Home Cars 15 Prominent Car Auctions Involving American Autos

15 Prominent Car Auctions Involving American Autos

Vukasin Herbez July 10, 2019

Even though the most expensive cars in the world are those mid-60s Ferraris and other Italian exotics, American manufacturers rate high on the high roller list. In fact, some of the classic American cars and significantly important vehicles can reach well over $10 million, which is an insane amount of money.

Since the American car represents a wealth of makes, models and designs, there are plenty of cars with high price tags. However, this list contains the 15 most expensive cars according to recent prices on automobile auctions all over the world. So, read on to find your favorite one, just in case you win the lottery.

1. Shelby Super Snake – $1.3 Million

Interestingly, they produced this unique Shelby GT500 to be a rolling laboratory. Ford wanted to showcase the possibilities of the Mustang platform, as well as for testing Goodyear’s “Thunderbolt” tire line. It had Le Mans-winning GT 40 race engine, special transmission, suspension and tires.

And they only built one of them. There were plans for a limited production run, but the proposed price was over $8,000. And that was an enormous sum in the late ‘60s. Recently, this sole example sold for a mind-blowing $1.3 million.

2. Shelby Cobra 289 – $1.6 Million

The story of the Shelby Cobra 289 is a widely known one, but it’s still interesting enough to tell again. In 1962, Shelby used an AC Ace body and installed a Ford 289 V8, creating one of the first Anglo-American hybrids. And it was one of the best sports/racing cars of the period. Soon, the Cobra became an enormous legend among car enthusiasts. But due to its limited production and high collectivity, the prices at the auctions go well over $1 million.

3. Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible – $3.2 Million

They offered the C2 Corvette from 1963 to 1967 and all of them are highly sought after by collectors. The big-block models, which they introduced in 1966 are the most expensive. The reason is that they combine big block power with unique, attractive styling. Among those cars, the L88 has a mythical status and an enormous price tag. They produced just 20 1967 Corvette L88s. Unbelievably, one recently sold for an amazing $3.2 million.

4. AAR Gurney Westlake Eagle – $3.74 Million

With a price tag of $3.74 million in 2013, this is one of the most expensive Formula One cars they ever sold. The Eagle F1 was the brainchild of the famous American racer, Dan Gurney. In fact, he designed and raced the car in the mid-60s. Amazingly, Gurney was the only person to win a Formula One race in a car he designed himself while driving for his own team.

5. Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible – $2 to 4 Million

Two of the biggest Chrysler legends from the classic days of the muscle car culture are the Barracuda and the 426 Hemi engine. And all through the ’60s, those icons of the industry didn’t mix, at least not in street-legal cars. So in 1970, Plymouth offered this legendary engine in Barracuda body style. And immediately, they created one of the fastest, most desirable muscle cars the car industry ever made.

The mighty Hemi engine was an expensive top-of-the-line option for 1970 and 1971. Better still, it was available in coupe or convertible form. It cost around $900 over the price of the standard Barracuda. They installed it in just about 600 coupes and only 17 convertibles during the two-year production period. Brace yourself, because the prices for those 17 cars range from $2 to a staggering $4 million.

6. GM Futurliner – $4.4 Million

One of the craziest but still roadworthy concept cars was the famous GM Futurliner bus. They unveiled it in 1939 as a part of the Parade of Progress, which was the predecessor to the Motorama traveling show. Amazingly, those Futurliners were custom-made buses that used a regular GM Truck Division drivetrain.

Redesigned for the ’50s, Futurliners gained a recognizable shape. Also, they designed each one of them to show a specific technology or achievement. The interior featured an information desk and could accommodate visitors. GM produced 12 of those vehicles. But only nine of them survived. And one of them sold recently for a staggering $4.4 million.

7. Duesenberg SJ Speedster – $4.45 Million

The Duesenberg is one of the most sought-after classic American cars ever. And Duesenberg prices are always astronomical on the rare occasion they appear for sale. However, the top-of-the-line Duesenberg SJ Speedster, or the “Mormon Meteor,” is a unique model in the company’s history. In fact, it is one of the most legendary Duesenbergs they ever made. When they offered it for sale in 2004, this cream-yellow roadster managed to reach $4.45 million.

