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$6.6 million 'French mistress' tops car auctions

A rare, 1937 French Roadster just sold for $6.6 million, proving that rich car collectors are still spending.

Total sales for the collectible-car auctions at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance over the weekend topped $66.8 million, a record for the event. That was up 20 percent from last year, and the average sale price topped $400,000, up from $366,787 last year, according to collectible-car insurance firm Hagerty.

The star of the weekend was a 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Torpedo Roadster by Figoni et Falaschi—one of only two surviving examples of the French-built model. RM Auctions sold the car for $6.6 million, topping the high estimate of $6 million.

(Read more: Collectors, start your engines)

The car had been owned by the famed collector and car dealer Malcolm Pray, whose wife playfully nicknamed the car "Malcom's French Mistress" because of his fondness for the car. He died last summer.

"No car stops people in their tracks more than a Delahaye," said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty.

A 1937 Delahaye roadster, once owned by classic car collector Malcolm S. Pray Jr., was auctioned for $6.6 million over the weekend at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.
Source: RM Auctions
A 1937 Delahaye roadster, once owned by classic car collector Malcolm S. Pray Jr., was auctioned for $6.6 million over the weekend at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.

The other top sellers were the typical mix of Ferraris, Porsches and Mercedes-Benzes. Gooding & Co. sold a 1968 Porsche 907 Longtail Coupe for $3.6 million and a 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder for $3.3 million.

But there were some surprises.

A 1958 BMW 507 Roadster was sold by RM for $2.42 million, suggesting that BMWs are starting to make inroads in the collectible car world.

(Read more: The worst performing collectible is ...)

The collectibles boom is even trickling down to Datsuns and VWs. RM sold a 1955 Volkswagen Beetle for $82,500 and Gooding sold a 1968 Datsun 1600 for $50,600.

But don't assume that the rusty Beetle in the garage is suddenly worth a fortune. Both the VW and Datsun were immaculately restored.

(Read more: Why Ferrari is hitting the brakes)

"To restore cars like the Beetle or a Datsun roadster to such a degree of perfection is nothing but an all-in bet that these cars are the collectible gems of the future," Hagerty said. "We look to see these types of cars significantly increase in value over time."

Here are the top 10 sellers by price over the weekend.

  1. 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Torpedo Roadster sold for $6,600,000 (RM)
  2. 1968 Porsche 907 Longtail Coupe sold for $3,630,000 (Gooding)
  3. 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder sold for $3,300,000 (Gooding)
  4. 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT Coupe sold for $2,530,000 (Gooding)
  5. 1958 BMW 507 Roadster sold for $2,420,000 (RM)
  6. 1964 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $2,035,000 (Gooding)
  7. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $1,842,500 (RM)
  8. 1958 BMW 507 Roadster sold for $1,815,000 (Gooding)
  9. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SII PF Cabriolet sold for $1,760,000 (RM)
  10. 1934 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Sedan sold for $1,567,500 (RM)

—By CNBC's Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter @robtfrank.

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