Much like real estate, certain cars actually appreciate in value the older they get. Of course, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it will be expensive –it’s doubtful that your 2004 Ford Pinto is going to rake in the dough in 2050 (but hey who knows) –but it takes a combination of factors, from high-performance engines to designer-quality chassis, to dictate how many millions your vintage car is going to be worth.
That’s right, millions: the right car can carry a price tag that’s worth the GDP of small nations, and these 3 vintage cars are probably the most expensive cars to ever be sold and bought at auction:
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4S NART Spider
Price: $30.38 million
The ’67 Ferrari NART Spider has a unique design that makes it one of the sleekest and coolest looking supercars ever, but like the other cars on the list, there’s one thing that makes this car expensive: exclusivity. That’s because, out of the 25 NART Spiders that Ferrari was supposed to produce, only 10 ever rolled out of the production line.
One of these Spiders was purchased by a man named Eddie Smith, who bought a 275 GTB/4S NART Spider back in 1968 for a measly $8,000 (around $59,000 in modern money). Eddie loved it so much that he even turned down Steve McQueen’s request of buying it from him after the actor crashed his own.
When Eddie Smith passed away in 2007, the car passed to his son, Eddie Jr., who put it up for auction in 2013, where it fetched a jaw-dropping $30.38 million. The car was sold, but good guy Eddie Jr. donated all of the proceeds to charity.
1956 Ferrari 290 MM
Price: $30.45 million
Just like the NART Spider, most of the value of the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM rests on its exclusivity, specifically the fact that only 4 Ferrari 290 MM’s were ever made, with only three still surviving. But it’s also the MM in its name that adds the other half of the value: it stands for Mille Miglia, a supercar design competition that the Ferrari 290 was designed for. And yes, it won.
The champ fetched a whopping $30.45 million when Sotheby’s put it up for sale back in 2015, with another being sold at $22 million back in 2018
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196
Price: $32.17 million
Speaking of champs, the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 has two world championship belts when it raced in the 1954 and 1955 Formula Ones. It was the car that brought the Mercedes back on par with Ferrari and Maserati, cementing the German auto manufacturer as a serious contender in the racing world.
However, it was a short-lived reign: during the 24 hour Le Mans competition in 1955, racer Pierre Levegh crashed his W196 into another vehicle and onto the stands, killing over 80 innocent spectators. It was the single most deadly car crash in motorsport history, one that forced Mercedes Benz to withdraw from racing for almost 30 years.
Despite (or because of) its bloody history, though, the car still sold at a whopping $32 million at a Bonhams auction in 2013.