8. Duesenberg SJ Convertible Coupe – $4.51 Million

Another Duesenberg from the similar time period is the SJ Convertible Coupe. However, it came with slightly different mechanicals and a more formal body. The SJ Convertible Coupe was an elegant roadster and one of just three they made. However, what makes this one so special and expensive is the fact that this is the only one with a supercharger straight from the factory. Also, the first owner was William Lyons, the man behind the Jaguar Car Company.

9. George Barris Batmobile – $4.62 Million

This car is the legendary Batmobile from Batman, the famous hit TV series from the ’60s. Legendary customizer, George Barris designed and manufactured it. As a matter of fact, he made several cars for the Batman set. But this one is the most famous, fully operational and legendary in every aspect. They made the car available for sale in 2013, reaching an insane price of $4.62 million.

10. Shelby Cobra Super Snake – $5.1 Million

Sadly, Shelby only built two Super Snake Cobras. Both featured a highly tuned 427 V8 engine with a supercharger on top, providing drivers with insane levels of power and performance. In fact, too much power proved to be a deal breaker for most customers because just a few people could handle such a car. Unbelievably, one of two they produced recently sold for over $5 million.

11. Ford GT 40 Prototype – $7 Million

The story of the Ford GT 40 is a saga of enormous effort, incredible support and luck. Also, it was due to several talented people gathering in one place at one moment to create history. Soon, the GT 40 became an outright legend and a symbol of the American race car, dominating the European racing scene.

It won four Le Mans races in a row and defeated Ferrari on its own turf. So, it is logical such cars would demand a hefty price. So, recently, the 1964 prototype sold for an amazing $7 million.

12. Shelby Daytona Coupe – $7.25 Million

Unfortunately, the regular Shelby Cobra lacked top speeds due to poor aerodynamics. And on long straights like Le Mans, it was slower than the competition. So to fight that, Shelby needed to fully modify the Cobra. And with the help of his talented team of engineers and hot rodders, he started with a longer chassis.

Next, they relocated the suspension and design for a whole new longer, sleeker and much more aerodynamically-efficient body. Called the Daytona Coupe, it was a pure racing car barely suitable for street driving they intended to destroy the competition. But because they only made six of them, to own one, you will need at least $7.25 million.

13. Duesenberg Model J LWB Coupe – $10.34 Million

As you already know, Duesenbergs are expensive. However, the costliest of them all is the 1931 Model J Long Wheel Base Coupe. The car sold for a staggering $10.34 million in 2011. So, what is the reason for such an insane price? It’s the rarity and the design, as well as the unique features and unmatched elegance. And lastly, it’s the prestige and desire to have the most special and probably the most beautiful Duesenberg of them all.

14. Ford GT 40 Gulf – $11 Million

The importance of the GT40 is immense. The car was the American dream on four wheels, conquering the world of sports car racing in the late ‘60s. But sadly, Ford never produced many of them, using almost all for racing.

However, the most iconic ones are the Gulf and its racing success under the belt. This one, which they sold for $11 million, has all that. In fact, they even featured it in the Steve McQueen movie, Le Mans.

15. Shelby Cobra 289 CSX2000 – $13.75 Million

You are probably asking why the early 1962 Cobra 289 is more expensive than first 10 cars on this list put together. What is the deal with this extremely expensive car? Well, the CSX2000 is the first Cobra Shelby they ever made.

It was in the personal fleet of Carroll Shelby for decades. The CSX2000 was also the first magazine loaner, publicity shot car. Also, it was a demonstration model many famous names drove. Basically, this Cobra is an enormously important part of American car history. And that justifies the price.

These are 15 of the most expensive American cars to ever cross the auction block. Which one do you dream of driving? If you can afford it, buy it now because the prices are sure to keep going up in time.

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