2. Ferrari 250 GTO - $38,115,000 (£30,750,300)
It will come as little surprise to many of you the most expensive car ever sold at auction to date is a Ferrari 250 GTO, although this example is merely second in the overall rankings. No other car in the world has earned such a reputation and mystique, much of that built on previous record-smashing auction results. More importantly, the car itself is one of the finest of its era, thanks to its powerful 3.0-litre V12, superbly balanced chassis and immaculate race pedigree. Only 39 were made and this one was raced by Jo Schlesser.
3. Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti - $35,700,000 (£28,801,940)
This 1957 Ferrari was another record breaker when it sold at the start of 2016 to become the most expensive racing car ever sold at auction. Previously owned for 40 years by a private collector, it caused huge interest, because it had been raced by Peter Collins and Maurice Trintignant in the 1957 Sebring 12 Hours. After that, it competed in the Mille Miglia with Wolfgang von Trips at the wheel. Provenance like that in this market leads to such a high price being paid.
4. Mercedes-Benz W196 - $29,600,000 (£23,880,600)
This amazing Mercedes grand prix car is the only appearance from the three-pointed star in our top 12, but what a car to make it. Raced by Juan Manuel Fangio, it won the German and Swiss Grands Prix in 1954. It was the most expensive car ever sold at auction at the time of the sale in 2013.
5. Ferrari 290 MM - $28,050,000 (£22,630,100)
More Ferrari racing history makes it into the upper end of our top 12. This one was built for the 1956 Mille Miglia and was also driven by the great Juan Manuel Fangio - his name always adds considerable prestige and value to any car he competed in. Only four 290s were made, and this one enjoyed further racing success after the Mille Miglia, too.
6. Ferrari 275 GTB/4 S NART Spider - $27,500,000 (£22,186,365)
The North American Racing Team (NART) campaigned Ferrari cars in the USA for to raise awareness of the brand during the 1950s and 1960s. However, it also ordered special road cars from the factory, and this Spider is one of only 10 that were made. Adding to its appeal is a spell of ownership by actor Steve McQueen, who used it in the film ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’.
7. Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale - $26,400,000 (£21,298,910)
Any Ferrari 275 is a wonderful car and one that commands a high price nowadays, but this GTB/C Speciale was made to race. It has an aluminium body for lighter weight and its 3.0-litre V12 engine was tuned from the factory to give an extra 70bhp. Unusually, this example was never raced when new and that curiosity value helped push up its auction price, which was paid in 2014.
8. Jaguar D-Type - $21,780,000 (£17,571,600)
The Jaguar D-Type won at Le Mans three times from 1955 to 1957, and this is the car that took the win in 1956 with the Scottish racing team Ecurie Ecosse. It later resided in a private collection where it was still used for occasional race outings. With a superb motorsport background and limited numbers, it was no wonder that bidders pushed the price so high.
9. Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider - $19,800,000 (£15,974,180)