Prices ranging from $22 million to a whopping $70 million

Cars have been divided into affordable and expensive ever since the early days of the automobile. As Ford began to streamline production for the Model T, which made it affordable to the average Joe, automakers like Rolls-Royce were producing luxurious and expensive cars.

Companies like Bugatti, Duesenberg, and Cadillac soon joined this endeavor to produce the best car in the world, which would also be the most expensive car in the world. As years went by, many of them also became very valuable. Rare cars become collectibles, and collectible status comes with a high price tag. Which are the rarest and most expensive cars on the market right now? Find out in the article below.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO - $70 million

1962 - 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Ferrari 250 GTO is by far the most valuable car in the world. Designed for racing in the early 1960s, the 250 GTO was also built in road-legal specs out of Ferrari's need to homologate the design for Group 3 racing.

Fitted with a powerful V-12 engine and a stylish, aerodynamic body, the 250 GTO was built in only 33 units. Original pricing was set at $18,000 back in 1962 and each customer had to be personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. A few decades later and these cars started showing up at public auctions, selling for millions of dollars.

In more recent years, a couple of 250 GTOs changed hands privately for incredible sums.

In 2018, WeatherTech founder David MacNeil paid a whopping $70 million for chassis no. 4153GT.

Another example sold for $52 million in 2013, while chassis no. 3413GT sold for $48 million in 2018 holds the record for the most expensive car sold at a public auction.

The 250 GTO might not be the rarest car in the world, but it’s definitely the most expensive with five units sold for more than $40 million as of March 2020.

1962 - 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO High Resolution Exterior
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1962 FERRARI 250 GTO specifications
Engine: 3.0-liter V-12
Power: 296 horsepower
Torque: 217 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 5.4 seconds
Top speed: 174 mph
Price: $70 million

Read our full review on the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa - $39.8 million

1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype Exterior
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The 250 Testa Rossa is just as iconic as the 250 GTO. But unlike the GTO, the TR wasn't build in road spec.

The Testa Rossa saw the light of day in 1957 and it was Ferrari’s answer to FIA’s new regulations for sports cars. The 250 TR turned out to be one of the company’s most successful race cars. It went on to win 10 World Sportscar Championship races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Targa Florio. The Testa Rossa remained competitive until the early 1960s.

Once retired, the cars weren’t considered valuable and many of them spent many years forgotten in garages, but the 250 TR started to gain value in recent decades to the point where it became one of the most valuable vintage Ferraris. In 2014, chassis 0704 changed owners for a reported $39.8 million.

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Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa specifications
Engine: 3.0-liter V-12
Power: 296 horsepower
Torque: 281 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 6 seconds
Top speed: 161 mph
Price: $39.8 million

Read our full review on the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti - $35.7 million

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The third most expensive car on our list is also a Ferrari. It’s also a race car, but slightly different than the 250 Testa Rossa.

Although it looks similar, the 335 S had a different purpose. Powered by a larger, 4.0-liter V-12, i was a direct response to the Maserati 450S, which rendered the 315 S and 290 MM obsolete.

Essentially an evolution of the 315 S, the 335 S was built in just four units. Needless to say, the Sport Scaglietti model is unique and more importantly, it remained with the same owner for more than 40 years. Auctioned off in 2016, it traded for a whopping $35.7 million. This specific model won the 1958 Cuba Grand Prix and scored a second-place finish at the 1957 Mille Miglia.

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1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti specifications
Engine: 4.0-liter V-12
Power: 390 horsepower
Torque: unknown
0 to 60 mph: 5 seconds (estimate)
Top speed: 186 mph
Price: $35.7 million

Read our full review on the 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 - $29.6 million

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The only Mercedes-Benz on our list is also the only Formula One single seater ranked among the most expensive cars in the world. Produced by the German company for the 1954 and 1955 seasons, the W196 was a revolutionary vehicle back in the day and won the majority of races it was entered in.

Driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss, the W196 scored 9 out of 12 wins and scored an additional eight podiums in 1954 and 1955.

