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Is This the Most Expensive Car Ever Auctioned? Maybe

by Robert Frank, CNBC / / Source: CNBC.com
Ferrari Auction
A 1957 Ferrari 315 335 S Scaglietti Spyer, Collection Bardinon.

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A 1957 Ferrari just became the most expensive car ever sold at auction. Or maybe, it's the second most expensive.

Due to a quirk in auction locations and currency exchange rates, the title for the most expensive car ever auctioned is now in dispute. On Friday, Artcurial Motorcars sold the 1957 Ferrari, which raced in Le Mans and other famous races, for 32.075 million euros. That translates into $35.7 million. In its press release, the company said it marked a world record for a car at auction — when measured in euros.

But in 2014, Bonham's sold a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta at the Pebble Beach auctions in California for $38.1 million including fees. That translated at the time into 28.5 million euros. And it was billed at the time as being the most expensive car ever auctioned.

Read More from CNBC: Is This Ferrari Europe's Most Expensive Classic Car?

Since then, the dollar has strengthened against the euro. So a euro is now worth less in dollar terms than it was in 2014. So now we have two number ones, depending on which currency you want to use.

Measured purely in euros terms, the Artcurial Ferrari is the new number one. Measured in dollar terms, the Bonham's Ferrari holds the title.

We'll have to see in the coming days how the collectible-car world rules on the issue. But for now, there are two number one cars in the world — both Ferraris.

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