Buying a car can be a big expense, especially if you want a brand new one that's a little bit sporty and from a reputable brand. However, even then that wouldn't even come close to our top 10 as we look at the most expensive cars ever sold. By focusing on auction cars, we look at the ones that really gained the big money through either their history or uniqueness and not just the pricey supercars of the world.
Cars are regularly rumored to have changed hands for even larger amounts in private sales with a 1936 Bugatti Type-57 SC Atlantic that was reportedly sold to the Mullin Automotive Museum in California for between $30million and $40million in 2010 but here we look at those that we know the cost of and are documented as the most expensive cars in the world!
10. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
Auction: Gooding & Company, Pebble Beach 2015
With only 37 of its kind in the world, this vintage 1960s car features tailor made coachwork from Scaglietti, this is a period piece that garnered a lot of respect...and money.v offered with the rare and desirable hard top, this car had a distinguished show car provenance as well as successfully competing in numerous concourse and rally events.
Certified by the Ferrari Classiche department, it was its rarity that really bumped up the figures on this beauty.
9. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM
Auction: RM Auctions New York Sale 2015
Commissioned by the Fry family, of chocolate making and confectionery fame, this car was one of 32 and was racing right up until 1984. The Ferrari LM has a great pedigree as it was the last Ferrari to win the famous Le Mans endurance race taking the chequered flag in the 195 race and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Ferraris ever made.
Even though this car was raced often, Fry never had a major accident, and as a result, the car remained in exceptionally original condition. This is an important point to note, as 250 LMs, in particular, were raced hard and consequently many fell victim to the hardships of motorsport and thus making it very valuable.
8. 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione
Auction: Bonhams, Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014
Price: $18,400,177 (£11,022,525)
Built purely for use by the Ferrari works racing team with a 4.9-litre V12 mounted in the front, this car was the first of only 5 of its kind and finished second in the Mille Miglia in 1954 with Umberto Maglioli at the wheel and then went on to help Ferrari win the 1954 sports car championship. As such, it was dubbed 'the fearsome four nine.'
It later fell into disrepair but was lovingly and painstakingly restored to its former glory.
7. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
Auction: Arcturial, Paris, 2015
Another Ferrari 250, this car was intended to be an exhibit in a museum but eventually went to auction after it spent some time in a private collection of around 100 cars. Found in an old barn in rural France, under a pile of old magazines, this was a true hidden treasure and was apparently rescued from the crusher.
It wasn't in perfect condition upon its sale but it still made an incredible amount.
6. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti
Auction: RM Auctions Monterey Sale 2014
Price: $26.400,000 (£15,776,829)
One of only three Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale models that were built by the Maranello marque in late 1964 and early 1965, it was built as a challenger to Ford GT40 and Shelby Cobra Daytona at Le Mans in 1965. This particular one never competed but another one came third in Le Mans.and was he firthe of the three 275 GTB/C Speciales built.
Toured and exhibited for some time, the car was restored in 1998.
5. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider
Auction: RM Auctions Monterey Sale 2013
Price: $27,500,000 (£16,477,426)
This particular car was one of the first open-top sports cars in America and was featured alongside Steve McQueen in the film The Thomas Crown Affair. Fully restored and one of only 10 in the world at the time of its sale, t was the brain child of car importer Luigi Chinetti who recognized the desire for open-topped sports cars in the American market.
Requesting such a car from Enzo Ferrari but with a North American Racing Team badge on the rear, the result was this stunning vehicle.
4. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM
Auction: RM Sotheby's, New York City, 2015
Price: $28,050,000 (£18,512,896)
One of only four in the world, this car has a prestigious race history having been buil fbuiltanuel Fangio to race in the 1956 Mille Miglia and going on to be raced by Alfonso de Portago and Wolfgang von Trips.Each and every design of this car had Enzo Ferrari's personal handprint on them and the 290 MM was built to contest the World Sportscar Championship.
Regularly maintained and benefitting from an engine rebuild, it was the condition of this historic motor that made it so sought after.
3. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196
Auction: Bonhams, Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013
Price: $29,600,000 (£17,735,702)
Driven by 5-time Formula One world champion Juan Manuel Fangio and later, legendary Formula 1 driver, Sir Stirling Moss, it won the two world championships it competed in and the car came in authentic condition having not been restored, or even washed and had a thin layer of grime on it from the track.
Notably, it was the first car to use desmodromic valves and Daimler-Benz developed mechanical direct fuel injection adapted from the DB 601 high-performance V12 used on the Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighter during World War II.
2. 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti
Auction: Artcurial, Paris 2016
Price: $35,700,000 (£24,845,153)
Racing in an illustrious career including the legendary Sebring 12 Hours, the Mille Miglia and Le Mans is what bumped up the price of this car. With a prestigious racing history as long as your arm, it was no wonder it was sought after by collectors and race historians alike but it was designed purely for racing so the buyer couldn't even use it on the roads.
Only four of these cars were ever produced and it set the first official lap of the Le Mans circuit in under four minutes.
1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta
Auction: Bonhams The Quail 2014
Price: $38,115,000 (£22,843,633)
Only 39 GTOs were built with the intention being that they contest the 1962 FIA World GT Championships, which they did and won as well as the following year. The one that went up for auction was the best maintained of all of these cars and one of the most raced as well.
The 250 GTO was one of the last front-engined cars to remain competitive at the top level of sports car racing.