Bloomberg explains how the antique car market has continued to rise even as art, wine and other collectibles have fallen in the credit swoon:
Prices on collectible cars have gained about 60 percent since September 2006 according to an index created by David Kinney, publisher of “Hagerty’s Cars That Matter,” a pricing guide and Web site. His Blue Chip index of 25 vehicles tracks actual sales and includes automobiles such as the 1960 to 1963 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder, which has gained 112 percent since September 2006, and has a current book value of $4.2 million.
Collectible cars have beaten art, wine, stocks and gold, which is up 30 percent since September 2006. The Art Market Confidence Index at Artprice.com has fallen 37 percent from a year ago and is down 69 percent since September 2006. The WinePrices Fine Wine 100 Index dropped 38 percent between April 2008 and January 2009, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has declined 24 percent over the past three years. […]
Television has helped fuel today’s market boom, said Ford Heacock III, president of Heacock Classic, a collector-car insurance company. The Speed Channel, a unit of News Corp., has been expanding coverage of auto auctions since 2002. Bidding under cameras and lights gets people excited, Heacock said. Transactions among private parties are generally priced well below auctions, he said, a flaw most pricing guides don’t account for.
Over the weekend, Bonhams held a sale that went well, bringing in €2.7m or $4m, which was impressive given that the star lot of the evening did not clear the reserve price:
Bonhams sold 64 percent of its 61 lots at an inaugural sale at the annual “Weekend de l’Excellence Automobile” at Reims. The auction fell short of its presale forecast of 4.5 million euros including the Bugatti, which had the highest estimate at 2.4 million euros.
“When we’re dealing in euros we do ostracize a good market, namely the Britons,” said James Knight, the managing director of Bonham’s motoring department, in an interview after the sale. “The euro going up against the pound in the last two days may well have had an impact. But there is a market. Ferraris and Mercedes are still flavorsome.”