There is no denying that the automotive industry is one of the highest dollar industries in the world, and these prices can become astronomical. The various automotive auctions around the world are known for selling some of the most prestigious and expensive vehicles in the world, and although it can seem a little crazy to spend millions on a single vehicle, there are many people who will actually plunk down some serious buckets on a rare vehicle.
Some auction finds are rarer than others, and there are some cars that have passed through the auction that simply broke the laws of reality with astronomical pricing.
We have taken a look and examined some of the priciest auction finds of the last decade, and we found some of the most groundbreaking purchases to come across the auction block. There is no doubt that some of the cars on this list are among the most expensive in the world, and it is an amazing thing to see that an enthusiast would have spent such a high amount of money on a single vehicle purchase.
There is no sure winning formula for determining a rare car, or even what it will fetch at the auction. It really depends on the story behind the car, and what makes the car a special and rare vehicle in the automotive world. We love how some of the rarest cars in the world have such a unique story behind them, and even better than that is the fact that many of these cars astoundingly broke the bank in more ways than one.
20 The $10 Million LA Junkyard Mercedes
So, it all started in a junkyard in South Central, Los Angeles. Where an unsuspecting car collector came across one of the rarest and most expensive Mercedes-Benz models in the world.
Known affectionately by automotive journalists as the Junkyard Mercedes, this extremely rare and one of a kind model sold at auction for $10 million dollars according to Car And Driver magazine. This ultra-rare vehicle is known as the Mercedes-Benz 500K, and there are very few examples of this rare car left in the world.
19 The Ferrari 250 GTO Lawn Ornament
There is no bigger surprise than finding out that you are sitting on a goldmine, and that is exactly what one person did when he found out that his lawn ornament was actually one of the rarest vehicles in the world. The Ferrari 250 GTO which had lived life as a rusted out shell of a car on someone's grass according to Jalopnik, ended up being scouted out by a collector who noticed the homeowner's children sliding down the hood as if the car was a piece of play equipment.
Nevertheless, the Ferrari 250 GTO ended up being fully restored and sold at an auction.
18 The Onassis Miura
Fast supercars define the world of automobiles, and there are quite a few notable exceptions that are so fast and so rare that it is amazing. The Onassis Miura is perhaps one of the rarest supercars in the world, and known for having a serious amount of horsepower combined with a lightweight frame and body.
The Onassis Miura is a rarity in the world of supercars, and we don’t think that there is one quite like it in the world today. The Onassis Miura will go down as one of the rarest supercars to be sold at auction, and we want one!
17 Bugatti Type 57s Atalante
Nowadays, the Bugatti brand is known as one of the most expensive automotive brands on the planet, and that isn’t just focused on the new cars. The old Bugatti models have also been shooting up in value, and one such model was the Bugatti Type 57s Atalante which sold at auction for a staggering $4.4 million in Paris.
The Bugatti Type 57s Atalante is one of the original Bugatti models, and we are astounded by how beautiful and unique this one of a kind roadster is and still manages to be today.
16 1969 ZL1 Camaro
Generally regarded as one of the rarest Camaro models of all time, the 1969 ZL1 Camaro is one of the fastest and most well-designed productions Camaro models to ever roll off of the assembly line, and there are very few of them in existence.
The 1969 ZL1 Camaro recently sold in the Barrett-Jackson auction for a staggering $451,000! And, this is a small price to pay for one of the rarest examples of a true pony car in the world today. Just take on look at the 1969 ZL1 Camaro and you will know that you are looking at something special.
15 The Million-Dollar Ferrari 166MM
We don’t think that there is any such thing as a cheap Ferrari model anywhere on earth, but the Ferrari 166MM is among one of the rarest and most prestigious. When you take a look at the Ferrari 166MM you will be greeted by something that is so rare that it is amazing, and then you take a look at one of the recent auction sales which involved the 166MM, you’ll be astounded by the million dollar sales price.
We don’t know if we’d pay $1 million for an old Ferrari, but apparently, there is a market for these.
14 Shelby Daytona Coupe
Anyone who is anyone knows that a car with Shelby on it is a rare and pretty fast find, and the Shelby Daytona Coupe is about one of the rarest and most highly sought after cars in the world.
The Shelby Daytona Coupe which was a very limited production roadster, sold at auction for a record $7.25 million according to Car And Driver. Can you imagine having that kind of cash to throw around on a roadster? Of course, the Shelby Daytona Coupe is well worth the price when it comes to the driving experience.
13 1960s Dino
No, this isn’t a dinosaur that we are talking about. The Dino is one of the purest and most exclusive roadsters to have ever roamed the streets, and the mere sighting of one of these lightweight cars is a rarity.
So, what makes the 1960’s Dino so cool? Well, take one look at the Dino and you would think that you were looking at a Shelby GT. This is a pretty cool example of engineering and the stylish exterior that gives the car a one of a kind look doesn’t hurt either so the Dino is a winner.
12 BMW E30 M3 Sport Evo
In recent years, the E30 M3 has been exploding in value and popularity, and this has fueled the search for one of the rarest examples. The BMW E30 M3 Sports Evo is a rare example of pure sports performance, matched to a beautiful and rare exterior that let's you know that this car means business.
