The rarest cars in the world each have a story. These unique cars add to the incredible history of the automotive industry and fuel the dreams of car lovers everywhere. These super rare cars aren’t just hard to find; some are among the most expensive cars in the world! Find out more about the interesting stories behind these 10 rare cars and how they’ve contributed to the history of the auto industry.
10. 1957 Jaguar XKSS
One of the most sought out classic Jags, only 16 of the 1957 Jaguar XKSS were ever made. While the first on our list, due to the comparatively larger number of cars produced, this by no means indicates a lesser value or cost. These rare classic cars were first sold in the 50s and went for about $5,000. Now, of course, we know that today it is worth far more than its original price in 1957. As of 2014, the estimated value of the Jaguar XKSS owned by Steve McQueen’s is $30 million. So, while there may have been a larger amount made, it is possibly one of the most rare expensive cars as well for now. With recent news that Jaguar is producing nine more XKSS’s it is possible the estimated value of the XKSS might go down.
The story behind the making of the XKSS begins with the iconic Jaguar D-Type. Faced with a problem of what to do with the remaining 29 unsold D-Types back in the 50s, Jaguar went forward with the idea of transforming the Jaguar D-Types into road going sports cars. The D-Type was relatively easy to modify into a XKSS and it only took three days to complete the first prototype. One of the many features of the D-Type that remained was the 3.4 liter racing engine with 250 bhp.
The already small production of the XKSS became even smaller after a fire broke out in the factory in 1957, destroying the remaining XKSS’s in production at James Lane; and therefore, only 16 were ever made.
9. 1948-1950 Aston Martin 2-liter Sports DB1
While Aston Martin is infamous for luxury cars and the DB5’s appearance on the big screen in the James Bond movies, Goldfinger and Thunderball, it is also the manufacturer of one of the rarest sports cars in the world: the Aston Martin DB1.
This rare luxury car was the first car of the DB series, named after Sir David Brown, the owner of a tractor manufacturer company who purchased Aston Martin in 1947. The DB1 is also known as the Aston Martin 2-liter Sports and the idea and foundation for the series derived from the Aston Martin Atom; a prototype developed in 1939.
The name is indicative of its 2-liter inline four engine, which gives it a horsepower of 90 and a top speed of 93 mph. The car was only manufactured for two years, from 1948 to 1950 and Aston Martin only built a total of 15 DB1s. Even harder to find is the actual worth of these very rare cars. With so few of them out there, the only one that has been recently sold was in poor condition with an estimated value of just over $120,000 USD and does not indicate the worth of a well-kept Aston Martin DB1.
8. 1948-1951 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport
Next up, a famous post-war car remembered not only for its luxury and speed, but also its rarity within the automotive world with only 12 ever manufactured. The car is equipped with a 4.5-liter 6 cylinder engine and, for its time, was considered one of the most powerful cars in the world. It has 190 bhp and an approximate top speed of 125 mph based on body style. This rare sports car also finds its place in history as the racecar that Louis Rosier drove when he won the Le Mans 24 Hour Race in 1950.
Bought by Simca in 1958, the GS’s rarity is only amplified as it is one of the last cars ever produced by the company. Simca later bought by Chrysler Europe in 1970. The rare car is worth an estimated $2.5 million.
7. 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible
Moving forward in automotive history, here we have the very rare, but surprisingly very average, ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible. Compared to the previous two rare old cars, there is nothing overly luxurious or notable about this muscle car. But, while the ‘Cuda may not appear be anything remarkable from its specifications, it is highly sought out by baby boomer car enthusiasts who willing to fork over hefty amounts to own one of the 11 Plymouth’s from 1971.
As there were just under a dozen built in 1971, it is very seldom that we see this car being sold; making it certainly one of the rarest muscle cars. But In January 2013, the rare Plymouth went for $1,320,000 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. However, just one year later at the Mercum Auctions the ‘Cuda sold for even higher, after a lively 8 minute bidding war, for $3.2 million. At that price even the “average” muscle car seems pretty remarkable after all.
6. 1905 Rolls-Royce 15 HP
Now, taking it back in time, to very early years of automotive manufacturing, to a very old and very rare antique car: The Rolls-Royce 15 HP. Not only is this car the second oldest surviving Rolls-Royce in world, but it is also one of the rarest cars ever made by Rolls Royce. Even more impressive is the last 1905 Rolls Royce 15HP in existence is still running.
