The 10 most expensive classic cars sold recently at auction

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The 10 most expensive classic cars sold recently at auction

One of the most prestigious classic car auction in the world just recently wrapped up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where more than 2,600 cars were sold for a combined $248 million.

As usual at the auction, there was strong bidding for the quintessential American muscle cars and vintage trucks but bids for top-priced sports cars such as Jaguars and Ferraris were more subdued.

In all 3,176 classic cars were offered for sale at the auction by the various auction companies at the 2018 Arizona Collector Car Auctions. Of this number, 2,668 vehicles were eventually sold, for a sales rate of 84 per cent which is about the same sales rate as last year. That being said, the sales total of $247.8 million was down 5 percent from 2017, according to Hagerty, the classic car insurance and research company.

Two of the most expensive cars offered at the Scottsdale auction were Jaguar D-Types but they failed to sell as they missed their minimum bids. On auction was a 1954 Jaguar D-Type offered by RM Sotheby's, which had been raced by famed racing driver Stirling Moss.

The bidding topped out at $9.8 million which was well below the estimated $12 million to $15 million. A 1956 D-Type being sold by Gooding & Co. was once owned by the manager of Led Zeppelin. Again this car only reached a high bid of $8.85 million which was below its estimated value of $10 million to $12 million.

Analysts say that while the surging stock market and tax cuts are helping the wealthy and boosting their spending confidence, prices for the top cars were so high in 2014 and 2015 that they were bound to return to earth.

A lot fewer cars sold for $3 million or more in 2018 compared with last year, according to Hagerty.
"At the higher rungs on the pricing ladder, results weren't as strong,"

"Further struggles were specifically seen in the $2 million to $5 million range, all of which could indicate a softening in the market."

Although the big sales for sports cars did not transpire at the auction, there was still demand for classic Corvettes, Mustangs and Camaros were strong. Hagerty said 1968-1982 C3 Chevrolet Corvettes, the first generation 1967-69 Chevrolet Camaros and Fox-body 1979-1993 Mustangs were among the best performers.

Vintage trucks and SUVs did well at the Scottsdale auction. Barrett-Jackson who is the auctioneer sold a 1948 Dodge Power Wagon for $74,800, while early Ford Broncos were selling for $50,000.

Cars that were sold for charity also fared well. Former President George W. Bush, Jay Leno and Chad McQueen (son of Steve McQueen) helped auction off a 2017 Ford GT for $2.55 million, a 2018 Corvette Carbon Fiber 65 Edition for $1.4 million and the first production 2019 Corvette ZR1 for $925,000. The proceeds from the sales went to various charities.

Here are the top 10 most expensive cars sold in Arizona, along with the auction companies.

  1. 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale Coupe sold for $8,085,000 (Gooding & Co.)

  2. 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder sold for $5,170,000 (Bonhams)

  3. 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider sold for $4,455,000 (Gooding & Co.)

  4. 1931 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster sold for $4,070,000 (Gooding & Co.)

  5. 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C Roadster sold for $2,947,500 (RM Sotheby's)

  6. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $2,640,000 (Bonhams)

  7. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $2,530,000 (Gooding & Co.)

  8. 2017 Ford GT Coupe sold for $2,500,000 (Barrett-Jackson for charity)

  9. 2014 Pagani Huayra Coupe sold for $2,090,000 (Gooding & Co.)

  10. 1948 Tucker 48 Sedan sold for $1,792,500 (RM Sotheby's)


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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