1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – $52 Million
The Ferrari 250 GTO was a race car produced between 1962 and 1964 for the FIA’s Group 3 Grand Touring Car category. The car was powered by a Tipo V12 engine. Only 39 of these cars were made: 33 with the 1962-63 bodywork (Series I), three with the 1964 bodywork (Series II), which was similar to the Ferrari 250 LM, and three “330 GTO” limited edition cars with larger engines. The GTO cost $18,000 at its onset in the United States, and buyers had to be personally approved by Enzo Ferrari and his dealer. In 2012, the 1962 GTO made for Stirling Moss set an all-time record-selling price of $38,115,000. In October 2013, collector Paul Pappalardo sold chassis number 5111GT to an anonymous buyer for a new record of $52 million. Enzo Ferrari once said he thought the Jaguar XKE was “the most beautiful car in the world.” And the 250 GTO kind of looks like one, so we wonder where he got the design idea for the car. It’s been nominated as the top sports car of all time by Sports Car International in 2004, and Motor Trend Classic placed it first on its list of “Greatest Ferraris of All Time.” Popular Mechanics named it the “Hottest Car of All Time.”
1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa – $39.8 Million
The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, or TR, is a race car that was built during the 1950s and ‘60s. The car was introduced at the end of the 1957 racing season in preparation of Le Mans and the new regulation that limited sports cars to just 3-liter engines. The 250TR, as you can tell by reading other entries on this list, absolutely dominated the competition when it was racing.
The car has won 10 World Sportscar Championships, three 24 Hours of Le Mans (1958, 1960, 1961), and more. The Aston Martin DBR1 is the only car that came close to beating it (and it did, on four separate occasions).
Only 34 Ferrari Testa Rossas were ever built, all of them between 1956 and 1961. “Testa Rossa” meant “red head,” in reference to its paint job. The most famous of these, the 250TR, were all built between 1957 and 1958, with only two factory models and 19 customer models being produced. It’s considered the second-most valuable Ferrari in existence, with valuations upwards of $8 million. Though one car sold at a 2011 auction for $16.4 million, a record at the time. And in 2014, another one sold for $39.8 million—indeed putting it as the second-most valuable Ferrari of all time, right behind our #1 holder.
1956 Aston Martin DBR1 – $22.5 Million
The Aston Martin DBR1 was a race car built in 1956 and intended for the World Sportscar Championship. Its most famous victory on the track came at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans, which was Aston Martin’s only outright victory at the endurance race. It’s one of only three cars to win both the Le Mans 24 Hours and the World Sports Car Championship in the same year (the others were the Ferrari 375 Plus in 1954 and the Ferrari 250TR in 1958). It also won the Nurburgring, Le Mans, and Tourist Trophy all in 1959, matching the Ferrari 250TR’s record with its three consecutive wins in 1958. The DBR1 won six World Sportscar Championships in the ‘50s, which was a record and remained a record until surpassed by the Ferrari 250TR. The car was fixed with a racing version of the Lagonda straight- six engine, in order to comply with the 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations. It was a 2.5-liter engine that clocked 250 hp. In August 2017, a DBR1/1 was sold for $22,555,000, which is a world-record price for a British- made car. Bloomberg has called the DBR1 the “most important Aston Martin ever made.” Only five of these purpose-built cars were ever made, according to the Telegraph.
1970 Porsche 917 – $14 Million
The Porsche 917 is a sports car prototype that is famous for a few reasons. First, it gave Porsche its first overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1970 and 1971. Second, it was featured in the Steve McQueen film Le Mans. In 2017, the car driven by McQueen in the film sold at auction for $14 million, which was a record price for Porsche. The car was powered by a Type 912 flat-12 engine of 4.5, 4.9, or 5 liters, and was capable of reaching 0-62 mph in just 2.3 seconds, and with a test track top speed of 240 mph. This particular car was driven by Mike Hailwood and David Hobbs during the 1970 Le Mans race, when a rain downpour caused the 917 to crash so severely that it required extensive repairs and a renumbering of the chassis. It was then reissued as the 1972-73 Porsche 917 Interserie Spyder, was equipped with a 5.4-liter flat-12 cylinder, 630 hp engine, and sold at a 2010 auction in Monterey for $3.9 million. And while that $3.9 million is a respectable number, it still doesn’t come close to the amount Steve McQueen’s version went for—again, solely because of who owned it.
1998 McLaren F1 LM – $13.75 Million
The McLaren F1 LM is a track-oriented version of the infamous McLaren F1. The car was built to commemorate the five McLaren F1 GTRs that competed in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans race and finished in first, third, fourth, fifth, and thirteenth place. The LM is based on the same F1 GTR, with the chassis from a standard F1. Only six of these cars were made, and five were sold. The sixth was retained by McLaren to use as the platform for developing the F1 chassis. The F1 LMs can all be identified by their Papaya orange paintjobs, a color chosen in tribute to Bruce McLaren, whose race color was the same. The car uses the same engine as the 1995 F1 GTR, but without the race-mandated restrictors. It’s a 6.1-liter V12 that produces 680 hp, tested 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds (due to a big wheelspin at the start of the test). It was once the holder for a few records, including the 0-100-0 mph, which it recorded in 11.5 seconds and over a distance of 828 feet. The car’s top speed is 225 mph, which is less than the standard F1 GTR due to added aerodynamic drag. One of these cars was auctioned off in 1998 for $13.75 million.