6 Most Expensive Vintage Cars of the Decade

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A Brief History

On May 18, 2008, a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold for $10,894,900 at an auction.  Interestingly, the selling price for vintage cars is astounding and it can be truly said that only the wealthy can purchase them!  Nevertheless, the love for cars is something most of us have experienced and grown with. The current modernized era is full of tech-loaded vehicles which provide all the basic as well as high-end necessities for a comfortable ride, but can you imagine cars from the past having the same level of elegance and pleasure? The popularity of classic cars has suddenly picked up pace in the last ten years. People who are inclined toward vintage cars have suddenly grown in number, thereby, motivating the occurrence of auctions and vintage car rallies across different parts of the world.  Let us try to learn about the six most expensive classic cars which have been recently marketed in private sales.

Digging Deeper

6. 1962 Ferrari 250 LM – Auctioned Price: $6.9 million

1962 Ferrari 250 GTE owned by M. Clark, Pacific Grove, California.  Photograph by Writegeist.

During the 1960s, the outbreak of Ferrari transformed the racing field since the popularity of front-engine layouts was being overshadowed by mid-engine cars. In order to prove their supremacy, Ferrari launched the 250 LM, which had an engine fixed in the middle of the car for offering a fresh racing breed. Not many are aware of this fact, but this car was primarily constructed to be a GT racer, however, the FIA held different plans. Surprisingly, the racing body maintained its verdict on restricting Ferrari to not create 100 examples of its 250 LM, thereby controlling its qualification for GT racing, which did come true as only 32 models of this car were ever assembled. Since the production of 250 LM got limited, American-built Shelby got an opportunity to lead the racing sector. The recent auction for 1962 Ferrari 250 LM happened in 2008. The fast runner acquired a price label of $6.9 million!

5. 1904 Rolls-Royce 10 HP – Auction Price: $7.3 million

A 1905 model Rolls Royce, as featured in the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.  This car, registration AX148, was built in the original Manchester factory, and is the oldest such vehicle on public display.  Photograph by Terry Whalebone.

Can you imagine a time when car engines managed to produce just 10 horsepower? This was almost the dawn of the 20th century when two companies, Rolls and Royce, tagged along to create 17 models of this special automobile league. This car consisted of a 1.8-liter twin-cylinder engine, whereas the overall structure of the automobile appeared like a horse-drawn carriage but with a steering wheel. The big brass headlamps as well as wooden spoke wheels reflected some form of musical instrument.

One could have called it too old, but this factor did work wonders as the car was traded at an auction in 2004 for $7.3 million. Being the oldest known Rolls Royce, the 10 HP versions is still regarded as a masterpiece.  Quite recently, there was a social media post by Alok Ganesh, writer at algebra homework help, who briefed about the 1904 Rolls-Royce 10 HP and its raging popularity which exists till date.

4. 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe – Auction Price: $7.25 million

1964 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe (CSX2299), 2010 Canadian International AutoShow.  Photograph by User:Jaydec.

When you talk about the Shelby Cobra, the name itself speaks a lot about its efficiency and style; however, the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe holds a captivating history, which includes the American dream to get in the European-dominated GT racing market. During the 1960s, Ferrari and Shelby were involved in a classic racing rivalry. Ferrari was governing the F.I.A. World Manufacturers Championship GT class; however, Shelby was wishing to take its place by pushing it off the leaderboard.

As part of their plan, Shelby constructed the supreme blue-and-white coupe model of the Cobra. The Daytona Cobra Coupe moved ahead to become the solo American car to thrash Ferrari in world championship racing held in Europe. It is important to know that, only six models of this iconic automobile were manufactured; the fourth car got auctioned in 2009 to grab a bizarre amount of $7.25 million! Mukul Sharma, resident writer at professional essay writers covered a report focusing at Shelby’s success which did include a strong focus on Daytona Cobra Coupe.

3. 1929 Mercedes-Benz 38/250 SSK – Auction Price: $7.4 million

Retromobile 2012.  Photograph by Lebubu93.

Mercedes-Benz and its broad catalogue of classic cars do hold crowning popularity at the global level. It needs to be mentioned that, the Mercedes-Benz 38/250 SSKhas an exciting history which connects to Ferdinand Porsche. To be precise, it was the last car the brilliant automaker designed for Mercedes-Benz, after which he left the firm to build his own production segment. Although the car appears to be small, its engine is robust, that is,a 7.1-liter modified powerhouse.

In the year 1941, an English car collector named George Milligen proudly became the 11th owner of the 250 SSK. Milligen managed to keep the car until he died at the age of 94. Miraculously, the car never went for restoration and contained all of its original components.  At an auction held in 2004, Milligen’s Mercedes procured $7.4 million, which was indeed a huge catch. Among the lucky viewers who have seen the 250 SSK is Komal Sharma working at nursing assignment help Australia; she wrote her experience on Twitter when she sat in the car and felt overwhelmed.

2. 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante – Auction Price: $7.9 million

Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Built in 1936, photographed by Ramgeis in Pebble Beach, California in August 2004, GNU-FDL.

Bugatti holds a striking reputation across the automobile industry. The cars manufactured by this automaker acquired a lot of fame in the racing world, but also scored some good ranks among road-going cars. You simply cannot miss the Type 57SC Atalante, which is seen as a highly uncommon car consisting of a swooping roof and fenders along with immersed body panels. It is vital to know that, less than a dozen of this version was manufactured, and there was not a single model which resembled like the other!

You must know that, the SC was seen as the definitive repetition of the Type 57 category of Bugatti cars. It consisted of a 3.3-liter supercharged, straight-eight cylinder engine that delivered 170 horsepower. Moreover, the SC held an upgraded chassis as compared to other Type 57s, which assisted in providing better balance and handling. In 2008, at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance one of the 57SC models went on to capture a bid worth $8 million. Over the years, many writers have covered information about Bugatti’s and their functional marvels. Recently, popular writers from essay help online had published stories about the expensive recognition of the 57SC Atalante on their social media pages.

1. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder – Auction Price: $10.9 million

Restored by Joe Macari Ferrari 250 GT SWB California from 1961, VIN 2377.  Photograph by The Car Spy.

Ferraris have always been the star kid among the most famous and expensive cars. The SWB California Spyder got features in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, post which people started to search for this gem at different car-makers.

The Spyder is indeed a gorgeous ride and its classic personification as a sports car comprising a long hood, drop top and two seats is surely a genius. This car was designed to be a variant of the popular Ferrari 250 constructed for the American market. This one holds a 3.0-liter SOHC V-12 together with 280 horsepower. Furthermore, the four-speed manual transmission is a blessing to pump soul into the vehicle. Famous actor James Coburn owned this Spyder for a duration exceeding 20 years. In 2008, at the RM Auction, Chris Evans the popular British TV presenter purchased it for $10.9 million. This sale was marked as a record auction and did stun the crowd present there.

Question for students (and subscribers): Did you have any idea about the most expensive old-fashioned cars which have been recently auctioned? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Gooding, David B.  RM Auctions Catalog of Vintage Motor Cars for Auction Held at Ritz-Carlton Hotel of Amelia Island March 10, 2001.  RM Auctions, 2001.

Goulet, Francois.  April 2014 – Vintage Cars from the Sixties (1960’s) – Top25 Best Sale – Higher Price in Auction.  2014.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by Supermac1961 from CHAFFORD HUNDRED, England of Chris Evans in his Ferrari 250 California Spyder, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  This image was originally posted to Flickr by Supermac1961 at https://www.flickr.com/photos/72752141@N00/4780139607.  It was reviewed on  by FlickreviewR and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.


About Author

Abdul Alhazred

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland