When rare just isn’t exclusive enough – These “one-offs” are often exclusive models for a show, special prototypes or commissioned by a client – all of these unique one-of-one builds exist in single examples, making them incredibly rare, expensive and cool. Want to see some of the rarest, most unique cars in the world? Let’s get into it
1. Bugatti La Voiture Noire
Bugatti La Voiture Noire is a one-off modern interpretation of Jean Bugatti’s personal Type 57 SC Atlantic that got lost during World War II. The 1,500 hp Bugatti La Voiture Noire hypercar which literally translates to “the black car” has received the Design Award for the most beautiful concept car of 2019 at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. This one-off creation costed the new owner $12,500,000, but actually ended up paying almost $19,000,000 after taxes, becoming the world’s most expensive new car on the road back in 2019.
2. Maserati Boomerang Coupé by Giorgetto Giugiaro
This futuristic Maserati Boomerang Coupé designed by renowned Giorgetto Giugiaro caused an absolute sensation when it was revealed at the Turin Motor Show in 1971 as a static model. In 1972, engineers rebuilt it with the 4.7-litre V8 engine from the recently introduced Maserati Bora coupé, producing 310 hp (314 PS; 231 kW). Unfortunately, the two-seater sports coupé never went into production, but this genuine work of art, was revolutionary and managed to influence the designs of successive cars.
3. Mercedes-Benz 540 K Streamliner
The 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Streamliner is truly an important piece of history for the automaker. Thanks to the discovery of the car’s original blueprints, this one-of-a kind grand touring coupe has been faithfully restored by Mercedes-Benz Classic and made its public debut at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Originally conceived as an efficient competition vehicle for the Berlin-Rome race that never happened – WWII intervened, the Streamliner was initially used as a test vehicle for high-speed tyre testing by the Dunlop company in Germany. The 540 K Streamliner was light-years ahead of its time, underneath its wonderfully curved exterior is 5.4-liter eight-cylinder engine helped by a supercharger – The results are cruising speeds of 165 to 170 km/h and with supercharger a top speed of 185 km/h.
4. Rolls-Royce Sweptail
Inspired by the luxury yachts of the 1920s and ’30s, British luxury carmaker has revealed at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este, the Rolls-Royce Sweptail. The one-of-a-kind Sweptail was commissioned in 2013 by a “valued” Rolls-Royce customer, the level of customization involved in the Sweptail is the fact it took Rolls-Royce four years to finish the car. At the time of its debut it was the most expensive new automobile in the world, costing around US$12.8 million.
5. Lamborghini Egoista Concept
Built to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, Lamborghini Egoista is a concept car and was never meant to be a production car. Egoista translates from Italian as “selfish,” has a unique one-seat cockpit and “represents hedonism taken to the extreme,” explained Walter de Silva, the designer of the Lamborghini Egoista. Based on the Gallardo it was powered by a 5.2 L (317 cu in) V10 engine producing 600 hp (447 kW; 608 PS). Lamborghini Egoista concept currently resides in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy at the Lamborghini museum.
6. Aston Martin Rapide Bertone Jet 2+2
Introduced at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin Jet 2+2 is a one-off shooting brake designed by Barry Weir and manufactured in collaboration with Gruppo Bertone, to celebrate both Aston’s centenary in 2013, and 60 years of collaborations between Aston and Bertone. Under the hood is the same 5.9-litre V12 as the regular Rapide, which means a 6.0-litre V12 with 476bhp, and a 0-62mph time of around 5.3 seconds. Aston Martin fully approved the design and build of the car and originally intended to put this model into production, but that never happened, as Bertone folded operations after this project.
“When the car was built, Bertone were keen to build 10 cars and then Aston Martin wanted to put a version into full production,” said Barry Weir, the British motoring enthusiast. “Unfortunately, Bertone went bust and it never happened. It meant, however, that mine became a unique example of an Aston Martin, an entirely new production car which consisted of just one vehicle.”
7. Ferrari 458 MM Speciale
Ferrari 458 MM Speciale was designed by Ferrari’s own in-house design team, and was commissioned by a British enthusiast, who was apparently inspired by the 288 GTO homologation special of the mid-1980s. Finished in Bianco Italia with an Italian flag livery, this beauty uses the same stripped-out chassis and features a redesigned rear spoiler and a custom sound system, interior, special wheels.
8. Mazda Furai
Mazda Furai was a concept car designed by Swift Engineering and manufactured by Mazda to pay tribute to their legendary race car that won the 1991 Le Mans. Unveiled at the 2008 Detroit Motor Show, the Furai, whose name translates to the “sound of the wind” was powered by a heavily modified 20B 3-rotor wankel engine, running on special E100 pure ethanol fuel and producing 450 bhp (336 kW; 456 PS). Unfortunately, the Furai, the only one of its kind was destroyed in a fire during road tests by Top Gear in 2008.
9. Mercedes-Benz x Virgil Abloh Project MAYBACH
Honoring Virgil Abloh’s legacy, Mercedes-Benz unveiled at Art Basel in December 2021 Project MAYBACH, a collaborative electric show car designed to inspire the next generation. Built from scratch and designed by Abloh alongside Mercedes Design Chief Gorden Wagener, the 2-seater, battery-electric off-road coupe features a two-tone color scheme and combines huge Gran Turismo proportions, large off-road wheels and distinctive attachments.
10. Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa by Zagato
Commissioned by German collector Martin Kapp, the 2010 Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa was first presented at, and won, the XII Villa D’Este Concours d’Elegance; it was built to honor “100 years of races and victories across the whole 20th century.” The one-off Corsa weighs only 850 kg (1,874 lb) thanks to its carbon fibre frame and hand beaten aluminium body panels, and is powered by a 4.2 litre V8 engine developing around 420 hp (313 kW).