If you’re currently in the market for used cars, you’ve surely come across some offerings that are not nearly as inexpensive as you had anticipated. Used cars can still be somewhat pricey, especially if they’re relatively new models.
Of course, these targeted cars’ values probably don’t come close to matching the prices of the most expensive used cars of all-time. Of course, this is a bit hyperbolic, as these “used cars” are generally retired racers that are sold for millions and millions of dollars at auction. However, if you’re feeling a bit pessimistic about the high prices that accompany your targeted used cars, you might feel a bit better after exploring the values of the most expensive used cars of all time…
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO: $38,115,000
If you’re in the market for a Ferrari, then you presumably have some money to spend. However, few car enthusiasts could even dream of owning the rare 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, which sold for a record-breaking $38,115,00 in the summer of 2014. While the vehicle is certainly desirable for its one-of-a-kind design and incredible power, it’s actually the back story that made this vehicle so valuable.
The vehicle was originally manufactured back in the 1960s for racer Jo Schlesser, who planned to share the car with professional racer Henri Oreillier. In a devastating turn of events, Oreillier was killed when racing the vehicle at Coupes du Salon. Ferrari repaired the wrecked vehicle, and it was subsequently sold to an Italian racer, who ultimately piloted the car to a handful of victories in local hill climbs.
With the vehicle having proved itself as a winner, it was sold once again…and it subsequently crashed, this time during the 1964 Coppa Inter-Europa. With the roof destroyed, Ferrari fixed the vehicle for a second time, and it was subsequently resold for the equivalent of $33,500. This buyer kept the vehicle for nearly five decades before they finally sold the car for the record-breaking price in 2014.
1957 Ferrari 335S: $35,711,359
One of Ferrari’s vehicles came close to breaking the record in 2014, as the 1957 Ferrari 335S sold for more than $35,000,000 at a French auction. This specific “Chassis 0674” made its first appearance as a “315S” back in 1957, participating and finishing sixth in the 12 Hours of Sebring. Driver Wolfgang von Trips later received the vehicle and piloted it for the 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race.
The vehicle earned its “335S” title after the 3.8-liter V12 engine was revamped to a 4.1-liter V12 engine. Soon after, the vehicle participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, presumably capitalizing on the 185 mph top speed as it set a then-lap record. The vehicle also won the World Constructors Title in 1957, and Ferrari sold the vehicle not long after. The vehicle was raced privately for several more years before it was retired for good.
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196: $29,600,000
Finally, a non-Ferrari makes the list. In 2013, the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 broke the record that was previously set by the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa in 2011. The vehicle was originally intended to put German racing back on the map, and this is confirmed by the “national German racing shade of silver.” Mercedes-Benz had only produced a couple of vehicles following the conclusion of World War II, so fans were enthusiastic when they finally got a look at the W196’s sleek and innovative design.
The vehicle also proved itself a capable racer, as the Mercedes-Benz won nine of its 12 World Championship Grand Prix races between 1954 and 1955. The racing success was a big reason why the vehicle sold for more than $29,000,000 in 2013. However, the vehicle was also valuable because of its rarity, as the majority of the existing models are either compromised due to age or sitting in a museum.
1956 Ferrari 290 MM: $28,050,000
Unsurprisingly, Ferrari makes another appearance on this list, as the vehicle sold for more than $28,000,000 back in 2015. The sleek and tiny racer was surely one of Ferrari’s favorite products, as the car was intended to regain the racing crown for the car manufacturer. Mercedes-Benz had won the World Sportscar Championship in 1955, ending Ferrari’s multi-year streak. The owner produced a brand-new type of racer, replacing the stand four- and six-cylinder engines with a powerful V12 engine (which was cleverly mounted between the fender walls).
Ferrari commissioned famed racer Juan Manuel Fangio to operate the Ferrari 290 MM, and he ultimately piloted the model to the 1956 World Sportscar Championship. The vehicle (which was surprisingly unscathed after years of racing) was eventually sold off in the mid 1960s. Prior to being resold in 2015, the vehicle made brief appearances at Goodwood and the Concours of Elegance.
1955 Jaguar D-Type: $21,780,000
Admittedly, a pair of Ferraris ranked fifth and sixth on this list, but we didn’t want to exclude the most valuable Jaguar of all-time. In the summer of 2016, the historic 1955 Jaguar D-Type (named “XKD 501”) sold in California for $21,780,000. The vehicle was a renowned racer, having won a variety of races back in the 1950s.
The vehicle was initially created for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, but a pair of crashes led to Jaguar taking a cautious approach with the model. The D-Type ultimately made a name for itself in 1956, beating a number of rival D-Types to win Le Mans. Seemingly looking to go out on top, Jaguar soon retired their racing initiative and sold off many of their vehicles. The XKD 501 made several additional appearances after switching hands, but the 3.8-liter I6 D-Types engine ultimately couldn’t keep up with the evolving competition. The vehicle was sold several times before selling at auction in 2016, and it’s considered the world’s only remaining C- or D-Type vehicle to have won Le Mans.