It won both seasons of the Formula One championship against competition from Maserati, Ferrari, Cooper, and Lancia. The car sold for $29.6 million in 2013 is the only surviving W196 in private hands, as well as the most successful version of the car.

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1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 specifications
Engine: 2.5-liter inline-eight
Power: 257 horsepower
Torque: 182 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 5 seconds (estimate)
Top speed: 186 mph
Price: $29.6 million

Check out more details on the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196

1956 Ferrari 290 MM - $28 million

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The list continues with yet another Ferrari, the 290 MM. Also designed for the World Sportscar Championship, the 290 MM features a spyder layout and a V-12 engine under the hood.

Ferrari built four examples, which scored a win at the 1956 Mille Miglia and the Swedish Grand Prix.

Alongside the 335 S, the 290 MM helped Ferrari win the championship in 1956. The following year a 290 MM won the 1000-km Buenos Aires race. This specific model was driven by the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio at the Mille Miglia and was sold for $28 million in 2015. At the time, it was the third costliest car in the world. Another 290 MM sold for $22 million in 2018.

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1956 Ferrari 290 MM specifications
Engine: 3.5-liter V-12
Power: 315 horsepower
Torque: unknown
0 to 60 mph: 6 seconds (estimate)
Top speed: 174 mph
Price: $28 million

Read our full review on the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider - $27.5 million

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4S NART Spider Exterior
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The Ferrari 275 was introduced as a replacement to the 250 and some versions of this model became almost as iconic and expensive as the 250. One such variant is the GTB/4 NART Spider, a limited-edition series of only 10 examples commissioned by Ferrari North America dealer Luigi Chinetti. Envisioned as a successor to the 250 California Spider, it was a convertible version of the 275 GTB/4, itself an improved version of the standard 275.

These cars were named NART in reference to Chinetti's North American Racing Team and each came with a special badge.

It’s one of the rarest 275 series built and a well-maintained unit was auctioned off for $27.5 million in 2013. The drop-top features a 3.3-liter V-12 engine with four overhead camshafts.

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1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider specifications
Engine: 3.3-liter V-12
Power: 300 horsepower
Torque: unknown
0 to 60 mph: 5.5 seconds (estimate)
Top speed: 155 mph
Price: $27.5 million

Read our full review on the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider

1956 Aston Martin DBR1 - $22.5 million

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Arguably the most iconic race car from Aston Martin, the DBR1 is also one of the rarest vehicle fitted with the British company’s badge.

Built in only five units starting 1955, the DBR1 was raced until 1959 with notable results. The British sports car scored nine wins out of 18 events, including the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans.

It also won races at Spa, Nurburgring, and Goodwood. The DBR1 also scored Aston Martin’s only overall win at Le Mans. The car sold for $22.5 million in 2017, a record for British automobiles, was completed in 1956 as the first DBR1.

However, its first and only win came in 1959 at the Nurburgring. Although it’s not the most successful DBR1, it’s only one of the three that actually hit the race track in official events.

1956 Aston Martin DBR1 specifications
Engine: 3.0-liter straight-six
Power: 254 horsepower
Torque: 250 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 6 seconds (estimate)
Top speed: 160 mph
Price: $22.5 million

Read our full review on the 1956 Aston Martin DBR1

1935 Duesenberg SSJ - $22 million

Duesenberg SSJ - The Most Expensive American Car
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The only American car from our list, the SSJ was built by Duesenberg, a company that existed for only 24 years, from 1913 to 1937. But despite its short existence, Duesenberg left a big mark on the auto industry thanks to its successful race cars and high-end luxury automobiles.

On top of winning the Indianapolis 500 four times in the 1920s, Duesenberg built some of the most exquisite luxury cars.

The SSJ is its most iconic model. Part of the Model J series, the SSJ featured a shorted wheelbase and a more powerful, supercharged engine. The massive, 6.9-liter straight-engine generated a whopping 400 horsepower, the most of any Model J. Only two cars were built and sold to Hollywood actors Gary Cooper and Clark Gable in 1935 and 1936, respectively.

