MAR 25th 2015

Edward Legge ‑ Ferraris, Grab A V12 While You Still Can

There has been a lot of chatter recently about cars of the eighties and nineties and their potential for increasing in value. It’s sad that the classic car hobby (as the Yanks call it) now seems to place such importance on the “investment potential” of cars rather than other factors, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the cool cars from that era are becoming more popular. As car buyers mature into classic car buyers, those previously cool cars mature into now-cool classics and the cars of the eighties and nineties are now in the ascendancy as older models’ popularity begins to wane. Rest assured, the Bugatti Veyron will be at the top of the collector car list in 25 years time – assuming it is still legal to run an internal combustion engine. 

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Ferrari continues to be the marque to beat when it comes to desirability in the classic car market, although turbo-charged Porsche has had a recent boost (pun intended) in popularity mainly due to the aforementioned cycle. Testarossas and 512s are going great guns and while there might not be an unlimited supply of people willing or able to pay the asking for them, there does seem to be an almost unlimited supply of people who would like to own a Ferrari.

‘I struggle with the idea of the Mondial being a classic, but I guess if being the world’s only mid-engined V8 four-seater convertible makes a car desirable then the Mondial has it in spades.’

Over the last couple of months we have seen more and more Ferrari 348s, Mondials and now 355s appearing at auction, which is always a good indicator that the market is warming up for these models. 355s have up to now been forecourt fodder, so the fact that they are now appearing at auction tells me that either the auctions are struggling to find other Ferraris to sell or that owners think that now is the time to realise their “investment potential”. I struggle with the idea of the Mondial being a classic, but I guess if being the world’s only mid-engined V8 four-seater convertible makes a car desirable then the Mondial has it in spades. The real glamour, however, lies with the V12’s.

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The halo cars will always be the most desirable, so where do we go looking for affordable V12 Ferraris? In recent weeks we have seen some amazing prices for V12 Ferraris achieved at auction with a delivery mileage 456 finding a buyer at £118,000, a 550 World Speed Record edition selling for £179,000 and a manual 599 GTB making an astonishing £422,000 in the US. With Testarossa asking prices rising by around 25% in the last three months (and for sale stock almost doubling), I would suggest that the Ferrari 550 Maranello isn’t a bad place to go if you are looking for a starter V12 – they are great to drive, pleasingly “modern” and rarer than a Testarossa. Prices are creeping up but not nearly as fast as 456s, some of which almost doubled in price overnight after some help from a TV tipster and one great result at auction.

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There are still some sensibly priced cars out there, but I can’t imagine they will be for long. As manual V12 Ferrari’s are now just a distant memory these will become more sought after over time and they drive better too. This no doubt contributed to at least two forward-thinking individuals/ speculators deciding a 599 GTB manual was worth parking up for a few years and they will be right, given that it really isn’t too hard to predict the classics of the future. The tricky bit is predicting the value – and on that note I reckon the Ferrari 550 Maranello has some way to go.

Edward Legge is Director of Commercial Development at Classic and Sports Finance.

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