These were the 10 highest auction prices paid for collector cars in 2019

Dealers and auction houses alike had their work cut out in 2019, telling of the softer state of the market. Nonetheless, we still saw some exceptional auction results this year, bolstering the fact that the most exceptional of collector cars will always command exceptional values…

What can we say about the top 10 most valuable cars sold at auction in 2019? Well, collectively, they represent the ‘best of the best’, the small segment of the market that has, against the common grain, exceeded expectations in 2019 and not fallen by the wayside like much of the auction house’s ‘bread-and-butter’ fare. And deservedly so – each is a truly exceptional motorcar, demonstrating exceptional rarity and unquestionable provenance. 

Perhaps more interesting, however, is the inclusion of four modern cars in the top 10, telling of the increasing market-wide demand for younger machines. The 6.8m and 8.3m Us dollars garnered for the Pagani Zonda Aether (a car we’ve featured on Classic Driver before) and the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, respectively, were astonishing sums and indicative of the insatiable hunger for the über-rare modern hypercar. Of course, a special note of recognition must go to RM Sotheby’s, which achieved the stunning sum of 19.8m dollars for the ‘LM-specification’ McLaren F1. Something tells us the auction World Record for the model won’t stand for too long. 

Number 10 

Michael Schumacher’s championship-winning Ferrari F2002 Formula 1 car sold at the RM Sotheby’s Abu Dhabi sale for 6.644m US dollars. 

Number 9

A 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet sold at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach sale for 6.8m US dollars. 

Number 8 

The unique 2017 Pagani Zonda Aether sold at the RM Sotheby’s Abu Dhabi sale for 6.812m US dollars.

Number 7 

A late-production, Lusso-specification 1963 Ferrari 250 GT ‘Short Wheelbase’ formerly owned by Nicholas Cage sold at Gooding & Company’s Scottsdale sale for 7.595m US dollars. 

Number 6

The first Ford GT40 Roadster prototype formerly raced by Carroll Shelby, Ken Miles and Jim Clark sold at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale for 7.65m US dollars. 

Number 5 

A silver 1962 Ferrari 250 GT ‘Short Wheelbase’ sold at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale for 8.145m US dollars. 

Number 4 

A 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, one of just nine examples built, sold at Bonhams’ Bonmont Sale for 8.337m US dollars. 

Number 3 

A rare covered-headlights 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Long Wheelbase California Spider sold at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach sale for 9,905m US dollars. 

Number 2 

A 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta, the same model as that which won both the Coppa d’Oro and ‘Best of Show’ awards at Villa d’Este this year, sold at Artcurial’s Rétromobile sale for 19.257m US dollars. 

Number 1 

An LM-specification 1994 McLaren F1 sold at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale for 19.8m Us dollars. 

Photos: Rémi Dargegen, Stephan Bauer, Artcurial, RM Sotheby’s, Gooding & Company