The vintage Rolls-Royce has a 2-door style saloon body style and is equipped with a 3 speed manual gearbox and a 3.1-liter engine with 15 hp (as the name indicated.) It is capable of going up to 39 mph. This power and top speed was a huge feature in the early 20th century. Only six were built and the first one made its debut at the 1904 Paris Salon.
With this kind of reputation and seniority, we can only imagine the price tag on this rare vintage car. This appraised replacement value for this Rolls-Royce is $35 million.
5. 1954 Packard Panther-Daytona Roadster
Shifting gears, moving forward and down the list, the numbers keep getting smaller! For this two-seater roadster, only four were ever built and rolled off the assembly line. Originally named “The Grey Wolf II”, Packard thought it best to go with the alternative name “Panther” to commemorate Packard racer of 1903-04. The design of the concept car is no ordinary body style; its one-piece molding is made completely out of fiberglass. Its engine is a straight-8 paired with an automatic 2-speed transmission. The roadster has 212 hp and a top speed of 131 mph. At the 2013 Barrett-Jackson auction, the concept car went for a respectable $825,000.
4. 1967 and 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T Hemi Convertible
Another American-made rarity, only four Dodge Coronet Convertibles were manufactured: two in 1967 and two in 1970. These Dodges are nearly impossible to get your hands on, if you ever had enough cash to pay for one of these rare expensive cars, of course.
All four are equipped with a V8-engine. The 1967 model was the first year in which the R/T (Road and track) was available for this Dodge Coronet. The Dodge upped the ante for the 1970 model now the Coronet Convertible had a whopped 425 HP which was quite impressive for its time.
Even though these Coronets may not be as extraordinary in comparison to say the Jaguar XKSS or Aston Martin 2-liter Sports, the rarity is its major selling point, appealing to and intriguing rare car collectors. It has been sold for upwards of $150,000 during auctions quite a few times. Might not be one of the most expensive cars out there, but hold its place as one of the rarest cars in the world.
3. 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 GM Concept Car
Another vehicle from 1954 that’s hard to come by is the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88. While the Oldsmobile F-88 series, on the whole, is not especially rare, the 1954 year of F-88s, is a different story. Only four were built and left the factory in that year and only one still exists.
So what’s the story behind this rare classic car? The F-88 was a pet project of famous American auto designer, Harley Earl. Also known as the XP-20 project, the four 2 door roadster style cars are equipped with 5.3 liter Super 88 V8 engine and have 250 hp to boot. The last surviving F-88 went up for sale at the 2005 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale and sold for $3.3 million.
2. 1996 Ferrari F50 GT
This list would not be complete without at least one of the many rare Ferraris we love. The 1996 Ferrari F50 GT was originally meant for racing against the likes of Porsche and Mercedes in the BPR Global GT Series. Unfortunately, the F50 project was quickly cancelled as its rivals upped their game, making the Ferrari F50 inferior in terms of racing performance and design. Only 3 of these rare sports cars were ever made: one prototype and two to be sold. Even though it never made it to the race track, the 1996 Ferrari F50 GT has made it into the hearts of enthusiasts and rare car collectors.
The rare supercar has a solid 4.7-liter V12 engine boasting 750 bhp, hits 0-60 in an astounding 2.9 seconds, and has a top speed of a roaring 235 mph. In 2013, the asking price was $2.9 million, which is pretty reasonable, considering there are only three in the world.
1. 2005 Maybach Exelero
Probably the most recent of rarities in the automotive industry, the 2005 Maybach Exelero is the last on our list and it costs $8 million out of the factory.
Yes; you read that right. The Exelero costs a whopping $8 million and there is only one in the world today. This extraordinarily rare, expensive car was originally a one-of-a-kind supercar for Fulda, a German tire company. In 2005, it became available for public purchase. Now, with the Maybach having the unbelievable price tag that it does, the word “public” really refers to the very rich and the very elite.
As for the specs on the Exelero, there are just as impressive as its price tag. The car weighs 5863 lbs. (2.9 tons) but, with its V12, twin turbo engine with 700 hp, it maxes out at a rocket-like speed of 218 mph and hit 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds.
Back in 2011, rapper Birdman (also known as Baby) purchased the vehicle, but couldn’t pay for it up front, so it remains the property of the property of the European automaker with no confirmation of a new purchaser.
Each one of these rare cars has its unique story and place in automotive history. While we have listed quite a few, there are more out there with their own stories, own intrigue, and of course worth millions.
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