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Top 10: Most expensive classic cars at auction

Fangio's Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula 1 car is the most expensive car to be sold at auction, making an astonishing £19,601,500. But snapping hard at its heels in the new number two position is the one-of-10 Ferrari 275 NART Spider, which sold at RM Auctions at Monterey for almost £17.5m. 

With the bar now raised, it's a great time to recap our list of the all-time top 10 selling cars at auction. This is a surprisingly interesting science, given the shifting exchange rates, alternate currencies the cars were bought in, and inflationary effects. But we've listed each cars in UK sterling, and at their original sale prices for simplicity. As you can see, one marque does dominate...

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1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight racer
£7,273,000
RM Auctions, Monterey, 17 August 2012

The final of our top 10 cars to be sold during 2012 - a year that proved massive in re-writing the top-end classic car values guide book. This GT40 was a cast-iron cert for picking up auction records - it won at Spa in 1967, and was the first of its kind to wear the iconic Gulf livery. Then, in 1968, it was transformed into GT40 P/1074 by JWA.

After a few more wins, it was bought by David Brown of Tampa, Florida, who leased the car to Steve McQueen's Solar Productions for work as a camera car in the film, Le Mans. In order to go to work, the car's roof section was entirely removed, which adversely impacted both rigidity and aerodynamics. After five months of filming, the car was sold. Since then, it was restored back into its original Gulf configuration.

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