Car auctions are great places to pick up a bargain or two, and if you’re looking for something just that little bit different … you’re well catered for as well. These are just some of the craziest cars that have been sold off at auctions.
Aston Martin DBR1/1
Image: Darren Tee
Said to be the most important Aston Martin ever produced, the company’s hopes of winning the 24 Heures du Mans were pinned firmly to the flanks of the DBR1, chassis number 1. Sadly, number one didn’t win, but it did go on to win the Nurburgring 1,000Km in 1959.
DBR1/1 was raced by Sir Stirling Moss, and in 1962, it was converted to a road-going car, it’s 2,992 cc engine producing a whopping (for the time) 268hp.
When sold at auction, DBR1/1 had an updated engine fitted, but also came with the original, and it sold for £17.5m – the most expensive British car ever sold.
1970 Lamborghini Jarama 400GT
Lamborghini produced just 177 examples of the 400GT, which makes it one of the rarest Lamborghini’s you can buy. Muscular and purposeful, the Jarama 400GT is an iconic Lamborghini design and said to be Ferruccio’s favourite ever model.
With a 3,929 cc V-12 engine that produced 350hp, this Lambo was no slouch either, capable of reaching 162 mph if you were brave enough.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
Image: SpeedHunter XxX
The 250 GT SWB California Spider is motoring legend. Originally designed for the ‘Gentleman Racer’ to turn up at a circuit, sweep to victory and saunter home in style, the 250 GT SWB was 200 mm shorter than its predecessor, in a bid to improve performance.
Fitted with a 2,953 cc V-12 that made just 226hp, the California Spider was the perfect car for cruising around the Mediterranean.
Values are anywhere up to around $16,000,000.
1957 Lancia Appia GT Zagato
Image: Georg Sander
The ‘Little Lancia’ went to Pinin Farina, Vignale and Zagato for their specialist touch, and while all three are beautiful to look at, the little V-4 1,089 cc engine made just 53hp, which meant a top speed of around 80mph.
The Zagato version is the most sought after, and the last one sold at a Sotheby’s auction for €190,400.
1967 Volkswagen 21-Window Deluxe Bus
Image: Georg Sander
The VW Bus or Microbus has long been part of motoring folklore. The 21-Window version was last produced in 1967, and you’ll occasionally find a sympathetically restored version for sale.
The last ’67 21-window bus sold at a Sotheby’s auction for just over $82,000.
Powered by the 47hp, 1,585 cc air-cooled, horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder engine, these buses were loved by the flower power generation and beyond.
One-Off, Porsche 959 Cabriolet
The Porsche 959 was made as a homologation special – Porsche wanted to race it (in Group B rallying), so they had to build a set number for homologation, unfortunately, the 959 never made it to Group B (the series was shut down).
This particular 959 is unique. The only Porsche 959 ever to be made into a cabriolet, just the one.
Despite hailing from the 80’s, the 959 is still remarkable – it has a twin-turbocharged, 2.9 litre flat-six motor, which produces 444hp, enough to see a top speed of 197mph, and that’s partly due to the advanced aluminium and composite body.
Estimated to be worth around £970,000.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta, Chassis #3851GT
Image: Falcon® Photography
The Ferrari 250 GTO needs no introduction to car enthusiasts, and #3851GT is perhaps the most famous of them all. An ex-Jo Schlesser/Henri Oreiller, Paolo Colombo, Ernesto Prinroth & Fabrizio Violati, the 17th car of the ‘true’ 250 GT ‘Omologato’.
Just 39 of these cars were produced, and 3851GT has been described as being maintained, rather than restored, so it is as original as can be; owned by the same family for the last 49 years.
Bonhams auctioned the car 14th August 2014, and it sold for a record breaking $38,115,000, yes, that’s over thirty-eight million dollars.
1931 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
Image: Andrew Bone
This was the first Type 55 made with the unique Jean Bugatti Roadster coachwork, as premiered at the 1931 Paris Auto Show. It went on to become a successful racing car (winning the 1947 Rallye des Alpes) and just 38 were built across the 4 years of production.
With a twin overhead cam, supercharger and a straight-8 cylinder arrangement, the Bugatti Type 55 made 130hp, which must have felt nothing short of rocket power back in the day.
Sold for $4,070,000.
2017 Ford GT Coupe
Despite having a list price of less than $500,000, a 2017 Ford GT sold at auction for an incredible $2.5m. Whilst it was billed as the first production model, the chassis number of 0023 meant that it wasn’t the first, but close to it.
The GT was sold for charity, but also featured the same Liquid Blue paint as was shown on the debut model 3 years previously, carbon fibre wheels and of course, a 3.5 litre EcoBoost engine with twin-turbos, capable of producing 647hp, 550lb of torque which means a top speed of 216mph.
The sales proceeds went to The Autism Society of North Carolina’s IGNITE program.
As you can see, it doesn’t have to be about super horsepower. All of these crazy cars sold on actions have one thing in common – a remarkable price tag that pushes them out of reach for the ‘normal’ man in the street, and the fact that they all look like automotive artwork.