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Welcome to our latest news page. Here we'll be discussing what's new in the classic car industry.

  • Classic car market – 2014 review and 2015 predictions

    by Garry Shortt | Jan 16, 2015

    2014 has been another amazing year for the UK classic car industry which is now estimated to be worth over £6 billion.

    Who did well in 2014? 

    Ferrari classics – unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last 12 months, you’ll know that an awful lot of Ferraris have come to market and many of them have done extremely well at auction. 275’s have done particularly well with some astonishing (and record breaking) results propelling them firmly into £million+ territory. The Testarossa is also having something of a revival and still looks like good value compared to some of their other 80’s counterparts. The relatively obscure 365 GTC/4 has also made its way into the hearts and minds (and wallets) of buyers. 
     
    Ferrari 275 GTC4 Speciale
     
    Classic motorcycles – the popularity of classic bikes has reached a new high as have values. Interest in “modern classics” is now an important part of the classic motorcycle market, just as it is in the classic car market as new buyers come of age. 
     
    Good E-Types – When you factor inflation into the equation, you could argue that E-Type values haven’t really moved much over the last two decades but the best Series 1 cars (generally restored) have undoubtedly had a good year, regularly fetching over £200,000 at auction. 
     
    Air-cooled/ early 911’s – classic Porsches have had a great year with almost all RS variants doing exceptionally well as well as early 2.0 and 2.4 litre 911’s,  and hot 993 and 964 models. 
     
    Lamborghini Countach – 2014 was the year that the Countach became a £million car. The stampede to buy early Countachs in Monterey has set a precedent for the later cars. 
     
    Lamborghini-Countach-LP400-Periscopica
     
    The 80’s - 80’s cars received a lot of media attention in 2014 and interest in cars from the era of Miami Vice has gone into overdrive – the Financial Times called it “bedroom wall syndrome”. It’s worth noting that 80’s car generally look better from the outside… 
     
    Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS - the 2.7 RS benefitted from being named as the best investment car of the last decade in a clever bit of PR by the Discovery Channel to promote the Wheeler Dealers classic car show. They may well be right, but the rest of their list didn’t look quite so convincing. 
     
    Land Rover - with the end in sight for the Defender later this year, early Land Rovers and first generation Range Rovers have seen a spike in interest and prices. There can be no doubt that we’ll miss that iconic design when it has gone. 
     
    Range Rover 001
     
    Auction Houses – Auction houses had a bumper year in 2014 with many a record smashed including the total value of cars sold up to $1.3 billion in 2014 – less commission, of course.

    AC Cobra – although there have been some very strong results in the States for particularly important cars, the demand in the UK seems to have gone off the boil. Maybe it’s the weather? 
     
    Lamborghini Miura – the Miura has always promised much in terms of price increases but hasn’t delivered on that potential – when compared to the Ferrari 275, at least. The SV has performed better than the cooking variety LP400 and 400S, and no doubt a surge of these coming to market in 2013/14 after the relative absence of Miura’s in the marketplace from 2010 has meant that prices remain strong but stable. 
     
    Miura and Daytona
     
    Ferrari 365 GTB Daytona – this opinion might be a little controversial, but despite some strong auction results in the US in the UK market we have seen less enthusiasm for the Daytona than in previous years with cars remaining on the market for extended periods and transaction prices lower than some glowing auction results might have you believe. 
     
    Bentley R-Type ContinentalPrices for these beautiful and rare cars have risen steadily since 2011 but in 2014 we have seen prices begin to plateau with cars not making their estimate or simply not selling at auction. 
     
    bentley-r-type-continental-fastback-1953
     
    Aston Martin DB5 – more of a gut feeling than scientific fact, but it feels like good honest DB5’s have reached their zenith. No doubt in 2015 a few will slip through the £1 million net, but £500-600,000 is about the mark for the gentleman’s GT. 
     
