If it is a Ferrari it is bound to be expensive and if it is a rare model it gets into record books easily. In a recent auction a rare Ferrari, the 375-Plus, has become the second most expensive car sold at auction in Britain. The successful bidder ended up paying £10.75 million for it. The British as well as the world record for the most expensive car ever sold at auction is held by a classic Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz which fetched £19 million last year. It is a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 which was driven by five-time F1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio for his second title in 1954.
The Ferrari 375-Plus of which only five were ever made was one of the most successful cars at the 1954 World Sportscar Championship. This model also competed at Le Mans, Silverstone and the Mille Miglia races. This 1954 model was damaged by fire in 1957 and sold to Karl Kleve, a nuclear physicist who had a large collection of cars. In 1986, the car was being transported by a trailer when it was stolen and sold to a broker in Atlanta who later sold it to Belgian racing driver Jacques Swaters. He had the car restored as he was totally unaware that the car was stolen. There was a long legal battle for possession after the recovery of the car. Finally Bonhams stepped in to resolve the dispute and put the car on the block.
The bidding for the rare car with a long and interesting history started at £2 million but went up fast in £250,000 increments. There were several potential buyers at the auction who were interested in acquiring the rare car. The hammer finally went down at £9.6 million which went up to a record making £10.75 million after adding the buyer’s premium and VAT. The car has been valued so high as it was the fastest road car of its day. It featured a 4.9 litre engine that developed a staggering 330bhp and could race to 0-60mph in just four seconds and attain a top speed of 186 mph.. It is very significant as the car was made 60 years ago.