The most expensive car ever sold is a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO which fetched $52million in October 2013.
The former competition car, with the chassis number 5111, was bought by an unnamed buyer in a private sale. It had previously been owned by car collector Paul Pappalardo of Greenwich, Connecticut, and more recently an unnamed Spanish car collector.
The GTO, which won the 1963 Tour de France road race, is one of just 39 Ferrari 250 GTOs ever made. They sold for around $18,000 when they were first put on the market just over 50 years ago.
Other cars to have achieved record-breaking prices in recent years include:
- A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, also in red, which was sold by Bonhams in Carmel, California, in August 2014 for $38million (pictured above courtesy of Bonhams)— the most expensive car ever sold at auction.
- Another 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, this time in lime green, which changed hands for $35million in May 2012. It was originally built for British racing driver Sir Stirling Moss and was bought by billionaire US businessman Craig McCaw.
- Yet another Ferrari 250 GTO, this time from 1964, which fetched $32million in a private sale in February 2012 — a record at the time.
- A 1954 Mercedez-Benz W196R, driven by formula one legend Juan Manuel Fangio, which fetched around $29.6million at auction in July 2013.
- A 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic which sold for over $30million (with rumours the price was as high as $40million) in a private sale in May 2012.
- A Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa that won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1958, which fetched around $25million in the spring of 2012.
- A Ferrari 250 GTO which was sold by British TV host and new Top Gear presenter Chris Evans, also in early 2012, for just under $30million, at the time the most expensive car in the world. He had bought it for $18million, banking him a profit of around $10million.
But it’s not just classic cars that are expensive. Here are some of the more modern cars that will set you back huge sums.
Most expensive modern car
The Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita: $4.85million
The most expensive car made in recent years is the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita — a limited edition of the Swedish hypercar manufacturer’s CCXR model.
It is so expensive due to the fact the carbon fiber used in the bodywork is coated with a diamond finish. But the car is so fast that its unlikely you’d ever have time to notice it sparkling if it passed you on the road.
The Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita features a 4.8-liter V8 engine pumping out around 1,018hp. It does 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds with a top speed over over 254mph.
Just three of the Trevita models were made. A normal CCXR cost around $2million before production on them ceased in 2011. The basic CCX model cost around $545,000 when bought new.
Other expensive cars
Lamborghini Veneno: $3.9million
The Lamborghini Veneno is the most expensive car ever made by Lamborghini — and, like the CCXR Trevita, just three were made.
It was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland to celebrate the Italian car manufacturer’s 50th anniversary.
The Veneno is based on Lamborghini’s flagship supercar the Aventador, and is named after a famous fighting bull which gorged a matador to death in Andalucia, Spain, in 1914.
The name means Venom in Portuguese and Spanish. When it was unveiled, Lamborghini said the Veneno offered both a tribute to the firm’s past but also a look into the future at what the next generation of Lamborghinis could look like.
Like the Aventador it has a 6.5-liter V12 engine and can do 0-60mph in around 2.9seconds with an estimated top speed of 217mph.
W Motors Lykan Hypersport: $3.4million
The Lykan Hypersport, made by Lebanon-based W Motors, is the most expensive car ever built by a firm in an Arab country.
The car was unveiled at the Qatar Motor Show in January 2013, with just seven set for production. The Lykan Hypersport has a top speed of 245mph and does 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds.
It has a twin-turbo flat-six Porsche engine producing 740hp. It is so expensive because the bodywork is almost entirely carbon fiber. It also has diamond, gold and platinum-encrusted interiors. There are even gems in the headlights and anyone who buys one gets a $200,000 Cyrus Klepcys watch thrown in.
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport: $2.4million
The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport has a top speed of 267.8mph and is officially the fastest car in the world, although there is controversy over who should hold the title.
The Super Sport features an 8.0-liter W16 engine producing 1,200hp, and can do 0-62mph in 2.5 seconds, 0-124mph in 6.7 seconds and 0-186mph in 14.6seconds.
The French firm estimates it would cost you $10,000 to buy enough fuel to drive the car for 12,500 miles. The Super Sport is the most expensive car made by Bugatti to date. Despite its massively high top speed, it is electronically limited to 258mph so the tires don’t explode.
Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse: $2million
The Grand Sport Vitesse is the fastest roadster in the world. Like the Super Sport, it has an 8.0-liter W16 engine producing up to 1,200 horsepower.
It can do 0-62mph in just 2.6 seconds and can reach a top speed of 255mph (electronically limited to 233mph).
Aston Martin One-77: $1.85million
The Aston Martin One-77 was produced by Aston Martin between 2009 and 2012 and is the most expensive car ever made by the renowned British firm, with just 77 built.
The One-77 has 20in alloy wheels, with a 7.3-liter V12 engine producing up to 750hp. It can do 0-62mph in under 3.7 seconds with a top speed of over 354mph. It has a full carbon-fiber chassis and aluminum bodywork. Aston Martin said the idea behind the One-77 was “to create a car closer to art than the automobile”.
Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster: $1.85million
First Ferrari, then Lamborghini, then Pagani…you can see why the Italians are famed for creating impressive cars. Cinque means five in Italian — and just five of these convertibles were ever made.
