In the time honoured tradition of a new year, I thought we should take a look at the really interesting stuff (to me) that happened in the classic car world last year and what might happen in 2015.
What went up?
Classic Ferraris had an exceptional year (though I’m sure some will argue that 2013 was better) with the highly publicised sale of a Ferrari 250 GTO by Bonhams for just under £23,000,000 – the highest price ever achieved for a car at auction (the sale of a 275 GTB/C Speciale did come a close second). Classic Porsches had a great year too with hot models selling like hot cakes but, given the volumes produced for some of the models that have gone up in price, can those rises be sustained?
The highlight for me (and my biggest surprise) was the Lamborghini Countach LP400 Periscopica which went from not-quite-zero to absolute-hero by sending buyers crazy in Monterey and cannonballing through the £1 million mark at auction on its way into the stratosphere, carrying its brethren with it.
Might come down?
Several notable cars failed to deliver on the promise that so many Ferraris had shown in 2014. The Lamborghini Miura has always promised much in terms of price increases but hasn’t delivered on that potential in my opinion – when compared to the Ferrari 275, at least, which performed very well at auction this year. No doubt a surge of these coming to market in 2013/14 after the relative absence of Miuras in the marketplace from 2010 has meant that prices remain strong but stable.
This opinion might also be a little controversial but, despite some relatively good auction results in the US, in the UK market we have seen less enthusiasm for the Ferrari 365 Daytona than in previous years. The long anticipated rise in Jaguar XJ220 values also failed to materialise – what else is available for under £250,000 that is as rare and iconic?
The Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS also had a crisis of confidence in the latter part of 2014 when one sold at auction for £370,000 plus premium and another went unsold. Condition and provenance is vital for achieving the best prices on these cars, but have we seen them peak?
Price increases have slowed with many cars looking like they have hit a plateau but prices and the market are still strong and there is certainly no shortage of buyers. Pre-war cars lost their momentum and if you are that way inclined Bentley and Rolls-Royce look like a good buy in 2015.
The market was swamped with cars of all marques for sale but this didn’t seem to affect prices even though the laws of supply and demand had been turned on their head. The mainstream media have also finally latched onto the booming classic car market, fuelling a rush of buyers trying to get into the market before the poster cars of their youth became too expensive
In 2015 we should see prices stabilise, which will bring confidence to the market for buyers and sellers alike. The best cars will continue to rise but more slowly than before and the chaff will see modest price corrections although I may well have been forced to eat my words by the time January’s round of auctions in Arizona is finished.
I think we will see Maserati values blossom in 2015 – they have remained in the shadow of Ferrari for long enough – along with the Lamborghini Espada and at the other end of the market 4-cylinder Porsches (the rarer the better).
If you have any tips on what will go up (or down) this year please leave them in the comments and we can refer back to them in January 2016!
Edward Legge is Director of Commercial Development at Classic and Sports Finance