A classic Mercedes topped the list of most expensive cars of 2013 after it sold for a record-breaking £19.6 MILLION, figures revealed yesterday.
The 1954 Mercedes W196, as driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, is the most valuable car to ever sell publicly and it can’t even be driven on the road.
It beat a one owner Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spyder which is now the most expensive road car sold at auction after it fetched £17.6 million.
The third biggest public sale of the year was a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM which sold last month in New York for £8.8 million.
In total, almost £500 MILLION was spent at the three major auction classic car auction houses alone as the classic car market continues to go through the roof.
The record for the Mercedes is almost FOUR TIMES the £5.5 million Chris Evans paid in 2008 for a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder once owned by James Coburn – itself a world record at the time.
A Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta ‘Competizione’ which fetched £.2 million was the four biggest sale of 2013 while a £6 million Ferrari 250 TdF made up the top five.
RM Auctions was the top auction house after selling £225 million of cars – with the average model fetching £250,000.
They achieved 78 ‘million dollar’ vehicles with three selling for in excess of £6 million ($10m).
Max Girardo, from RM Auctions, said: “2013 has seen another year of sustained market growth in Europe, just as we have seen in North America.
“Our sales results prove that auctions remain a highly robust way to sell outstanding cars, and we look forward to expanding our European auction roster in 2014 with our inaugural Paris sale in February.”
London-based auction house Bonhams, which sold the Fangio Mercedes at its Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in July, shifted more than £125 million in 2013.
This included £36 million of sales at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a record for a European auction.
Gooding & Co achieved sales of £117 million with 51 cars selling for million dollar prices. This included a British McLaren F1, which sold for £5.4 million.
Even on a smaller scale classic car sales continued to soar with Silverstone Auctions boasting sale of £8.5 million – an increase of 47.5 per cent on 2012.
H&H auctions sold £9.6 million of classic cars and Coys sold £18.5 million.
The top ten sales at auction this year are all in the top 21 of all time, demonstrating the staggering position of the market which has seen some prices rise by more than 400 per cent over the past decade.
Ferraris have proved to be the most popular cars for the top-end investors, with six of this year’s top ten sales having the famous prancing horse badge.
The Historic Automobile Group International index tracks the market and says prices overall are up 35 per cent for year.
Dietrich Hatlapa, boss of the HAGI Index, said: “2013 has been an exceptional year for rare collectors’ cars so far and the growth rate of almost 36 per cent for the HAGI Top Index is more than double of our calculated long term annual average for this market.
“From simple mean reversal argument we would therefore be cautious that this performance is sustainable long term.
“To the end of November the rare Ferrari index has gained more than 50 per cent for the year, with many rare Ferrari effectively doubling in price within a time frame of two years or less.
“However our price data also shows that the Ferrari segment is more vulnerable to price declines in times of a market sell off. During 2009 for example the HAGI F index declined by more than 16 per cent.”
Top ten cars sold at auction in 2013:
1 – 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Grand Prix – £19.5 million – Bonhams (UK – July)
2 – 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S Nart Spider – £17.6 million – RM Auctions (US – August)
3 – 1964 Ferrari 250 LM – £8.8 million – RM Auctions (US – November)
4 – 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta ‘Competizione’ - £8.2 million – RM Auctions (Italy – May)
5 – 1957 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Berlinetta – £6m – Gooding & Co (US – August)
6 – 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C-35 – £5.9 million – Bonhams (UK – September)
7 – 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Spider - £5.6 million – RM Auctions (US – August)
8 – 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante – £5.6m – Gooding & Co – (US – August)
9 – 1997 McLaren F1 Coupe – £5.4m – Gooding & Co – (US – August)
10 – 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster – £6.9 million – RM Auctions (£5m – August)