    Jaguar XJ220 – we’ve been willing these to leap up in value for years but they steadfastly refuse. Beautiful, historic and iconic – what else with this pedigree could you buy the very best of for £250,000. 
     
    Jaguar XJ220 Silverstone Auctions
     
    Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS - the latter part of 2014 saw a 2.7 RS sell at auction for £370,000 + premium and another go unsold. Condition and provenance  is vital for achieving the best prices on these cars, but have we seen them peak? 
     

    What classic car buyers wanted in 2014 – our most popular cars.

    The number of cars of any given type that we take enquiries for and/or finance is a fantastic indicator of where the market is at any given time. In 2014 we’ve seen “seasonal” interest in a variety of marques and models, but below are the most popular. 
     

    • Ferrari 308
    • Ferrari Testarossa
    • V12 Ferrari – £100,000 to £400,000 (yes, they were out there….)
    • Aston Martin DB
    • Jaguar E-type – S1 roadsters with V12 cars becoming increasingly popular
    • Air cooled Porsche – in fact, Porsche in general…..
    • Rally cars with competition history

     

    2014 trends in the classic car market 

    Price increases slowed.
     
    Values are still going up in many sectors, but the trajectory levelled off in the second half of 2014, in some cases experiencing a seasonal dip. 
     
    Enthusiasm.
     
    This abounded in 2014; in fact over-enthusiasm might be more accurate. Over-enthusiastic auction estimates meant that nearly 70% of the thousands of auction lots we monitored sold under the median estimate or did not sell. Dealer prices developed a habit of leaping up like a scalded cat – Porsche RS variants were a good example – and some very enthusiastic buyers gave some of them new homes.  And the enthusiasm is still there. 
     
    Pre-war cars losing momentum.
     
    The biggest and most obvious shift in 2014 was the move away from pre-war cars. They didn’t perform as well as predicted at auction and offer what we believe is relatively good value for money in many cases. Remember  – they don’t make them like that anymore – and are now often a good buy and may be even more so in the future. 
     
    More cars on the market.
     
    More cars have been offered than ever before through the auction houses and dealers in 2014 as owners are lured by the promise of high prices. The Ferrari 308 is a great example – 2 years ago there were a handful on the market and there are now literally dozens to choose from – and the 328 is going the same way.

    There are very few cars now that are now “unobtainable” – a quick scan through the classifieds should do it. 
     
    Prices rising even when supply outstrips demand.
     
    One of the most interesting features of the classic car market in 2014 was that the laws of supply and demand were turned on their head. The more cars that came onto the market, the higher the prices seemed to get. Could the sellers hand the market to the buyers in 2015? 
     
    Difference between the best cars and the rest gets wider
     
    Quality became the real differentiator in the market towards the end of 2014. As the media focused on the value of classic cars through the rose tinted spectacles of auction house press releases, the reality was that in the second half of the year buyers exercised more discipline in their buying and a proportion of cars remained unsold or failed to hit their estimates at auction. On average nearly 30% of auction lots failed to sell*, and of the ones that did around 30% sold under the lower estimate (compared to 12% that sold above estimate). The spread of values definitely grew in 2014, due in part to the sheer volume of cars available. 
     
    The Domino effect.
     
    We’ve referred to “bandit pricing” before – the practice of  aggressive pricing which does not reflect the market value. In 2014 we saw cars going up in price even when they remained unsold for months – every time a car sold for strong money at auction or disappeared from the classifieds, prices were “corrected” and we’re not talking by a few thousand. We recently spotted a car that went up by £100,000 after a strong auction result –  even though it had been on the market for 6 months already. 
     
    Dealers at auction
     
    Quite a lot of dealer cars found their way to auction in 2014 and in our eyes there is usually only one reason a dealer sends a car to auction – because they can’t sell it. We even saw dealer collections on the block. Some also bought quite a lot from auction as well with some vigorous buying which was often widely broadcast on social media before the cars arrived in showrooms with a significant mark-up – which didn’t seem particularly sensible. 
     
