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2018’s MOST EXPENSIVE CAR AUCTIONS WITH GARY BLONDER

As we approach the end of 2019, it’s worth remembering which cars fetched the largest prices last year. Hopefully we all do this well!

1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Making its debut at the October 1960 London Motor Show, the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato was not just a mouthful: it was the result of the Italian Zagato factory lightening and improving the already high-performance DB4, led by chief engineer Ercole Spada. Though its arresting looks and powerful 3.7-liter twin-spark aluminum-block straight-six producing 314 horsepower awed onlookers, initial demand failed to materialize the way Aston Martin executives expected, resulting in a tiny production run of 20 units. A low-mileage example, preparred to lightweight MP209 specification, pulled in $13,302,239 at Goodwood.

1963 Aston Martin DP215

Aston¬†Martin owners did very well last year. It might be time to take a look at any old British aluminum you’ve been holding onto for a rainy day, given this beautiful DP215’s hefty price tag. Hastily preparred for Le Mans in 1963, this example was driving to great effect by Phil Hill, managing a terrifying 198.6mph on Mulsanne straight, which doubtless felt much different in 1963 than it does today. That this car, underneath the coachwork, is essentially the same as the DB4 GT, it goes to show just how creative European coachbuilders were during this golden era of roadracing. $21,455,000 took the car home at Monterrey.

1935 Duesenberg SSJ

This one’s a dousy… literally! Thanks to their classic styling, intricate detailing, a limited production numbers, Duesenbergs have long been a classic car auction staple. However, there has never been a Duesenberg as expensive as this one. In fact, there has never been an American-built car sold for a higher price at auction. Miles Collier put this SSJ up for auction this past summer at Monterrey, hoping it’s unique, 400-horsepower straight 8 would put it over the top. There’s no telling whether he expected the record-shattering 22-million-dollar bid that finally sealed the deal.

1956 Ferrari 290 MM

Ferraris were not jumping off the shelves in 2018 as in past years, but one notable example smashed through the eight-figured ceiling with aplomb. Festooned with racing regalia that hints at is history as a development car for Scuderia Ferrari, this racer had its sprightly four-cylinder replaced with a melodious V12, among many other modifications. Its unique place in Ferrari racing history no doubt contributed to its final $22,005,000 price tag.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Though Ferraris weren’t exactly jumping off the shelves last year, those ones that did go certainly made an impression, as evidenced by this impeccable Ferrari 250 GTO. Only 36 Ferrari GTOs were produced, and this is number three. No trailer queen, this 250 GTO has more than 15 European auto racing class wins and outright victories under its belt. If that weren’t enough, Scagletti rebodied this particular Series I, making it one of seven 250s that recieved that treatment. These reasons, among many others, is how this 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO scored jaw-slackening final bid of $48,405,000.

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