It’s no secret that new cars are getting more expensive. But that makes sense. Cars are safer, faster, and more advanced than they ever have been before. And while car sales are just starting to level off after six consecutive years of record-breaking growth, there’s no sign that the average price of a new car is going to dip anytime soon.
But if new car sales have surged over the past few years, the collector car market has been positively explosive. Old cars are no longer in the realm of die-hard gearheads. Today’s collector is just as likely to be looking for investment opportunities as they are for a car they love. As a result, the high-end auctions now have more in common with blockbuster art sales than your local classic car show.
The collector market is beginning to show signs of cooling, too. But that might be hard to believe once you look at the numbers. With the help of Top Classic Car Auctions, we’ve compiled the 10 most expensive classics sold in the U.S. in 2017. Unsurprisingly, the sale prices are as unbelievable as the cars themselves.
10. 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster
- Price: $6,600,000
Oh, the stories this car could tell. One of the most powerful and advanced cars of the 1930s, this Mercedes 540K was delivered to its first owner, a Berlin art dealer, just weeks before the outbreak of World War II. After the war, it was discovered in East Berlin, where it was eventually shipped to Moscow and used by Soviet diplomats until the mid-1960s. It’s been in the U.S. since the 1970s.
After completing a full restoration in 2011, it won Second Best in Show at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In January 2017, it was sold by RM Sotheby’s for $6.6 million at its Scottsdale, Arizona, auction.
Next: It’s been a big year for this British brand.