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The $18.5 Million Barn Find & Other Top 10 2015 Auction Results

Only 28 cars have ever sold for more than $10 million at auction, 10 of these cars were auctioned in 2015. Let’s take a look at what $10 million buys you.

Six of the top-ten highest prices paid  were for Ferraris, the other cars from England (3) and Germany (1). One of those six was a barn-find Ferrari that sold for $18,500,000. Read on …

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10. 1982 Porsche 956

A  new record for Porsche automobiles was set when the 956 race car chassis number 003 sold for $10,120,000 at the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction. The reason is its amazing competition record: an overall victory in the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans  with Americans Al Holbert and Hurley Haywood with Australian Vern Schuppen driving. While the previous year, the same chassis was driven by German Jochen Mass and Schuppen – the pair finished second at Le Mans behind another 956.

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9. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione

When one thinks of “Tour de France” it’s usually as a bicycle race. At one time there was also an automobile tour with stops at race tracks around France for time trials. Cobras and Ferraris were common, and Ford even entered a GT40. This 1956 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione “Tour de France” by coachbuilder Scaglietti won the 1956 Tour de France Automobile. This car was originally raced by the Marquis Alfonso de Portago,  who the following year would kil himself, his co-driver, and nine spectators in the 1957 Mille Miglia. It was sold at the RM Sotheby auction at Monterey for $13,200,000.

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8. 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight

A new  record was also set for Jaguar cars when a 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight for $13,200,000 at the RM Sotheby’s auction at Monterey This was the second of only three C-Type Jaguar works cars produced, and was one of the very last C-Types produced. For the 1952 24 Hours of Le mans, the car was piloted by ’51 Le Mans winner Peter Whitehead and Scotsman Ian Stewart. the pair finished fourth. The Jaguar was subsequently raced to victories and strong finishes by the Ecurie Ecosse team and later by privateers in UK races until the late 1950s.

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7. 1998 McLaren F1 “LM-Specification”

The McLaren F1 “LM-Specification” (Chassis 073) became the most expensive McLaren road car when it sold for $13,750,000 at the  RM Sotheby Monterey auction. This was the second to last of the 63 road-going F1 cars made by McLaren. It is also one of two examples upgraded by McLaren Special Operations with a 680 hp LM-spec engine and high extra downforce aero package, while retaining its road-specification interior with numerous upgrades, including satellite navigation.

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6. 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

In the late ’50s and early ’60s it was common to take a sports car chassis and have an Italian coachbuilder create a new body. That’s what Aston Martin did with 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, but it wasn’t just for style. the body was also over 100 pounds lighter.  Only 19 of the DB4 GT Zagato were produced for competing in the World Sports Car Championship. This car had a successful but very brief racing history in Australia. It was sold at the RM Sotheby’s auction in New York for $14,300,000.

 

5. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale

While many of the cars on this list derive their value partly from their manufacturer and partly from their racing pedigree, this car was actually considered a failure in its time. This car has a unique bodywork designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro for Bertone,  The car took the shark-nose styling of the 156 Ferrari with which American Phil Hill had won the World Drivers Championship in 1961. Ferrari failed to bite on the concept, leaving  Bertone without any production orders and just the prototype, which Nuccio Bertone drove as his personal car.  The 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale was also sold by Gooding & Company at the Pebble Beach auction for $16,500,000.

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4. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
In 1959 Ferrari reduced the wheelbase of 250 GT Berlinetta to improve handling. In 1960 coachbuilder Scaglietti revealed the 250 GT California Spyder SWB at the Geneva Motor Show, its design more fitted to the shorter chassis. All of the 56 Spiders built featured disc brakes and a 276 hp V12 engine.  Gooding & Company achieved a strong $16,830,000 for this 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, one of 37 with covered headlights, in good, very original condition at its Pebble Beach auction.

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3. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM

While the Ferrari 250 LM was intended to be a customer race car for national events and the occasional big outing, one won the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright in 1965, beating the Ford GT-40 on its inaugural appearance. This particular Ferrari 250 LM (Chassis number 3095) saw a very different kind of life. It was raced in local events by the heir to a candy fortune in England. Unlike so many race cars, it barely received a scratch when driven by the original owner.  It set a  new model record for a Ferrari 250 LM when RM Sotheby’s sold it for $17,600,000 at its 2015 Monterey auction. The 1964 Ferrari 250 LM was one of the cars sold as part of the Pinnacle Collection – 25 cars offered, of which 15 sold for more than a million dollars.

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2. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

There’s another 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider on our list. This car was sold by Artcurial for $18.5 million at the Rétromobile Paris classic car event. It also set a new auction record for a 250 GT SWB California Spider, more than the $16,830,000 than our Number 4 car would sell for a few months later.  Considered a barn find it is thought to be in the most original state of an California Spider.

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1. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM  Scaglietti

The most-expensive car by far sold at public auction in 2015 was the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti (chassis number 0626) that achieved $28,050,000 million at the RM Sotheby’s auction in New York. This ex-Scuderia Ferrari works car was powered by a 220 hp, 3.5 L SOHC  V-12 engine and  driven by five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio to fourth place at the Mille Miglia race in 1956. It was also driven in competition by  other Ferrari factory drivers including Phil Hill, Marquis Alfonso de Portago, Peter Collins, Wolfgang von Trips, Masten Gregory, Eugenio Castelloti, and Luigi Musso.

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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