If prices were paid based on name alone, this 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6C “Tulipwood” Torpedo by Nieuport-Astra would surely come top of the 2022 list.
Adding an even more exotic touch to this car’s story is the fact that it was raced by aperitif heir André Dubonnet in the 1924 Targa Florio and Coppa Florio, finishing in a creditable sixth and fifth place, respectively.
Part of Dubonnet’s success must come to down to the marvellous mahogany bodywork which he commissioned from aircraft makers Nieuport-Astra and weighed just 70-odd kilos.
The car passed through the hands of noted automobilists including Roland Coty and Alexander Keiller and then in the 1950s it was restored by Standard Oil’s Gerald Albertini.
It had a second rebuild in 1985 and was dubbed the Most Significant Hispano-Suiza at the 1986 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
$13,878,507 was the hammer price at RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction in August.
An award-winning Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Teardrop Coupe once owned by Tommy Lee, one of California’s movers and shakers in the 1930s and ’40s hot rod scene, caused a stir at Gooding and Company’s Amelia Island Auction in March, where it sold for about $18,059,853.
The French fancy featured coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi which saw it win the Prix d’Excellence on its debut at the 1938 Concours d’Elegance Fémina in Paris.
In later life the car also won First in Class at Pebble Beach and Best in Show at Amelia Island.
With its four-litre inline six-cylinder engine and 104kW it was remarkably rapid for its day and it didn’t take long for a buyer to scoop it up.
4: 2003 Ferrari F2003 GA driven by Michael Schumacher
The storied racing history of this Ferrari was key to its remarkable £18.6 million ($33.1 million) hammer price at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale in August.
Like the Mercedes 300 SLR in this list, it was designed for a race that never was: the 1955 Carrera Panamericana.
With the event cancelled after the awful events at Le Mans that year, when a collision caused a Mercedes to crash into spectators, the car was instead recruited to campaign the 1956 World Sportscar Championship where Juan Manuel Fangio battled for the lead of the first race of the season, the 1000km of Buenos Aires, but was foiled by a broken differential.
The car was sent back to Modena and sold to American John Edgar who put Carroll Shelby behind the wheel, taking the win on his very first outing at Seafair in Washington.
Shelby would describe the car as “the best Ferrari I ever drove.”
At over £600,000 pounds (0 kg) when it was launched in 1992, the no-compromise McLaren F1 was the most costly new car in the world but it has proven to be one of the best automotive investments.
Prices just keep soaring, as demonstrated by the sealed bid sale of a 1998 road car at RM Sotheby’s auction.
Chassis number 059 (of 64) achieved over £21.1 million, despite being surprisingly well-used.
The first owner racked up 7525km before its initial service and more than 26,393 in total – although the seller added barely 480km in its last 10 years, electing to keep it in a climate-controlled garage instead.
Despite requiring recommissioning the car set a new standard for F1 sales, in part, because it had a unique headlamp arrangement to provide better high-speed illumination.
Not that the seller ever needed it.
Hopefully the new keeper will put the F1 to more use, but given the unstoppable financial appreciation of Gordon Murray’s masterpiece it sadly seems unlikely.