  1. Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti – sold by RM Sotheby’s for £38.1m

The car to have in your collection, the Ferrari 250 GTO is the leader of the Top Trumps discussion of ‘what’s the most expensive Ferrari you can buy?’ Rarely are they available on the open market, let alone offered for sale at auction. RM Sotheby’s was trusted with offering this important GTO at its Monterey sale. The third of just 36 cars ever sold, it’s one of four upgraded in period by Scaglietti. Raced in anger in period, it goes without saying that this car has entry to all of the most important heritage racing meets today, should the new owner wish.

Let us know which one you’d have bought, if money was no object, in the comments below.