An Endangered Species: The World’s Rarest Classics
It is incredibly hard to formulate set criteria which renders a car truly rare, since the category is so great and wide that the motoring industry can class as rare models which are a vintage make, those which command an exorbitantly high price tag, had limited factory production, were owned by the rich and famous or had extensive modifications performed to make them truly unique. With that in mind, we bring you a list of what we consider to be the rarest classics on earth.
#5 1961 Ferrari 250GT Spyder
One car which comfortably qualifies amongst the world’s rarest is the iconic 1961 Ferrari 250GT Spyder which was once driven by famed Hollywood actor James Coburn. It fetched the princely sum of $10.9 million when it went under the hammer in 2008, making it one of the most expensive cars ever. The Spyder is similar in appearance to the Jaguar featured in James Bond movies, and is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cars ever built. Only 36 units were made, and its limited production and extortionate price tag mean that it unquestionably deserves fifth place.
#4 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe
This 1931 Bugatti scores pretty highly on the list of most expensive cars ever, selling for a stunning $9.7 million at Christie’s Albert Hall Auction in 1987 (that’s equivalent to over $20 million today). Only six of these vintage beauties were ever produced, which makes it one of the rarest cars in the world. The vehicle was powered by a 12.7 litre aircraft engine.
3# 1967 and 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible
The Dodge Coronet has an estimated auction value of around $250,000, but that’s not why it earned its place on this list. The 1967 and 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertibles have earned their place on this list of the world’s rarest motors by virtue of the fact that only two cars of each model were ever built. It doesn’t get much rarer than that.
2# 1954 Oldsmobile F-88
The futuristic Oldsmobile was designed by General Motors, and was a radical departure from other models of its era. It sat low, had pigskin upholstery, large front grill and an unusual rear deck. Its features included a superb 250 HP V8 Rocket engine which offered a truly thrilling ride. Only four of these dazzling vehicles were ever made. The original is the rarest; although three versions followed this, they were all slightly different to the prototype. Surviving examples are worth around $3.5 million.
1# 1938 Phantom Corsair
The exclusivity of the Phantom Corsair is hard to match; it’s enduring appeal unrivalled. Created in 1938, the Corsair featured a revolutionary design and was widely acclaimed as an engineering marvel when it was launched. Blessed with an uncanny resemblance to the iconic ‘Batmobile’, the car’s futuristic features included electronically operated doors, an altimeter and a beverage cabinet at its rear. It was a completely closed car, with even the front wheels covered. The nose was lowered, the headlights were small and its body was made of beaten aluminium. Entry was electrically controlled via panels above the windows. The Phantom boasted many features now standard in contemporary designs, including a console to tell the driver if the door was open or the radio or lights switched on. The concept was truly futuristic for the 1930s. Sadly, the car’s creator, Rust Heinz, died in a car crash shortly after the car made its promotional debut. The car never entered production, its development thwarted time and time again, so only one lone Phantom Corsair was ever built. It is expected that, if it were ever to be auctioned, it would make well in excess of $10 million.
What Makes A Commonplace Car A Rarity