The British auction house Bonhams sold a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for over $38 million in 2014, which is the highest published and confirmed price ever paid for a car. The race car had been handled by legendary driver Stirling Moss at the top of his career. Another 250 GTO purportedly went more than $50 million in a private sale.
In 2010, the Mullin Automotive Museum bought one of the four incredibly beautiful Bugatti 57SC Atlantic ever built for what a source stated was between $25 million and $45 million. In 2013, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Silver Arrow sold at an auction in England for over $29 million.
The Bottom Line
Being a collector of high-end cars can take significant investment and comes with petty carrying costs. As preferences and economics alter, what was once worth a king’s ransom could devalue to a mere princely sum, so pick carefully. Italian and Red are usually good bets but be conscious of over-frothy markets.
For instance, wealthy Japanese buyers couldn’t purchase enough Ferraris in the second half of the 1980s and costs saw an incredible spike and then a bubble. When the Japanese stopped purchasing, those prices dropped by a huge percentage. Buy quality, know your market and demographic factors, and be sure you’re not purchasing while in bubble territory.
Just because you don’t make six figures to spend, doesn’t mean you can’t have a great classic car. With a little research, these are the top vintage cars you can get for $20,000 or less.
- 1972–75 BMW 3.0CSL
- 1997–2004 PORSCHE BOXSTER
- 1984–93 SALEEN MUSTANG
- 1996 CHEVROLET CORVETTE GRAND SPORT
- 2004–07 SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI
- 1985–89 TOYOTA MR2
- 2004–06 DODGE RAM SRT10
- 1980–86 FORD BRONCO
- 2008–09 PONTIAC G8 GXP
- 1994–96 BUICK ROADMASTER ESTATE WAGON