Want a million dollar motor, guv’?

This year’s most expensive car at auction, a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti, one of just 32 ever built; yours for a mere US$9,625,000.

Automologist, MAC, drools over some of the cars that were featured in the recent record-breaking Scottsdale auction. Those who cannot own them shall write about them…

The rest of the world may be suffering from a post-Christmas economic hangover, but the uber rich seem to be un-phased by the festive excesses and have just splashed out a stunning US$289 million at the annual Scottsdale Collector Car Auction, eclipsing last year’s total by more than US$41 million after the hammer finally fell on the auction; that’s an 18% rise and thus proving that there is still plenty of money in the marketplace.

Judging by the increase, it is fair to say that collectors are expecting classic cars to maintain their stratospheric appreciation and with the amount of high net worth individuals growing at the rate of ten percent per year; I wouldn’t argue with that, especially as a greater portion of investment portfolios are being devoted to investments of passion, according to a leading wealth report.

Scottsdale is in fact a series of auctions held by a number of auction houses over a ten-day period, during which some 2939 cars were offered for sale, of which 2532 were sold. Of course these cars are not your average second-hand jalopy sold by a shady character from an abandoned gas station; all of the cars for sale would appeal only to serious collectors. This year, the average price of the cars was almost US$116,000, so it would seem that investing some of your hard-won wealth into a classic car is very compelling.

Not all the cars were sold for the purpose of swelling the bank accounts of the world’s elites. A total of ten cars crossed the auction block for charity, with the GM Futurliner raising US$4,650,000 (US$4 million in bids and US$650,000 in pledges) for the Armed Forces Foundation. In total, the charity auction night managed to sneak US$8,750,000 from the wallets of the world’s rich.

Although cars are designed to be driven, it would seem unlikely that we will ever see any of the top ten cars from this year’s auction on the road as a close encounter with a motorbike may lead to a stress-induced heart attack. For the car enthusiast like myself, this is of course a great shame.

The Top Ten most expensive cars, which actually consists of eleven cars as two cars tied for sixth and two for tenth, was dominated by Ferrari with no less than eight cars in the top eleven; the most expensive being a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe Scaglietti that sold for US$9,625,000. The little red prancing thing was described by the auction house as the ninth of just 32 built and the very last Ferrari model to win the prestigious Le Mans back in 1965. Powered by a 320hp V-12, it is reputed to be wickedly fast and capable of racing with any of today’s supercars when it comes to moving through the wiggly bits, assuming that your insurance company will actually allow you to ever drive the darn thing.

The car was purchased in 1977 by Eric Stewart, a once famous musician who appeared in bands such as Mindbenders and 10cc. This car has an extensive race history, which had seen it in many incarnations, including at times being fitted with a different engine, had its chassis shortened, and quite remarkably, was for a time fitted with the body of a Porsche 906 Carrera, complete with gullwing doors. The vehicle was restored to factory condition, which saw the restoration team even track down the original engine resulting in a Ferrari Classiche Certification.

The others in the top ten are as follows:

1. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe, US$9,625,000 (RM)
2. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Coupe, US$9,405,000 (Bonhams)
3. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder, US$7,700,000 (Gooding)
4. 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 “Super Snake,” US$5,115,000 (Barrett-Jackson)
5. 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Series I Aerodinamico Coupe, US$4,070,000 (Gooding)
6. 1950 General Motors Futurliner Parade Of Progress Tour Bus, US$4,000,000 (Barrett-Jackson)
7. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe, US$3,657,500 (RM)
8. 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder, US$3,300,000 (RM)
8. 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept, US$3,300,000 (Barrett-Jackson)
10. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Longnose Coupe, US$2,750,000 (RM)
10. 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO Coupe, US$2,750,000 (RM)

images: rmauctions.com, barrett-jackson.com

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