Watching the One Percent Splurge
This year’s auctions were packed with all kinds of interesting cars that ranged from examples built during the early 20th century to modern supercars. The most valuable, however, were built in Italy during the years when the United States and Western Europe waged a Cold War with the Soviet Union. Here’s is a quick rundown of some of the most expensive cars the One Percent splurged their millions on at auctions in 2015.
*All figures mentioned in this article are in US dollar
1952 Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta by Touring — $7,323,926 (RM Auctions, Villa Erba)
The Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta was a race car campaigned by factory-backed teams and wealthy private owners. This particular example was the last Touring body made. It competed in the Targa Florio in 1952 and 1953 and entered the Mille Miglia in 1956.
1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina— $7,645,000 (RM Auctions, The Andrews Collection)
When it first went into production, the 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet was one of the most expensive cars that Ferrari produced. Powering it was a 4.0-liter V-12 that produced around 340 hp and paired to a four-speed manual gearbox.
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider by Scaglietti — $8,500,000 (RM Auctions, Monterey)
Considered one of the most beautiful convertibles built, the Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider has become an automotive icon. This particular example comes with custom options such as open headlights, an inset air intake on the hood, and a hardtop. In total, only 250 GT LWB California Spiders were built.
1959 Ferrari 250 GT Competizione Alloy Berlinetta —$8,525,000 (Bonhams, Pebble Beach)
This particular 250 GT was a race car that competed in many events in the late 1950s, including Tour de France, where it placed third overall. Another key aspect of this car is the coachwork, which was created by Scaglietti. Before being auctioned off, this Competizione Alloy Berlinetta example was sent to Ferrari to be restored.
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Coupe — $9,405,000 (Bonham’s, Scottsdale)
Designed by Pininfarina and featuring coachwork by Scaglietti, the Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione featured a 3.3-liter V-12 that made up to 320 hp. This particular example was one of the last vehicles built by Ferrari’s competition department.
1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe — $9,625,000 (RM Auctions, Arizona)
Featuring exterior bodywork by Pininfarina, the Ferrari 250 LM coupe was originally built to fulfill homologations requirements for racing in the GT class. In total, only 32 250 LM coupes were built.
1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione TdF — $13,200,000 (RM Auctions, Monterey)
Nicknamed the Long Wheelbase Berlinetta, the Ferrari Berlinetta Competizione gained the TdF (Tour de France) moniker after it competed in the 10-day Tour de France automobile race. In total only 77 TdF models were built, and some were sold as race cars during the late ’50s. Under the hood was a V-12 engine that initially produced 237 hp and was later increased to 276 hp.
1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight — $13,200,000 (RM Auctions, Monterey)
Based on the XK120 roadster, the Jaguar C-Type was a race car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice, in 1951 and 1953. Powering it was a 220-hp, 3.4-liter I-6, the same engine that was considered revolutionary because of its dual overhead-cam configuration. In total, only 53 C-Types were built.
1998 McLaren F1 LM — $13,750,000 (RM Auctions, Monterey)
During the 1990s, the McLaren F1 held the title for fastest production car in the world thanks to a powerful 6.0-liter V-12, which had 680 hp in the LM specification. Only two road-going McLaren F1s were fitted with the LM engine, which came with larger radiators, a sport exhaust, a revised front fascia with two wing vents, and a Downforce package for better stability.
1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale by Bertone — $16,500,000 (Gooding & Company, Pebble Beach)
A specially built Ferrari 250 GT with bodywork done by Bertone for Nuccio Bertone, this vehicle was primarily used to show the company’s coach-building expertise. Like all 250 models, this one-off model used a 3.0-liter V-12 that developed between 237 to 276 hp.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider — $16,830,000 (Gooding & Company, Pebble Beach)
The convertible variant of the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB, the 250 GT SWB California Spider is now high on the list of car collectors worldwide. The car came to fame after a fiberglass-bodied replica was featured in the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe by Scaglietti— $17,600,000 (RM Auctions, Monterey)
Named after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Ferrari 250 LM coupe is one of the most sought after cars by collectors. This particular example is the 23rd vehicle produced and has won numerous first-place awards at car shows. Although most Ferrari 250s are powered by a 3.0-liter V-12, this example uses a 3.3-liter unit that was developed for the GT class. In 1965, this particular 250 LM took first place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was the last Ferrari to do so.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider — $18,586,482 (Artcurial, Paris)
One of the most sought after classic Ferraris, the 250 GT SWB California Spider has a shortened wheelbase to improve handling. In total, 55 cars were built. They were powered by a 3.0-liter V-12 that made 276 hp.
1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti — $28,050,000 (RM Auctions, New York City—Driven by Disruption)
Produced specially to compete in the 1956 Mille Miglia, the Ferrari 290 MM was a race car with a storied racing history that included wins at Mille Miglia, the Swedish Grand Prix, and 1,000 km race Buenos Aires. Powering it is a V-12 engine producing 320 hp that was derived from Scuderia Formula 1 cars.