Cars on the auction block can go for astronomical prices, often for a variety of reasons. Some are sold due to the extreme value of the vehicle itself. Other times, it’s simply the movie the car was seen in or the celebrity that drove it.
Check out some of the most expensive cars sold at auction.
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Believe it or not, the Ghostbusters Cadillac, customized with sirens, decals, and plenty of gear for catching ghosts, didn’t earn as much as one would have thought on the auction block. Three Cadillac’s were made for the filming and sold with Universal Studios papers and autographs; it only took in $88,000.
10 Herbie the Love Bug
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The best-known Volkswagen Bug in the world was once forgotten, found abandoned on a Disney backlot, and painted blue. After restoration, the car sold in 2015 for $126,500 and even included the gag oil pump installed to squirt oil at the traffic marshal in the film.
9 Elvis’s 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman
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Despite the unique and super-expensive possessions the King of Rock n’ Roll owned, he drove a relatively simple car. The Mercedes was driven by Elvis and his entourage, and according to Family Handyman, the Pullman sold for $750,000.
8 Phil Berg’s 1931 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Windshield ‘Barrelside’ Phaeton by LeBaron
The name Phil Berg might not ring any bells, but the top talent agent of the 1930’s worked with the likes of Clark Cable, Judy Garland, and Joan Crawford. At the time, his Duesenberg Model J was the most powerful and luxurious in the world. According to Hot Cars, in a race against the Marx brothers, Berg won the $25,000 bet ($1.3 million today), and the car sold at auction in 2012 for $1.3 million as well.
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7 Clark Gable’s 1955 300SL Gullwing
Gable did everything classy, from films like Gone With the Wind to the car he drove. Always interested in fast cars and racing, it’s not a surprise that Gable would drive around town with one of the most iconic vehicles of the day. In 2015, what was dubbed the ‘sportscar of the century’ was sold at auction for $2 million.
6 John Lennon’s Phantom V Rolls Royce
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The iconic Beatles member painted his Rolls Royce yellow with psychedelic flowers and designs (it was the 70’s in his defense), and the car became almost as iconic as Lennon himself. In 1985, the car sold at auction for $2.3 million and, at that time, took the spot as the most expensive car ever to sell at an auction.
5 Fred Astaire’s 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti Spyder
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Astaire drove the rare car in On the Beach, and though less than 40 of the models were produced, it won nearly two dozen races in the 1950s. In 2011, the vehicle sold at auction for $2.5 million.
4 George Barris 1966 Batmobile
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The 1966 Ford Futura was a simple car until Barris got ahold of it; adding a bat cowl to the front end and equipping the vehicle with numerous gadgets and ‘atomic battery powered’ jet ability thrilled fans of all ages. Imagine the ledged landing on the auction block in 2013 to be sold for $4.6 million. By the way, Barris owns another copy of his creation, kept in his North Hollywood shop.
3 Goldfinger 1964 Aston Martin DB5
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Only James Bond (or Sean Connery, for that matter) could get away will driving such a classic beauty. For the film, the car was equipped with many gadgets to allow Bond to flip a switch and make things happen. Two DB5’s were used in the movie, and one was stolen in 1997 and has not been recovered. The second, minus the gadgets, was sold to a private collector in 2014 for $4.6 million.
2 James Coburn’s 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder
The academy award-winning actor appeared in more than 70 films and 100 television series. He also collected fast cars, including the Ferrari, a highly coveted vehicle for collectors worldwide. In 2008, the car was put on auction and sold for $11 million, setting a new world record at the time.
1 Steve McQueen’s 1970 Porsche 917K
McQueen was not only a popular actor, but he was also an avid race car driver. According to Ride Safely, McQueen performed most of his movie racing stunts himself and officially ended the Ferrari/Ford competition when his Porsche rose to the top as an iconic sports car. Before McQueen purchased the car, it was driven by Jo Siffert, a legendary race car driver in the 70’s. The Porsche broke more records as the most expensive car of its type ever sold at $14 million.
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Sources: Family Handyman, Hot Cars, Ride Safely
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