5 Most Expensive Cars Auctioned Off of 2012
BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The most expensive cars that sold at auction in 2012 didn't have four-wheel drive, but did carry seven- and eight-figure price tags.
"There's a growing acceptance of
Gooding and other high-end auctioneers reported record sales for high-end car auctions last year despite the world's widespread economic woes.
In fact, experts say today's shaky financial markets are prompting more and more ultra-wealthy people to invest in high-end cars.
"Rich people see collector cars as a good way to store money," Brynan says. "Someone who's willing to part with $10 million to buy something might want a physical asset that they can see, not just a stock certificate."
Max Girardo of Canada's RM Auctions adds that today's paltry interest rates help the market as well.
"If you're wealthy and you love cars, you might as well have one in the garage that you can enjoy and that will probably appreciate," he says. "You're not really going to get any return if you keep your money in a bank."
Here's a look at the highest-priced cars that sold in 2012 at auctions run by Gooding, RM and other top houses. Listings exclude vehicles sold in private sales, which aren't disclosed to the public.
Sixth-costliest car: 1929 Bentley 4.5-liter "Blower" Single-Seater
Winning bid: $8.2 million
This vehicle sold last summer for what's believed to be the highest auction price ever for a British-built car.
Bentley custom-made the racer in 1929 for Sir Henry "Tiger Tim" Birkin, who drove it at Le Mans, Brooklands and the French Grand Prix in the late 1920s and early 1930s./p>
Birkin was one of a group of wealthy racers known as the "Bentley Boys" because they favored the British brand. ("Tiger Tim" should have stuck to Bentleys. He died in 1933 at age 36 after badly burning his arm racing a Maserati.)