A record year: The 5 most valuable auction cars of 2013

The 2013 auction scene was a frantic cauldron of buying activity, with highly desirable, blue-chip classics reaching entirely new price levels. Perhaps surprisingly, however, it wasn't RM or Gooding that scored the year's most expensive car; and nor was it a Ferrari...

Now, let's say this up front: our list doesn't include a Ferrari 250 GTO, despite the world-record selling price of $52m reported by the world's media, as this car was traded privately - not at auction. Hence it was, finally, not a Ferrari that scored the highest price at auction in 2013, but a Silver Arrow: the ex-Fangio Mercedes factory racer W196. Having said that, the red cars from Maranello take slots two to five... 

5th place: 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France for $9.46m

In August, Gooding & Company sold a Ferrari 250 GT TdF at Pebble Beach for 9.46m U.S. dollars, or almost 7m euros (including buyer's premium). The bid didn't come as a surprise, however, as the estimate was from 9.0 to 11.0m U.S. dollars.

4th place: 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM for nearly 10m euros

At the Villa D'Este sale on Lake Como in May, RM Auctions took €9.856m (including buyer's premium) for a Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta.

3rd place: 1964 Ferrari 250 LM for $14.3m

At the RM and Sotheby's auction in New York in November, this 1964 Ferrari 250 LM sold for 14.3m U.S. dollars, or 10.6m euros (including buyer's premium).

2nd place: 1967 Ferrari N.A.R.T. Spider for $27.5m

August saw RM achieve the highest price ever paid at auction for a Ferrari: the Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider sold in Monterey for 27.5m U.S. dollars (including buyer's premium) . 

1st place: Fangio's 1954  Mercedes W196 racing car for £19.6m (sterling)

At the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​in July, Bonhams sold the former Silver Arrow of Juan Manuel Fangio, a factory Mercedes W196 , for 19.6m pounds sterling, the equivalent of 22.7m euros (including buyer's premium).

Photos: RM Auctions, Bonhams, Gooding & Company