The coupe version had a production run of the same number. Both models have a Mercedes-Benz AMG 12V engine can do 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds — quicker than any other Zonda — thanks to a super-fast six-speed sequential gearbox which changes gears in a fraction of a second.
The power output of the engine in the Cinque was also increased to 669hp from the 594hp seen in the basic Zonda models — helping raise the price tag.
Zenvo ST1: $1.8million
The Zenvo ST1 is the only car to date built by Danish sports car company Zenvo — and hence also its most expensive. The firm was founded in 2004 but it wasn’t until 2009 that production on the ST1 began.
Just 15 of the cars were set to be built in total, with three per year going to the United States. Like the Lykan Hypersport you also get a watch (but this time only worth $50,000) thrown in for free.
The ST1 has carbon-fiber bodywork, plus a 7.0-liter V8 engine producing 1,250hp for the American version of the car. It can do 0-62mph in 3 seconds, with a top speed of 233mph.
Lamborghini Reventon: $1.6million
Before the Lamborghini Veneno’s launch in 2013, the Reventon was the daddy when it came to expensive Lamborghinis. It was first produced in 2007 and held the record of the most expensive Lamborghini for six years.
Just 21 were produced, including one created specifically to go on show at the Lamborghini Museum in Italy. Each car has its production number embossed between the driver and passenger’s seats, and includes a ‘G-Force Meter’ on the dashboard.
Like other Lamborghinis, the Reventon is named after a fighting bull. The one in question killed Mexican bullfighter Felix Guzman in 1943. The Reventon has a 6.5-liter V12 engine and can do 221mph. Another 15 roadster versions of the car, with a lower top speed of 205mph, were also made.
Koenigsegg Agera R: $1.6million
The Koenigsegg Agera R is currently the main title contender for the fastest car in the world. The Swedish firm claims it can do 275mph — faster than the Bugatti Veyron — but it has not been officially tested.
The Agera R can do 0-60 in around 2.9seconds. An updated version was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland with carbon fiber wheels and improved aerodynamics. It also upped the 5.0-liter V8 engine’s output from 950hp to 960hp on regular gas and to 1,140hp when using E85 biofuel.
The super car, Koenigsegg’s second most expensive car after the diamond-encrusted CCXR Trevita above, comes in both left and right-hand drives. It’s also more practical than most hypercars as it has more than 120 liters of baggage space, meaning you’ll have enough room for your golf clubs.
Maybach Landaulet: $1.38million
Maybach as a firm was meant to be a direct rival to Rolls-Royce and Bentley, and the Maybach Landaulet was the manufacturer’s top-of-the-range model.
It had a V12 engine producing 620hp and could fit four passengers, with an extra seat fitted as an optional extra. It came with all sorts of eccentric extras — including a rear refrigerator and two sterling-silver champagne flutes as standard.
It also included a trunk-mounted Dunhill umbrella, which could be used as a sun shade when the car was at a standstill, and an intercom system for use with a chauffeur.
Sadly Maybach, which was founded in 1909 and was a division of Daimler AG, stopped production at the end of 2012 due to poor sales after only selling 3,000 cars in 10 years.
Ferrari LaFerrari: estimated at $1.3million
The LaFerrari was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, with 499 set to be built. In a first for the Italian manufacturer, the LaFerrari has a hybrid engine which reduces fuel consumption by 40 per cent from other models while at the same time increasing the power output.
The 6.3-liter V12 produces 800hp, but is boosted by a KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) unit which stores energy then releases it in short bursts producing an extra 163hp.
The car is Ferrari’s fastest ever road car, with an estimated top speed of 220mph and it can do 0-60mph in under 3.0seconds. For the first time ever, the car was designed entirely in-house. It is the most expensive car built by Ferrari in terms of its initial sales price, as opposed to some of the classics which now fetch far more.
McLaren P1: $1.3million
The McLaren P1 is, like the LaFerrari, a hybrid. McLaren’s most expensive car to date, it was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show with production starting in July 2013.
It includes a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine producing 727hp, but also includes a KERS electric motor that adds an additional 176hp.
On its own, the electric motor can power the car for just 12 miles. There were set to be 375 P1s built — at a rate of one a day — by a team of 70 engineers, and only a left-hand drive model was made.
McLaren say the P1 has the most technologically advanced aerodynamics of any car to date, and advertised the car with the motto ‘designed by air’.
Hennessey Venom GT Spyder $1.1million
The Spyder is said to have been built after Aerosmith frontman Steve Tyler told Hennessey he wanted to buy a Venom GT but would prefer an open-top version, and Hennessey agreed to do it.
Removing the roof involved adding 30lb to the car due to structural changes, but the Spyder has the same twin-turbo 7.0-liter V8 engine as the normal Venom GT.
The Venom GT is the fastest accelerating car in the world, and can do 0-186mph in an incredible 13.63 seconds. It is based on and uses components from the Lotus Exige, but is highly modified.
The Venom GT was first unveiled in 2010, with production starting in 2012. The Spyders were set to be delivered in 2013.
Can you think of any other contenders for the title of the world’s most expensive car? Let us know if we’ve missed anything in the comments section below.