    Chinese whispers
     
    The rumoured opening up of the Chinese export market for classic cars still doesn’t appear to have happened in 2014. Small numbers of cars appear to be getting permission to enter at a provincial level, but do the Chinese really want classic cars? 
     
    Net migration
     
    There is much talk about the global market for classic cars and how buyers in emerging economies in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America are snapping up cars. On the flip side, we have seen a large number of cars coming into the UK to be sold from EU states with faltering economies, Australia and Japan. The US continues to provide a good source of sensibly priced classic metal and and plenty is coming directly into UK sales rooms and auction houses after a quick pit-stop at the restorers. Eagle-eyed dealers have been scouting for cars in Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, and the Philippines amongst. Are there more cars coming in than going out?

    2014 – the big news 

    Most expensive car ever sold at auction
     
    The sale by Bonhams of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT0 for just under £23 million was the big news of 2014 although the speculation that is could hit $100million nearly spoiled the surprise. It broke the all-time record for an automobile sold at auction at their Quail Lodge auction in August. 
     
    Ferrari 250 GTO chassis number 3851GT
     
    The media catches up
     
    2014 was the year the the media really caught on to the boom in the classic car market – although realistically they are probably about 12 months behind. Classic cars were global news with the BBC, CBS,  Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and media organisations from Ireland to the Phillipines reporting enthusiastically on rising prices and investment potential. 
     
    The rise of the classic car index
     
    HAGI have made a name for themselves by giving us an investors-eye view of the classic car market – 2014 saw the launch of several other classic car price tracking indexes (indices is also acceptable) including classiccarprice.com and K500.com. These indices will no doubt have a knock on effect on pricing in the market but it is very important to remember that cars sold at auction represent only a fraction of the classic cars that change hands each year so their results cannot be solely relied on for valuation purposes.

    Barn find of the century

    The discovery of the Baillon Collection in France was described as “the greatest barn find ever”. In reality the relatives of M.Baillon had waited for decades to call Artcurial auctions in Paris to cash in, so not much finding was involved…..

    What to watch out for in 2015 

    Price stability


    Prices will continue to stabilise in 2015 and some segments of the market will see subtle price corrections –  while the very best collector cars will continue to rise in value although not as quickly as in 2013/2014. 
     
    Layering
     
    We predict that we will see some separation in prices between the best cars and the rest in 2015 due to the sheer volume of cars in the market – particularly at the top and bottom ends of the market (£1 million+ and sub-£100,000). The prices of the very best will float to the top and prices on cars that have remained unsold in the market will come down. 
     
    The explosion of export markets
     
    We’ve been waiting, and we’ll keep watching – perhaps things will really get moving in 2015. 
     
    Maserati
     
    This great marque has lagged behind Ferrari in terms of interest and values and we think we’ll see a healthy increase in values 2015.At the affordable end of the market, four cylinder Porsches have had a good year and we expect to see further growth in values. 
     
    Maserati
     
    Cars from the eighties and nineties
     
    The market for these warmed in 2014 and we expect to see this continue, particularly on later cars. We still think the Testarossa has a way to go when you compare it to prices of the other two cars in the holy trinity of eighties supercar excess – the Porsche 930 Turbo and Lamborghini Countach. The Lamborghini Diablo is also worth a look although prices have already risen in the last two years. We’re also not entirely convinced that 90’s hot hatches are going to go up in value dramatically as the best of them are already well through the £10,000 mark.

    Here’s to another good year for all involved in classic cars.

    The auction action starts afresh mid-January which should give us a good idea of which way the market is really headed.

     

  • Merry Christmas

    by Garry Shortt | Dec 24, 2014

    WISHING YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS &

     A HAPPY & PROSPEROUS 2015!

