The Most Expensive Classic Cars
We’ve all heard of cars that sell for millions of dollars, and every year prices just seem to climb higher. Does a car exist that is worth a billion dollars? Not quite yet, because apparently even the world’s billionaires have budgets. But there is now a car worth a cool $142.5 million.
Close your eyes. Try to imagine a car worth that much money. What are you picturing? Does it have doors made of gold? Can it grow wings and fly you to your destination? Regular Joes like us can only dream as we take a peek at a selection of 10 of the world’s most exclusive (and costly) classic and late model cars.
1. Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Gullwing Uhlenhaut
In May 2022 a new record was set for the most expensive car ever sold, when a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Gullwing Uhlenhaut was sold at auction for $142.5 million. This extra-special Gullwing was designed by renowned engineer Rudi Uhlenhaut and is one of only two prototype coupe versions of Mercedes’ famed Silver Arrow 300 SLR race cars. Named for its curved doors that open vertically to resemble a seagull’s wings, this low-slung silver coupe features a powerful straight-eight engine in keeping with its racing roots, and a magnesium alloy body. Sounds perfect for the kiddie carpool!
2. 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO
The auction price of the Mercedes Gullwing surpassed the previous high seller: a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO that was sold for $70 million in 2018 by a German collector to WeatherTech founder, David MacNeil. Only 36 of these coveted cars were made between 1962 and 1963, and at that time they were the fastest in the world with a top speed of 174 mph. If you can’t be a race car driver, owning this particular Ferrari may be the next best thing, since it won the Tour de France Automobile and also placed at Le Mans.
The Most Expensive Late Model Cars
1. Rolls-Royce Boat Tail
Manufactured in 2021 as a private commission (purportedly by celebrity power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce), Rolls-Royce’s $28 million Boat Tail does not have golden doors or extendable wings, but the back of this nautically inspired car does open up to a ‘hosting suite’ complete with a champagne cooler, sunshade, and storage for porcelain plates. If rolling up in this car doesn’t impress your date, it may be time to call it quits.
2. Bugatti La Voiture Noire
Launched in 2019, the Bugatti La Voiture Noire, or “the black car” in French, was built as an homage to a World War II era Bugatti that has since vanished. Many speculate that if this missing car was found it would become the most valuable vehicle in the world. Today’s ode to that earlier Bugatti has a price point of $18.7 million. If you’re not a history buff that might sound steep to you, but the sleek black design and impressive performance metrics (1,500 hp and 0-60 in 2.4 seconds) are undeniably sexy.
3. Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita
If you’re still not impressed by the features of the world’s most expensive cars, the CCXR Trevita may change your mind. This ultra-rare car boasts a unique diamond weave carbon fiber finish solution that sparkles when hit by the sunlight. The coating was so difficult to apply that manufacturing plans were changed, and only two of these cars were built from 2009 to 2010 at a price of $4.8 million. Yet this vehicle is more about ‘go’ than ‘show’ and has top speeds of over 250 mph.
4. Lamborghini Sián FKP 37
This is the most powerful Lamborghini ever made. Need we say more? Well we will, because this sleek beauty is a hybrid supercar with a V12 engine coupled with electric boost from a super capacitor system to deliver speeds in excess of 220 mph. It’s also completely customizable, from the exterior colors to the interiors and even the seats, with the option of a specially designed leather crafted only for this car. Does that justify the $3.6 million sticker price? You decide.
5. Pagani Huarya
The limited edition Pagani Huayra BC Roadster is a relative bargain at a mere $3.5 million. Horacio Pagani, the man behind the masterpiece stated, “Engaging in such a challenge, to make just 100 cars, has meant an impressive effort for a company like ours, from a technical and human point of view.” The team at Huayra took six years to bring this car from concept to market, and they believe they’ve created an industry leader in performance.
6. W Motors Lykan Hypersport
This vehicle is so exclusive, there are only seven in existence. It is also one of the fastest cars around, with an astounding acceleration of 0-60 in 2.7 seconds. And because no detail is overlooked when it comes to ultra-exclusive luxury performance cars, the designers literally put diamonds in the headlights! Better start saving if you want to purchase one—it will cost you $3.4 million.
7. Aston Martin Valkyrie
The Aston Martin Valkyrie is another hypercar that sits atop lists of today’s priciest vehicles, with a price tag that starts at $3 million. Its design is nothing short of futuristic, and the carbon fiber exterior creates an exceptional weight-to-power ratio that allows this lightweight car to fly around corners. There are plans to build about 150 of these street-legal speedsters. Another 25 track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro models will also be produced, costing $3.5 million each.
8. McLaren Speedtail
With a top speed clocked at over 250 mph and a price tag starting at $2.25 million, the McLaren Speedtail rounds out our tour of some of the most elite cars on the planet. Recent auctions have seen Speedtails sell for as much as $3.3 million.This car is so fast it’s not even street legal, but if you can afford a Speedtail, you can probably afford the cost of a ticket. Still, make sure you have access to a racetrack so you can enjoy it to the max.
When it Comes to Collectors, Money is No Object
What the priciest and most legendary cars have in common is a focus on maximizing performance and aesthetic, without regard to cost. The results are certainly impressive, with eye-popping price tags to match. Whether deep-pocketed collectors are after a storied history, bespoke styling, or out-of-this-world performance, they seem prepared to pay whatever it takes to acquire these rare and coveted works of automotive art.