What a difference a year makes. Only 12 months ago the list was a mix of marques from Bugattis to Rolls-Royce, but this year the list has seen more movement than the pop charts with four new entries and seven of the top 10 places being occupied by Ferraris.
When the first-place holder, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196, came up for auction, no one even dared hazard a guess as to an estimate. And that's understandable, as this Mercedes is more than a car: as a vehicle driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, it is a piece of automotive history and one that won Formula One races. There's some dispute as to whether it should make the list, because it is not road legal, however, there's no doubting that at $29,650,095 it is the most expensive classic car ever sold at auction.
The second most expensive classic car to sell at auction also earned its price this year. Only 10 of the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider by Scaglietti were ever made, and when this car sold for $27,500,000 in August, the proceeds went to charity.
The other entries from this year's auctions are a Ferrari 250 LM in fourth position, selling for $14.3 million (which only just made the cut as the auction was held in November) and a 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta 'Competizione.'
The priciest cars ever sold at auction:
1. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 - $29.65 million (€22.7 million)
2. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider by Scaglietti - $27.5 million (€20.35 million)
3. 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa Prototype - $16.39 million (€12.13 million)
4. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Carrozzeria Scaglietti $14.3 million (€10.58 million)
5. 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta 'Competizione' $12.8 million (€9.48 million)
6. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa $12.4 million (€9.17 million)
7. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster $11.77 million (€8.7 million)
8. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione $11.2 million (€8.3 million
9. 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car $11 million (€8.1 million)
10. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder $10.89 million (€8 million).