Latest On The Classic Car Market

I am reprinting below an article from the ClassicCarsForSale.Co.UK website by renowned and well-respected journalist, Richard Hudson-Evans on the current state of the classsic car market.  I hope you may find it interesting.  I hope they don't mind me reprinting it too....

Latest market commentary from CCFS auction analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Latest market commentary from CCFS auction analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

During the annual season-opening auctions in gun-toting Arizona, a 1958 Ferrari 250GT LWB California Spider sold at Gooding & Company for $8,250,000 (£5.2m) to become the week’s top seller and only just beating a $8,140,000 (£5.13m) 1960 250GT SWB Berlinetta ‘Competizione’ (digitally captured for you by photographer Eugene Robertson) at RM, where there were five Ferraris in the top ten.

Among  $2m+ valuations for Gooding cars at Scottsdale, a 1959 Porsche RSK Race-Spider realised $3,135,000 (£1.98m), a 1957 Maserati 150 GT Spider $3,080,000 (£1.94m), a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet A $2,750,000 (£1.73m), a 1933 Duesenberg Model J with Disappearing-Top $2,695,000 (£1.7m), a 1958 Ferrari 250GT Coupe Speciale £2,365,000 (£1.49m) and a 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante $2,035,000 (£1.29m). After two very confident sessions last Friday and Saturday, Gooding sold 100 or 95% of the 105 cars in their catalogue for a premium-inclusive $52.44m (£33.04m). There is clearly no shortage of seriously big bucks for top end stock.

$2,007,500 (£1.26m) was also available for a 1967 Shelby 427 ‘Semi-Competition’ Cobra at the Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, where six more RM client cars broke the magic $1m barrier, a 1967 Ferrari 275GTB/4  at $1,842,500 (£1.16m), a 1938 Delahaye 135 MS Coupe $1,540,000 (£970,200), a 1966 Ferrari 275GTB $1,320,000 (£831,600), a 2003 Ferrari Enzo $1,320,000 (£831,600) and a 1954 Ferrrari 250 Europa Coupe $1,017,500 (£641,025). By the end of their top car focused event, RM had shifted 74 or 89% of their 83 car entry, 57 fewer than the 140 sold last year, although the $36.11m (£22.75m) RM sale total amounted to 42% more! Again, more evidence of strong and continued appreciation at the top end of the collector vehicle market.

During Bonhams’ second Arizona auction at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale last Thursday, when bidders from 28 countries contested 114 properties, buying 92 or 81% of them for $13.51m (£8.51m), twice as much as they did at last year’s debut sale, the international auction house sold a 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV from the Oldenburg Collection to a European collector for $1,215,000 (£765,450) and a 1930 Bugatti T46 Faux Cabriolet consigned by a British owner to a US collector for $951,000 (£599,130). Both bullish valuations, particularly in Sterling, I would suggest.

Again, four Ferraris also raced onto the Bonhams leader-board here too, led by a 1968 330GTS Spider with a $912,500 (£574,875) result, while a 1967 365 GTC Speciale, originally commissioned by Pirelli Tyre President Leopoldo Pirelli, made a world record $885,000 ($557,550). Also establishing a new record price for a Morgan model when sold for $230,000 (£144,900) was the actual 1964 London Motor Show exhibited +4 Coupe, one of only 26 of the Malvern-made Fixed Heads.

Following closely behind the European market leader’s record-breaking Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction at Bally’s Hotel and Casino on The Strip the preceding week, where a headlining 1939 BMW Rennsport 255 Kompressor bike sold to an American private buyer for $480,000 (£302,400), Bonhams US team’s January auctions realised in excess of $15m (£9.45m).

On the past form of this annual auctions bonanza in gun-toting Arizona, many more hundreds of prices for what will be mainly muscular American classics will soon pile up in my in-box from several days of high decibel Barrett-Jackson and Russo & Steele ‘drive-through’ hollering. Indeed, already filling my screen as it zapped across the B-J block accompanied by Bat-birds was the original 19 feet long, bubble-top ‘Batmobile’, which the Hollywood customiser George Barris created from a 1955 Lincoln Futura sourced for $1 in 1966.

So the story goes, the Bat-transformation took the ingenious Barris 15 days and $15,000 to complete, so that Adam West (‘The Caped Crusader’) and Burt Ward (his trusty sidekick ‘Robin’) could save the world in their comic-strip flier, which was famously equipped with lasers and could lay down eco-friendly smoke screens or oil slicks. By contrast, it took winning bidder, one Rick Champagne, a car collector from Phoenix, just a few minutes of abandoned bidding to part with $4.2m (£2.6m) and own what is claimed to be the original screen icon rather than one of the many look-alike publicity versions last seen in a cinema foyer near you. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mr Champagne plans to tear a wall down so that he can park his Bat-investment in the living room!

Outside the sanctuary of their excellent tea rooms, and if today’s icicles outside my window are anything to go by, our own 2013 season may well have a somewhat cooler kick-off at SWVA at Parkstone, just outside Poole, this Friday 25 January morning or ACA at King’s Lynn Saturday 26. Brrr, brrr. It may even be too cold for a pint...

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