We don’t take the performance of the M3 Sports Evo lightly, which is why the car stands as one of the rarest BMW models that you can find.
11 Ford RS200
We doubt that the Ford RS200 needs an introduction, as the vehicle is one of the most rewarding and rarest rally cars in the world. In fact, some of the notable owners include comedian Jay Leno and movie star Tim Allen.
So, what makes the Ford RS200 so cool? Well, just take a look at this car and you will know that something is different, and it is. The mid-engine design was developed to win races, and that the Ford RS200 does quite well with many World Championships under its belt.
10 Mercedes 190E Cosworth Evolution II
The market for older Mercedes-Benz models has been on the rise in recent years, so what makes the Mercedes 190E Cosworth Evolution II so special? Well, this happens to be one of the most prestigious E-Series models to date, and aside from that is the fact that this sedan is seriously fast.
We don’t mean average sports sedan fast, we mean tires blistering Germany-made performance sedan fast. Finding a Mercedes 190E Cosworth Evolution II is not an easy task, and if you do find one, hold onto it.
9 BMW Le Mans Car
The Le Mans is one of the most well-known races in the world, and anybody who's anybody has one of their vehicles in this race. BMW has long been a Le Mans race participant, and their vehicles are known for their extensive victories in this racing series.
The BMW Le Mans Car is a rare vehicle that was designed with one purpose in mind, and that is to win the Le Mans race and this car did it quite well which is why it is one of the rarest BMW models that you will find in the world and we like it.
8 The Original Citroen 2CV Prototypes
Although the Model T is credited with changing the automotive industry over in the U.S. market, in Europe the Citroen 2CV Prototypes were the original mass-produced consumer cars.
Taking a look at the one of a kind 2CV, the cars are bad looking at best but they proved that a lightweight consumer car could be mass-produced. The Citroen 2CV Prototypes that were sold at auction were among the rarest cars in the world, and the model proved that the Europe automotive industry was also an innovative force.
7 Dodge Coronet Convertible
Dodge during the seventies was one of the pioneering automakers in the game, and the Dodge Coronet Convertible was one of the underrated heroes of this generation. This one of a kind big two-door coupe offered a variety of options, including the rare Super Bee option.
Recently the Dodge Coronet Convertible has been increasing in value and it's not a rarity to watch one of these stellar coupes fetch upwards of $40,000 at auction for an original example. We like the Dodge Coronet Convertible and we think that this big and bold car deserves more credit than it gets.
6 Packard Panther
When it comes to checking out one of the rarest cars on the road, many enthusiasts fail to mention the Packard Panther, which was one of the pioneering large sedans that was sold on the automotive market.
We like what the Packard Panther offered in terms of a sleek and modern design, coupled with one of the best V8 engines that you could get at the time. The Packard Panther has been steadily climbing in value, and we believe that this car will be one of the future instant classics.
5 Tucker ’48 (We Just Don’t Understand)
We love cars, and when it comes to rarities in the car world one vehicle that we can’t understand is the Tucker '48. This car was a notable failure for many reasons, with the first which was notable for design flaws which caused catastrophic failures early on.
Then the company was hampered by a stock market fraud investigation, and finally, the Tucker went away forever. The sad thing is that the Tucker '48 was ahead of its time in many aspects, but the mismanagement of the company never allowed the car to excel.
4 Aston Martin Bulldog (We Just Don’t Understand)
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a UFO, what is it? The Aston Martin Bulldog is just about the weirdest looking car on the planet, resembling more or less a tin can than an actual car.
What the designers were thinking when they put the Bulldog on the drawing table we don’t know, but this tin can on wheels never managed to take off, thankfully. One can only imagine that the Aston Martin Bulldog drives astounding, but the tin can looks just kill off any love that we have for this weird looking car.
3 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (We Just Don’t Understand)
Generally regarded as one of the rarest Mercedes-Benz models on the planet, we just can’t get over the Gullwing styling of the Mercedes 300SL. What could have been a pretty unique sports coupe kind of went overboard in the styling department, and although these cars are very rare we are generally unimpressed with the looks of this car and there are other Mercedes models that we would be more interested in acquiring than this one.
Still, the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing holds a distinction for being one of the rarest cars in the world.
2 Talbot Lago Grand Sport (We Just Don’t Understand)
There are just some cars that are on this planet that we will never warm up to, and one of them is the Talbot Lago Grand Sport. This weird looking car took what looks like an attempt at creating a sports coupe, but the finished product was something that we wouldn’t be interested in driving at all.
The Talbot Lago Grand Sport was a fairly well-known car, but the vehicle just never managed to gain a following like other models on the market did at a time when two-doors were still a new thing.
1 Porsche 916 (We Just Don’t Understand)
Sure, you know about the 911, but have you ever heard of the 916? Probably not, this was a rare Porsche model and one of the originating cars that brought us the diverse brand that we see today.
The Porsche 916 is notable for its long sloping lines and a one of a kind styling that made the car quite sleek during a time when cars were still big and bulky. Nevertheless, we just can’t warm up to the styling of the 916 and we think that Porsche had other models which are more notable.
Sources: Motor Trend, Edmunds, Jalopnik