Breaking Records: The Top Record Breaking American Sports Cars Sales

When you think of multi-million dollar sports cars, James Bond’s Aston Martin springs to mind, as well as a host of other British- and European-made cars: Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo. In fact, most of top record-setting sales in sports cars are set by Ferrari. But in the last few years, American sports cars have started to come into their own, breaking records at auction houses around the country. Here’s a run down of the top record breaking American sports car sales.


The most recent entry into this category is a Corvette, to be specific, the 1967 Corvette L88. Built for production racing and used for drag racing, this rare gem sold for $3.2 million dollars – the highest a Corvette has ever gone for.  Why such a haul?  Only 20 of these beauties were built so this indeed was a rare find. The engine was rated at 430hp, but actual output appears to be a lot higher – estimated as high as 560hp. Yet more great news for the car that seems to be the talk of the town.

Video courtesy of YouTube and CorvetteBlogger


While the Corvette is a rare and gorgeous find, $3.2 million is chump change compared to the next highest auction price. The Ford GT40 broke a record in 2012 when it sold for $11 million. That’s because this powder blue racing car was used by none other than legendary Steve McQueen in the 1971 film “Le Mans.” The brain child of Henry Ford II, who wanted to beat out Ferrari, the GT40 was designed to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans race – which it did four times in a row. This car won four other titles in the course of its race days, and was the inspiration for later models Ford GT’s.

Not only that, but this is not the first time that Ford has sold a car for high value at auction. In 2008, the 1965 GT350 R Mustang sold for $875,000. Not record breaking, but Ford appears to be holding its own in this arena.

Shelby Daytona

In 2009, the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe solid for over $7 million – however, it was expected to bring nearly twice that amount. Yet another race car built to take on the Ferrari, this model won medals from its very first race, taking top honors in 12 competitions in 1964 and 1965, including The 24 Hours of Le Mans. This is one of the few models that was amazingly used later on as a standard driving car by one of its owners.


Not a model you’d expect to see in this category, the green 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special sold for nearly $3 million in January, 2006. In the 50’s, this car held one of Pontiac’s most powerful engines – and only two were ever made, one in bronze which debuted in the Waldorf ballroom, and the emerald green one which toured the country. Called the Special-8, the red and chrome engine output was estimated as high as 300hp. The sister car is still in existence, but no word on that coming to auction any time soon.

While classic American sports cars have a long way to go to compete with all the records broken by Ferrari, it’s nice to see a rising trend among brands that resonate with the American public.

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