5 Classic Cars Auctioned for More than $3M Each At the Close of 2015

Janis Joplin 1964 Porsche 356C

We mentioned in a previous post that RM Sotheby’s last auction for 2015 entitled “Driven by Disruption” is expected to yield more than $50M through its fine collection of classics that can rival even the best car museums in the world. Well, this is just a conservative estimate. Now that hard-core collectors had their fill, let’s take a look at five of the most desired classic cars that bidders fought for, and consequently sold for more than $3M each.

Our Favorite Runner-Up – The $1.76M Janis Joplin 1964 Porsche 356C

Janis Joplin 1964 Porsche 356C

With a pre-sale estimate of US$400,000 to US$600,000 the numbers were quite conservative. However, because of the fierce bidding that followed, this rare Joplin psychedelic ride fetched an ‘eye-catching’ price of US$1.76 million making it one of the most expensive celebrity cars ever sold, and is now the most expensive Porsche 356 ever.

5. 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe – $3.3M

1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe

Once displayed at Madison Square Garden in the 1954 New York World Motor Sports Show, this metallic brown 250 Europa is from the first year of 250 production, when Ferrari was still trying to find a unified aesthetic for its road cars.

One of just four 250s bodied by Vignale, this Europa underwent a massive restoration in 2011, and now looks exactly like it did back at The Garden in ’54. It fetched $3.3 million.

  1. 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow – $3.74M

1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow

This 1933 Silver Arrow was a V12-powered car that stood above the rest only to be rivalled by the likes of Duesenberg and Rolls-Royce.

Unfortunately, Pierce-Arrow refused to move downmarket during the Depression, and closed its shop in 1938 with only five Silver Arrows being built. This particular car made its public debut at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, and eventually fetched $3.74 million during last week’s auction.

  1. 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series 1 – $5.72M

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series 1

The 14th of just 40 built during its production period, this white-over-blue 250GT Cabriolet was an absolute stunner. The restored V12-powered convertible has a body designed by Peninfarina and looks just like it did when it was delivered in March 1958.

This 1958 Ferrari Cabriolet fetched $5.72 million.


  1. 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato – $14.3M

1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato

Though missing its presale estimate mark of $15-17 million, this Aston Martin still fetched an impressive $14.3 million, making it the most expensive British car ever sold at auction and perhaps the most beautiful Aston Martin of all time.


  1. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM – $28M

1956 Ferrari 290 MM

The star of the show – and the one that came out with a very hefty price tag – carries with it a lot of racing history. Driven by the “Babe Ruth” of racing himself, Juan Manuel Fangio, this vintage Ferrari was built specifically for the 1956 World Sportscar Championship to go head-to-head against the leading team of Mercedes-Benz. It was driven fiercely on the race track from 1956 to 1958 under the expert hands of Fangio, Phil Hill, Alfonso de Portago, and Oliver Gendebien. With such rich and colorful racing legacy, it will not come as a surprise if it hit the hammer at an astounding $28M making it the most expensive car sold for 2015 – and mind you, in the entire New York City.

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