Scott Reyburn uses RMSotheby’s September sales in London to take a look at the leveling off of the classic car market. Is this
“People are coming down to earth, even though some sellers still have their heads in the clouds,” said Simon Kidston, a dealer in Geneva who founded the classic car index k500.com last December. “Buyers are financially aware and they get spooked if there is bad news elsewhere.”
In recent years, the top level of the classic car market has been dominated by signature Ferraris from the 1950s and ’60s. A 1958 example of Ferrari’s highly successful 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione “Tour de France” coupe, with a modest racing history and restored original 263 b.h.p. engine, duly topped the sale with a price of £4.8 million against a low estimate of £4.5 million.
In 2013, the HAGI (Historic Auto Group International) Top Index of auction and dealer sales of exceptional collectable cars gained 46.75 percent; in 2014, it was up 15.8 percent; so far this year (up to the end of August), it has gained 8 percent.
“It’s definitely slowing down,” said Dietrich Hatlapa, the founder of the HAGI Index, who, like many observers of the classic car market, attribute much of its top-end growth in recent years to wealthy Americans and Europeans benefiting from central banks’ quantitative easing and low interest rates. “People felt comfortable about having 10 percent of their wealth in classic cars, saw values rise and then increased the capital allocation to 15 or 20 percent. The global liquidity just isn’t there any more.”
Luxury Automobiles on the Firing Line (The New York Times)