The Top Five most expensive cars sold at auction

Throughout 2009, several new world records were set for the sale of classic cars - including a new record for the most expensive car ever sold at auction.

So, as a new year for the global classic car market begins, here is a run-down of the current Top Five most expensive auctioned automobiles of all time.

5. 1937 Mercedes Benz 540K Special Roadster

Sold: in October 2007, for $3.9m

The early-1930s saw Daimler-Benz begin to design high-speed touring cars, culminating in 1936 with the introduction of the 540k. Its engine produced 180 horsepower, was capable of 0-60mph in 16.4 seconds and boasted a top speed of 105mph.

In fact, the 540K was the fastest production automobile of its era.

4. 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rossa

Sold: in May 2007, for $9.4m

The last car of its series, the 330 achieved success at competition as overall winner of the 24 Heures du Mans, cementing its legendary status.

As well as being the only 4-litre ever built, it was also the last Testa Rossa, the last ever front-engined sports racer built by Ferrari, and the last front-engined car to win victory at Le Mans.

3. 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe

Sold: in 1987, for £5.7m

Otherwise known at the Type 41, the Kellner Coupe boasted a 4.3m wheelbase and 6.4m overall length - about as heavy and large as a modern commercial pickup truck, but about 10% longer.

Ettore Bugatti planned to build 25 of these cars and sell them to royalty. However, the Great Depression stifled his idea, and Bugatti only sold three of the six made.

Today, as one of the largest and rarest cars in the world, the Type 41's exceptional provenance is undisputed.

2. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder

Sold: in May 2008, for €7.04m

BBC Radio Two DJ Chris Evans pushed this 1961 beauty up to the number two spot when he purchased it at auction in 2008, at a then-equivalent of $10.9m. The car was previously owned by Hollywood legend James Coburn.

The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder was designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti. Its power came from 2,953cc V12 engine, producing 280bhp.


1. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Sold: in May 2009, for €9.02m

The racing 250 Testa Rossa is one of the most successful Ferrari racing cars in history, with three wins at Le Mans, four wins at Sebring, and two wins at Buenos Aires.

The car broke the record for the priciest automobile ever sold at auction (beating Chris Evan's 1961 250 Gran Turismo) in Maranello, Italy, where Ferrari was born and bred.

The current Number One world record holder is one of just 21 of its exact kind made, and the fourth Testa Rossa ever built.

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