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The Most Expensive Car Ever Auctioned in United States

Posted in Auto Show, Bugatti, Car Auctions, Classic, Expensive Cars, Ferrari, Foreign Cars, History, Newsworthy by Vito Rispo | August 19th, 2008 | 2 Responses |


The 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupe that sold for a record $7.92 million

Financial tough times? Hogwash!
Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the 58th annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, brought in a total of $64.2 million during it’s two-night auction of ultra-rare collectible cars on August 16 and 17.

One lucky bidder paid a record setting $7.92 million dollars for a 1937 Bugatti Type 37SC Atalante Coupe. That’s the highest price ever paid for an automobile in the United States. The $64.2 million take broke even last year’s huge tally of $60 million. Twenty cars sold for more than $1 million and five cars sold for more than $2 million.

“Our auctions at Pebble Beach this year represent the finest grouping of cars we have ever had the honor to offer, and the strong sales results reflect that exceptional quality,” said David Gooding, president and founder of Gooding & Company. “We’re proud to have set the North American auction record with the $7.92 million sale of the 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupe, and to have reached noteworthy milestones in a host of other categories as well.”

Dr. Peter Williamson’s collection of 12 Bugattis, the finest collection of it’s kind to ever come to auction, played a big part in bringing in such a large crowd to the Gooding & Co. auction. His 12 cars alone sold for over $15.5 million, a portion of which was donated to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Dartmouth Medical School. The results of the auction as a whole were mixed though, with some of the 140 cars selling for below estimate, and one in five actually failing to sell at all.

Here are the top five big sellers:
1937 Bugatti Type 37SC Atalante Coupe – $7.92 million, the big one, the highest price ever paid for an automobile in the United States.
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB “California” Spider – $3.63 million – Yes, you heard right, Cameron’s dads car from Ferris Buellers Day Off.
2009 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport 001 – $3,190,000
1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Mille Miglia “Sleeping Beauty” – $2.585 million
1950 Ferrari 166 MM Berlinetta Le Mans – $2.2 million.

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2 Responses

  1. Looks awfully cramped in there….

  2. Terry says:

    The NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) will not be using the Monterey peninsula’s auction(s) as a key indicator of how the American economy is doing. To do so is just mondo silly. Many, if not most of the cars bought there are purchased by foreign buyers, whose currency is as much as twice as strong as the American dollar. That means they can bid twice as much as the American bidders and not worry. It is also why several of the auctions, including this one, have reader boards showing the bidding in real time, in most of the key currencies.

    Additionally, if case you forget – and it is worth remembering – the tax breaks that President Bush and the Congress pushed through in the early part of his time in office, gave tremendous tax breaks to those in the upper echelon of American society. In point of fact, Senator John McCain was opposed to those tax cuts, before he decided that to gain the nomination, if not the office, he needed to forget all that and preach the same party line about the good old “trickle down” theory.

    Monterey’s six auctions exist in their own orbit, just as do Barrett-Jackson and most of the other auctions in Arizona, in January. You will not see the National Bureau of Economic Research using them as key indicators, either.