For most of us, a car is a tool that we can use to get from point A to point B without having to wear out our shoes. However, for some people, a car is something else. It’s a status symbol. It’s an investment. It’s a piece of history. And when these particular people happen to have a few million dollars burning a hole in their pockets, then you’ve got a recipe for some of the most expensive cars ever purchased. Let’s take a look at 10 cars that were purchased for more than you’ll probably make in your entire life.
Owner: Jay-Z (Shawn Corey Carter)
Car: Maybach Exelero
Cost: Approximately $8,000,000 USD ($8,864,240 AUD)
Sorry, but if the batmobile-esque lines and glossy black finish of the Maybach Exelero have stolen your heart, you’re probably out of luck. The Exelero is a one-off prototype that was designed as a result of a competition between students at Pforzheim Polytechnic Department of Transport Design. Although the car weighs approximately two tons, it has no problem getting up to speed; it tops out at around 218 mph (350 kmh). The one of a kind vehicle was purchased by rapper Jay-Z, and appeared in his music video “Lost One.”
Car: 1931 Bugatti Royale Type 41 Kellner Coupe
Cost: Approximately $9,700,000 USD ($10,744,350 AUD)
The idea behind the Bugatti Royale was to build a luxury vehicle to be marketed to royalty around the world. Unfortunately, royalty wasn’t really on board with the idea, and only six were ever built. This particular Bugatti managed to survive the Second World War bricked into the Ettore Bugatti garage to keep it safe from the Nazis. It sold in 1987 for $9.7 million (which amounts to over $20 million when one accounts for inflation). It has been sold a few times since then, and its current owner is unknown.
Car: Duesenberg Model J Murphy-Bodies Coup
Cost: Approximately $10,340,000 USD ($11,453,256 AUD)
The Duesenberg Model J Coupe is a big car by any standards. After all, it was commissioned by George Whittell Jr, who wanted a vehicle large enough that he could allow his pet lion, Bill, to join him for Sunday drives. He ended up buying six Duesenbergs over the course of his lifetime, one of which sold for well over ten million dollars at an auction in 2011.
Owner: Chris Evans
Car: Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder
Cost: Approximately $10,900,000 USD ($12,073,548 AUD)
Does this car look familiar? It should; it’s the same make and model of car that was used in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (well, sort of. The car used in the film was a fake with a fiberglass body). Still, the idea of a car worth more than poor Cameron’s life holds true with the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder. This particular car was once owned by Oscar-winning actor James Coburn, and was bought in 2008 by UK radio personality Chris Evans for nearly 11 million dollars.
Car: Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster
Cost: Approximately $11,800,000 USD ($13,070,447 AUD)
When it was sold in 2012 for nearly 12 million dollars, the Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special became the most expensive pre-war vehicle ever sold at an auction. This particular car was once owned by the Prussian Baroness Gisela Josephine von Krieger. She had the car moved to the United States, where she kept it until her death. The car sat forgotten in a garage in Greenwich, Connecticut for four decades, until it was rediscovered in 1990.
Car: Ferrari Testa Rossa 0714
Cost: Approximately $12,100,000 USD ($13,402,746 AUD)
We hope you like Ferraris, because from here on out, that’s mostly all you’re going to see on this list. Also, don’t expect to see many owner names here, either. For some reason, people who drop a dozen million on old cars tend to be a rather secretive lot. Such was the case when an anonymous phone bidder grabbed up this fine vehicle. The 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa no. 0714 came in 4th place at the Buenos Aires 1000km in 1958, and went for over 12 million dollars when it was auctioned off in 2009, becoming, at the time, the most expensive automobile to ever be purchased in auction.
Car: Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 0666
Cost: Approximately $16,400,000 USD ($18,165,706 AUD)
Of course, records are made to be broken, and it wasn’t long before another car came along to crush the record set by the Ferrari Testa Rossa 0714. So, what car is cool enough to make a Testa Rossa look like nothing special? How about the first Testa Rossa? The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 0666 was the prototype from which all other Testa Rossas were created. As such, it’s no wonder that it sold for a price that, in 2011, was basically unheard of.
Owner: Lawrence Stroll
Car: 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider
Cost: $27,500,000 USD ($30,460,787 AUD)
Only ten of the NART 275 GTB Racing Team cars were ever built, which helps to explain how it managed to draw in over 27 million dollars on the auction floor. One of the first NART owners was movie actor Steve McQueen, who tried for years to find a replacement after he crashed his. This particular car had only been owned by one previous owner, who, upon selling the car, announced that all of the proceeds from the car’s sale would be given to charity. Isn’t that nice?
Car: Fangio’s Mercedes-Benz W196R
Cost: Approximately $29,600,000 USD ($32786884 AUD)
Only 14 W196Rs were ever made, which makes them quite a find to begin with. But what sets this particular automobile apart is that it was once the racecar of Juan Manual Fangio, who took it to victory in the 1954 German and Swiss Grands Prix. Since it was retired from racing, it has changed hands between collectors no less than five times, and you can bet that the last person to own it before it hit the auction block back in July 2013 made a tidy profit off of the vehicle.
Car: 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO 5111
Cost: $52,000,000 USD ($57,598,580 AUD)
Yes, you read that one right. 52 million dollars—almost double the price of the next most expensive automobile on this list. And what does 52 million dollars get you in a car? Well, the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO is a piece of history, having won the 1963 Tour de France road race. However, even more than that, and Ferrari 250 GTO is naturally going to catch quite a price at auction. For one thing, owning a rare automobile that collectors will pay almost any amount to get their hands on, has certain investment potential. For another thing, with collectors being willing to pay almost any amount for a Ferrari 250 GTO, then having one automatically means the difference between good car collection, and a great one. Of course, for the price you’d pay for one, you could get six of the first car mentioned on this list, so it’s really a question of where your priorities are.