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The 10 most expensive TV and film cars ever sold at auction

The priciest cars from big and small screens.

The Magnum PI Ferrari Source: Newspress

LAST WEEK, TWO well-loved cars from the silver screen were sold at auction.

The car star from Magnum PI – a 1984 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole – was sold for $181,500 (€170,000) and Crocket and Tubb’s iconic 1986 Ferrari Testarossa from Miami Vice sold for $151,800 (€142,500). However, those sums of money are just a pittance compared to some other famous cars that have gone under the hammer.

Here are the 10 most expensive TV and film cars that have ever been sold at an auction house:

The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing-Top Convertible Coupe from The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Price: US$2,365,000 (€2,208,985)

(Not the car sold at auction, but a similar model) Source: Steve Corey

This car was America’s answer to Rolls-Royce and was bought by everyone from royalty to gangsters and movie stars.

When car enthusiast King Alfonso XIII of Spain was overthrown during the revolution in Spain, he chose one his Deusenbergs, from his vast fleet, to take into exile with him. Just 480 Model Js were ever made and this particular one ended up in the Oscar-winning film The Gay Divorcee starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

The 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider from On The Beach (1959)

Price: US$2,530,000 (€2,362,899)

(Not the car sold at auction, but a similar model) Source: Thesupermat

This 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider Corsa with coachwork by Scaglietti is one of only 35 built. The body was drawn by Pinin Farina himself and interpreted by Scaglietti and it debuted at the 1955 Brussels Motor Show.

It then made its way to Hollywood and starred alongside Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire in the film On The Beach.

The 1969-70 Porsche 908.02 ‘Flunder’ Langheck Group 6 Prototype from Le Mans (1971)

Price: GBP£2,185,500 (€2,548,394)

Source: crazylenny2 Flickr

This car placed third in the Le Mans 24 Hour race and also appeared in the Steve McQueen movie Le Mans in this Martini International Racing Team livery.

The 1928 Mercedes-Benz S 26/180 Boattail Speedster from Sylvia Scarlett (1935)

Price: US$3,740,000 (€3,493,377)

(Not the car sold at auction, but a similar model) Source: Thomas Romen Tel: +49/711/8969020

This car has a great Hollywood story behind it. It was owned by Zeppo and Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers and they bet agent Phil Berg that their car could race and beat his 1931 Duesenberg Model J LeBaron Phaeton.

They raced the cars on the dry lake bed of Lake Muroc, now the site of Edwards Air Force Base, in front of many Hollywood legends including Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Carole Lombard, Bebe Daniels, Mae West and Al Jolson… and this was the winning car. It also appeared in the 1935 film Sylvia Scarlett starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.

The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger (1964) & Thunderball (1965)

Price: US$4,595,998 (€4,291,933)

Source: Newspress

Is this the most famous movie car of all time? This is 007′s car as driven by Connery in both Goldfinger and Thunderball. The highly modified Aston Martin DB5 was presented by Q to Bond and came equipped with a bullet proof screen, guns behind the front indicators, tyre slashers and revolving license plates.

Although Bond has driven many cars over the years, it is this Aston Martin which is most remembered.

The 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta from La Fortuna di Essere Donna (1956)

Price: US$4,620,000 (€4,314,257)

Source: German Medeot Flickr

The 375 Mille Miglia, as the name suggests, was built to race and is powered by a 340hp V12 engine. In 1956, whilst in the care of its first owner, it appeared in the Italian movie La Fortuna di Essere Donna, which was shot in Rome and starred Sophia Loren.

This is the fifth of only seven examples ever made – hence the price it fetched at auction.

The 1966 Batmobile from Batman the Movie (1966), It Started With A Kiss (1959) and Batman TV show (1966-68)

Price: US$4,620,000 (€4,314,257)

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Source: Wieck

The original Batmobile started life out as a concept car developed by Ford and the Lincoln Styling Department and called the Lincoln Futura. The 19-foot long prototype was unveiled at the 1955 Chicago Auto Show and then four years later it made its way into the film It Started With A Kiss.

It was then bought by George Barris, who in 1965 was asked to develop a car for Batman and his sidekick Robin for a TV series. Barris took the car from his garage and turned it into arguably the most iconic TV car of all time. The Batmobile was probably the first car to upstage the actors and become the true star of a TV show.

The 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta from The Love Bug (1966)

Price: US$6,710,000 (€6,265,945)

(Not the car sold at auction, but a similar model) Source: (Mick Baker)rooster Flickr

This breathtaking beauty remains arguably the greatest and most important Ferrari road/racing car ever built. It was known as the “Tour de France” as it had won the now defunct gruelling 5,000km road race three years in a row from 1957 through 1959.

But even with that racing pedigree, it couldn’t keep up and compete with Herbie the VW Beetle in the film The Love Bug.

The 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe from Redline 7000 (1965)

Price: US$7,685,000 (€7,176,857)

Source: Mecum.com

This is one of six cars built by Carroll Shelby to compete in the GT race class of the FIA World Manufacturers Championship against the dominating Ferrari. It was then leased to Paramount Pictures to star in the movie Redline 7000, directed by Howard Hawks and was one of the first examples of product placement in a film as Hawks had arranged tie-ins with many well-known brands.

The 1968 Ford Gulf GT40 from Le Mans (1971)

Price: US$11,000,000 (€10,278,278)

Source: RM Sotherbys

This is the most expensive American car ever sold at auction as well as being the most expensive movie car ever sold.

You can blame this on the McQueen factor. Steve McQueen had the Midas touch, any car he is connected to fetches far more than it is worth. This car was used as the camera car in the epic race movie Le Mans as well as being one of the main cars in the film.

Before its starring role, it was a full-blown race car with an extraordinary history. It is the first of three lightweight production GT40s and one of only two surviving. Rare stuff indeed.

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About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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