Cars can get expensive; most folks know that. There’s maintenance, spare parts, and of course, the purchase price wrapped into the ball of car ownership. But then there’s a league above – the elite upper echelon of car ownership that transcends all besides collectability. At this level, such blue chip iron is acquired for its rarity, beauty, and historical value rather than its role as transportation.

The data nerds over at Priceonomics decided to assemble a list of the top 50 most expensive vehicles ever sold at auction. Why at auction? Well, it’s nearly impossible to track private sales, and a large percentage of high-dollar cars tend to trade hands under the gavel at places like RM Auctions and Barrett-Jackson.

Even the most seasoned gear head cultured in classic cars might be taken aback by the appreciation in value cars posses as opposed to other common collectibles. Over a 10-year period, the value application of key automobiles have surpassed watches, jewellery, wine, art, coins, and stamps. Surprisingly enough, stamps have the next highest growth in value, topping some 250 percent in appreciation. Cars, on the other hand, outshined stamps by a whopping 200 percent, resulting in an increase in value greater than 450 percent over values in 2005.

Those key cars go on to outperform the S&P 500, NASDAQ, and even gold.

So what cars are raking in all this cash? In short: Ferrari. Eight of the top 10 most expensive cars are of the Prancing Horse variety. Ferrari goes on to dominate 60 percent of the top 50 list. Mercedes is the next highest with a 14 percent share.

What makes Ferraris gain such incredible value? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full story.

Ferrari – The King Of The Auction Block

Of the impressively long list of Ferraris on this list (30 in total), 18 of them are members of the “250” family. If fact, it’s a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that holds the top spot on the list, having sold in 2014 for an astonishing $38.1 million. That’s a full $8.1 million more than the second most expensive car, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196.

The Ferrari GTO series gained notoriety thanks to its extremely limited production; only 39 were ever produced and many had storied racing careers. In fact, the 1962 GTO that holds the top spot has a winning history of racing, was involved in a fatal crash, and was painstakingly restored to its original condition. Such things only add to the value.

Why It Matters

As the price of collector cars go up, the more high-dollar investors take notice. This brings even more attention to the automotive market and spurs other collectors to get into the trading – though mostly at the lower-value levels.

For the rest of us who can only dream of investing millions into a classic Ferrari or Mercedes, these stats are simply entertaining to watch. As value grows, its fun to wonder which of today’s cars will be fetching million above their original asking price fifty years from now. Corvette Z06s, Charger Hellcats, and Mustang GT350s tend to come to mind first, but more likely than not, the next generation of automotive investors will be talking about Bugatti Veyrons, Ferrari 488s, and Mercedes-AMG GTs.

Ferrari 250 GTO

1962 - 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Ferrari 250 GTO here.

Source: Priceonomics

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