Rumors have it that Cooper and Gable used to race each other in the Hollywood hills in their SSJs. The car that sold for $22 million in 2018 belonged to Cooper and remained in unrestored condition for several decades. It’s by far the rarest and most significant car built in the United States. Not only the most expensive American car, this SSJ is also the most valuable pre-WW2 car ever sold.

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1935 Duesenberg SSJ specifications
Engine: 6.9-liter straight-eight
Power: 400 horsepower
Torque: 425 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 8 seconds (estimate)
Top speed: 130 mph
Price: $22 million

Check out more details on the 1935 Duesenberg SSJ

1955 Jaguar D-Type - $21.8 million

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Just like the DBR1 for Aston Martin, the D-Type was a quintessential model for Jaguar. Introduced in 1954, they hit the track almost immediately and remained competitive until 1959.

A somewhat unique design with the passenger side covered, a half windshield, and a big wing behind the driver's seat, the D-Type dominated sports car racing for three consecutive years.

Although it failed to finish during its maiden presence at Le Mans in 1954, the D-Type went on to win the iconic race three years in a row from 1955 to 1957. The D-Type scored Jaguar’s last victory at Le Mans until 1988. It’s also one of the very few cars that scored three wins in the iconic endurance race. In 2016, the D-Type that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1956 was auctioned off for $21.78 million.

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1955 Jaguar D-Type Specifications
Engine: 3.4-liter straight-six
Power: 250 horsepower
Torque: 242 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 4.7 seconds
Top speed: 162 mph
Price: $21.8 million

Read our full review on the 1955 Jaguar D-Type

1963 Aston Martin DP215 - $21.45 million

The 10 Most Expensive Cars In The World
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A prototype sports car similar to the Ferrari 250 GTO in design, the DP215 was introduced in 1963 alongside the DP214. Designed to replace the DP212, the DP215 was built on the chassis of the DB4GT. Built in just one example, the DP215 was race at 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1963, but failed to finish due to transmission issues. The prototype raced a couple more events and suffered two crashes, one of which resulted in a rebuilt. The DP215 was restored completely in the 1980s, being finished in 1991 after 11 years of work. The car was driven at various classic car and racing events until it was auctioned off for $21.45 million in 2018.

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1963 Aston Martin DP215 specifications
Engine: 4.0-liter straight-six
Power: 345 horsepower
Torque: 330 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 4.5 seconds (estimate)
Top speed: 180 mph
Price: $21.45 million

Read our full review on the 1963 Aston Martin DP215

What is the most expensive car in the world?

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Becomes The Most Expensive Car Ever Sold in an Auction
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The most expensive car in the world is a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that was sold for $70 million.

With the adjusted price of a new GTO in 2020 estimated at almost $160,000 (the car was sold for $18,500 back in 1962), the value of this specific car has multiplied 437.5 times. Incredible, isn’t it?

Who owns the world’s most expensive car?

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Becomes The Most Expensive Car Ever Sold in an Auction
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The $70-million Ferrari is currently owned by David MacNeil, founder of WeatherTech, a company specialized in car accessories.

An auto racer, car collectors, and sponsor of the Laguna Seca race track, MacNeil has a net worth of $1 billion.

How much did the most expensive car in the world cost?

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Becomes The Most Expensive Car Ever Sold in an Auction
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The most expensive car in the world was purchased for $70 million.

That’s the price of 70 high-profile supercars, around 35 special-edition Chirons, or a luxury yacht. You can also use this kind of money to buy a few hundred homes or pay for a few hundred heart transplants. You can also buy a few tropical islands with that much money.

What is the most expensive car ever sold at auction?

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1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

While the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is the most expensive car in the world at $70 million, it’s not the most expensive ever sold at auction. That’s because the 250 GTO was sold in a private deal.

The most expensive car ever auctioned is also a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, but it changed hands for $48.4 million.

It happened in August 2018 at RM Sotheby’s event in Monterey, California.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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