If you love classic cars — like, really love them — there’s probably at least one moment that will live forever in your memory: That moment when you saw one of the rarest collector cars in the world.
Whether it was a ’69 Chevy Camaro Zl1 at a car show or the 2013 Lamborghini Veneno in the Mudetec Museum, it’s like seeing a unicorn in the wild. When you catch a glimpse of one of the rarest collector cars, it definitely leaves an impression.
Read on to learn more about the rarest of the rare: collector cars so elusive, they’re almost mythical.
1937 Bugatti 57SC Atalante
Sometimes called the “holy grail” of collector cars, only four of these coupes were made. Even fewer still exist today. The 57, a Jean Bugatti design, premiered at the 1935 London Motor Show. Overall, 48 57S-types were built, 17 had the Atalante coachwork, and only 4 featured the 1937 low headlight design.
This low-slung two-door was built on the 57S chassis. A few years ago, one of the remaining four models sold for $114 million, cementing the 57SC’s status as one of the rarest (and most expensive) classic cars in history.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
Among the most valuable cars of all time the 1962 Ferrari 260 GTO is a true legend. Only 36 (genuine) models are accounted for. At its 1962 launch, the 250 GTO boasted a Tipo 168/62 Comp V12 engine, built for long-distance racing, and a very spare interior. Ferrari didn’t think most drivers could handle the car, so it was reserved for an elite selection of drivers.
The 250 GTO blew the competition away in its first year and performed well in its next two seasons. But by 1964, Ferrari turned its focus to the competition version of the 275 GTB, heralding the end of the 250 GTO. In 2018, one sold for $70 million at auction.
1957 Jaguar XKSS
The 1957 Jaguar XKSS has pop-star status; you may best know it as Steve McQueen’s hunter green model. But this gorgeous “super car” was destined for stardom either way. Only 16 were produced, and they hardly ever come up at auction.
With museum-worthy styling, the Jaguar XKSS is a refined version of the racier D-types. Estimated auction prices for this, one of the rarest collector cars, are expected to hit around $18 million… if they ever come up for sale at all.
1948-1950 Aston Martin Sports DB1
The first release in the DB series, the Sports DB1 was named for Sir David Brown who took over Aston Martin in 1947. A year later, the first DB1 — one of just 15 — was released.
This 2-litre sports car featured a 90 HB engine and cruised up to 93 miles per hour. After winning the 1948 Spa 24-hour race, the cars mostly sat in museums and private collections.
1904 Rolls Royce 15 HP
In 1904, Henry Royce and Charles Rolls came to an agreement; this partnership initially produced four cars. One model was the Rolls-Royce 15 HP, and only six were ever produced.
Its 15-horsepower meant it topped out at around 40 mph. Engine issues stopped production. Today, only one is known to exist. It’s hard to gauge the value of such a rare car, but some estimate that it’s worth over $35 million.
An in-person glimpse of any of these rarest collector cars is sure to put a smile on any collector’s face. Do you have any sighting stories of your own?