The world of auction cars, and the ones that hold the record for the most expensive ever, is cloudy at best.
News sources like to flaunt a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa as the most expensive car ever sold at auction. With a $16.4 million bid when the final gavel fell, it is certainly on the list of most expensive cars ever. But does it really hold the record? Let’s take a look.
Not surprisingly, vintage Ferrari cars consistently bring a lot of money into auction houses.
A Wikipedia list (always trustworthy, I know) has the top 3 most expensive cars as Ferraris: A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT sold for $10.8 million, a 1957 Testa Rossa for $12.4 million and another (or possibly the same) 1957 Testa Rossa sold in 2011 for the “record” $16.39 million.
For the most recent sale, the car was touted as the
very first Testa Rossa – the original prototype and rolling testbed for the 250 TR (Testarossa) line, one of the most successful sports racing cars ever.
Even at $16.4 million, it seems like something else has sold for much more than that. Like, almost double. Ah yes, now I remember. The 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, which brought in somewhere between $30 million and $40 million. As far as I know, that car was sold at auction, too. In fact, both the Testa Rossa and the Bugatti sales were handled by the same auction house, Gooding & Co.
Plus, there’s another Ferrari, a 1964 250 GTO, which sold for $31.8 million earlier this year.
So, I have to raise my hand and say, “No, guys, $16.4 million isn’t a world record.”
It’s a heck of a lot of money, and I have no doubt the real record will be broken soon (again), but not yet.
At this level, these cars are purchased as investments only. If I had the money and bought one, I’d still drive it to the grocery store every now and then. Would you?