The 10 Most Expensive Cars Ever Sold – TheStreet.com
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) — The most expensive cars out there aren’t the ones coming out of factories today. Instead, they are vehicles built decades ago.
A Ferrari made in 2015 will run you from about $180,000 to $400,000. But to get your hands on a collector’s model manufactured 50 years ago, you might be looking at numbers in the millions.
Dietrich Hatlapa, founding member of the London-based research company and think tank Historic Automobile Group (HAGI), estimates the rare automobile market’s capitalization to be about $100 billion. He says the market has tripled since 2009, and the prices of some specific cars have jumped five-fold or six-fold in the same period.
“We’re talking a very small market compared to mature asset classes. And if you see an increased demand in such a small market, you could say that market gets squeezed and gets pushed upwards because there are more buyers,” he said.
Today’s top-tier automobile market is largely dominated by rare production and racing cars from Ferrari, as well as cars made by big names like Bugatti, Bentley and Mercedes-Benz.
“The market for cars has been accelerating at a pretty fair clip, especially European sports cars,” said Eric Minoff, a specialist in the motoring department at Bonhams, the auction house behind a number of the biggest classic car transactions in recent years.
A number of factors come into play in determining a vehicle’s price, including competition pedigree and technical finesse. And, of course, there is the issue of just how hard these cars are to get.
“Cars that are setting world records have not been available for a long time,” Minoff said. “One of the major reasons the values of the car is so high is because they’re generational vehicles.”
Car collecting is a worldwide endeavor, though in some markets it is more prominent than in others. “It’s a global market; however, the United States and Europe both represent the very large majority of the market and where collectors are based,” said Hatlapa. He also noted that buying cars goes far beyond investing. “These things have become a lifestyle,” he said.
Most transactions take place on the private market — Hatlapa estimates about 70% — meaning prices are not always known. Other sales transpire on the auction blocks, and because they are public, their prices are out in the open.
Here are 10 of the most expensive cars to ever go down in the record books.