Car auctions are surprisingly entertaining, with rare, weird, and wonderful vehicles changing hands for millions of dollars.
The Concourse d’Elegance, motor shows, NASCAR, drag races, Formula 1, and the Safari Rally are some of the events which gear heads love to throng to get their adrenalin going and demonstrate their love and passion for cars of all kinds.
But car auctions can be just as exciting and fun with their blend of vintage and new-age cars with designs that are out of this world. However, what makes it very exciting is how cars and motorcycles sell at ridiculously high prices at auctions – cars and bikes that you probably will never see on the roads. Here are the ten most expensive auctioned cars of 2020.
10 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale – $4,257,007
Whether classic or otherwise, a Lamborghini is bound to draw a lot of attention from bidders at any auction. This is primarily because of its reputation and superior engineering. Lamborghini has come up with some of the wildest concept cars, some of which made it to production.
The Miura P400 SV is no different, and it turned heads at the Gooding and Company auction dubbed ‘Passion of a lifetime’ held on 5th September 2020. The vintage supercar was eventually sold to French collector Jacques Dembiermont at 4.2 Million dollars – a figure that eclipses the Miura’s previous auction price of 2 million dollars.
9 2001 Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive – $4,290,000
Another vehicle that passed the 4.2-million mark is the 550 GT1, a car that is decades younger than its Lamborghini counterpart, as it was produced at the turn of the new century. Though Ferraris are quite common, this particular example is one of the extremely rare Ferraris that’ll cost collectors millions of dollars. Only 12 units were produced. This partly explains why bidders were scrambling to acquire this proven winner at the Monterey auction held on 15th August.
The GT1 has impressive specifications and is a racing beast extraordinaire, having garnered 29 podium finishes in elite racing competitions during its short lifetime.
8 1953 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 5 – $4,946,666
Italian manufacturers do not compromise on style, and the first of the BAT series is a testament to that. The 1953 vintage vehicle was built with beauty, aerodynamics, and killer speed in mind. It is no wonder that the car was such a hit at Sotheby’s ‘contemporary art evening,’ selling for 4.9 million dollars.
If cars were a canvas, this one would definitely be a masterclass from Picasso. The BAT 5 trounced famous works of art and other unique creations to become the top seller at the event.
7 1954 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 7 – $4,946,666
Appearing at the same event on 28th October 2020 was the Alfa Romeo BAT 7. The younger brother to the BAT 5 does not differ much in style and exemplary design. In fact, all the BAT vehicles are so inseparable that they fetched the same price of 4.9 million dollars during the auction.
This classic car from the ’50s is definitely a unique collection when you consider that the 1950s were a time when basic car design served the purpose of locomotion rather than a luxury.
6 1955 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 9D – $4,946,666
Exactly two years after the BAT project car production, the trio’s final vehicle was released in 1955. The BAT 9 features the same concept as the earlier twins but with more signature details from the mother company.
Collectively, the fantastic three totaled an auction high of 14 million since the new millennium. It is clear that Sotheby was the biggest winner of 2020 in terms of art auctions, with some of the items from top artists fetching a very decent sum of money.
5 1931 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport By Figoni – $5,051,054
Perhaps the best French car brand in history, Bugatti dominated this auction year, starting with the Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport. The 1931 Type 55 Super Sport sold at just over 5 million at the Bonham at the beginning of 2020.
This car is unique because when most 1930s vehicles featured an inline four-cylinder engine, this one had an inline eight and was fitted with a Roots-type supercharger, making it very advanced for its time.
4 1928 Bugatti Type 35C – $5,224,483
If you splurge a cool 5.2 million dollars on a vintage car, then it better have a rich history and a unique design. Well, the 1928 type 35C certainly has all of that and more. The saying ‘Old is Gold’ came to life at the Passion of a lifetime auction, where the Type 35 C fetched a higher-than-estimated price of 5.2 million dollars.
The car’s authenticity was a significant factor in its high bid price, as most participants found its unaltered original design and paintwork quite intriguing.
3 1932 Bugatti Type 55 SuperSport – $7,100,000
The predecessor to the 1931 55 Super Sport, this vehicle fetched a fortune at the Bonham auction at Amelia Islands on 5th March 2020. A difference of 2 million dollars compared to the 1931 model shows that Bonham’s strategy to sell the two almost identical cars in different auctions paid off.
The car is rare because it features a chassis designed by the founder of Bugatti himself, and there have been only 14 of them in the market since the series was unveiled. A 7 million dollar price tag is therefore deserving of the Italian rarity.
2 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante – $10,433,965
The second of the three Bugattis that were the main attraction at the ‘Passion of a lifetime auction’ is this 1937 Atalante, which sold for 5 million dollars more than the 1928 Bugatti featured in the same auction.
This vintage Bugatti has been passed down from owner to owner over the years and accumulated quite a storyline along the way. The fact that there were only 16 others of its kind during production makes the Atalante even more desirable and valuable. Though it was 83 years at the time of sale, the car maintains a certain sense of panache and assured elegance.
1 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports – $12,666,600
The most expensive auction car of the year 2020 is the Type 59 sports from the Italian manufacturer at 12.6 million dollars. Sold at the Gooding and company, ‘Passion of a lifetime’ event; this car is rare because it saw both the dusk of WWI and the dawn of WWII.
To add to its history and its appeal, it is a race car that has tasted victory on more than one occasion on the big stage. The 12 million price tag shows that everybody loves a winner.
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