  • Classic Chrome celebrate 25 years!

    by Garry Shortt | Dec 11, 2014

  • Treasure trove of 60 barn-finds includes ‘lost’ Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

    by Garry Shortt | Dec 5, 2014

     

    Exclusive: Treasure trove of 60 barn-finds includes ‘lost’ Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

    05 December 2014

    “Never again, anywhere in the world, will such a treasure be unearthed,” says Pierre Novikoff, motor car specialist at Artcurial auction house. He’s describing a staggering collection of 60 barn-find cars that have been discovered after lying hidden for 50 years.

    And if you think he’s exaggerating, then let me quote our photographer, Rémi Dargegen, who reported back to us right after the photo-shoot, saying, “It’s amazing, just amazing. The place is incredible… the most impressive thing is the sheer quantity of cars hidden in the barns.”

    Amazing, just amazing

    It all began with the grandfather of the family that currently owns the collection: back in the 1950s, he dreamed of conserving the heritage of pre-War cars in museum surroundings, focusing on the great French brands and famous body shops. This gentleman was an entrepreneur with a transport company in the west of France and he was a serious enthusiast: he even exhibited a roadster that he’d built himself at the Paris Motor Show in the 1950s. Sadly, during the 1970s, his dream fell apart when his business suffered a setback and he was forced to sell some 50 cars. After that, the rest of the collection stayed totally untouched, all these years, until its very recent discovery.

    Only the most famous brands, the most admired coachbuilders

    These motor cars, explains Artcurial, have been tucked away in various outbuildings and left under makeshift corrugated iron shelters – cars that include Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Panhard et Levassor, Delahaye, Delage, Maserati and Ferrari. There are several Talbot-Lago T26s buried in the collection, one of them a very rare Grand Sport Aérodynamique – and an opulent Cabriolet once owned by King Farouk. But it’s not just the marques that are enough to take your breath away: many are clothed in bodies by the most admired coachbuilders of their day, names such as Chapron, Million-Guiet and Saoutchik. Found sheltering in a garage was one of just three Maserati A6G 2000 Berlinettas with coachwork by Frua, dating from 1956. And then, beneath piles of magazines, they discovered something even more exciting…

    Beneath piles of magazines: Alain Delon's lost Ferrari 250 California 

    …a Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, with covered headlights, a car whose first owner was comedian Gérard Blain. But according to Artcurial, the intriguing history of this – surely the last barn-find California SWB Spider ever to be unearthed – doesn’t stop there. Blain sold the Ferrari to actor Alain Delon, who was on several occasions photographed at the wheel – accompanied, in 1964, by Jane Fonda (during the filming of ‘Les Félins’) and later by Shirley MacLaine on the Côte d’Azur.

    A mystery to marque historians

    Even the wife of the original collector didn’t know whether he’d sold the California or still owned it, and their children knew nothing about the car until they came across it, a few months ago, hidden under those old newspapers. So it’s hardly surprising that the whereabouts of this important, Pininfarina-designed cabriolet have been – until now – a mystery to marque historians.

    What a discovery!

    What a discovery: and it’s hard to guess at the sort of interest it’s likely to generate among collectors. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to find out, as the California Spider will be offered – along with the other 59 cars in this amazing collection – by Artcurial Motorcars in the first part of its traditional auction at the Rétromobile Salon, on 6 February 2015, in Paris.

    Like Lord Carnarvon entering Tutankhamun’s tomb

    Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Artcurial Motorcars, likens the experience of first being shown the barn finds to “Lord Carnarvon entering Tutankhamun’s tomb”. In his opinion, “Not since the revelation of the Schlumpf Collection in Mulhouse has such a group of emblematic automobiles been disclosed and, what is more, in such original condition. The magic of these 60 mysterious mechanical creatures is more like a giant work of art: the unrealised dream of their owner.”

    Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2014. All rights reserved.

    The cars

    Amilcar C6 berline

    Amilcar CGS

    Ariès coach

    Auto Union cabriolet

    Avions Voisin C15

    Avions Voisin limousine C15

    Avions Voisin C7 par Gallé

    Ballot 8 Cyl limousine

    Barré torpédo

    Berliet coupé chauffeur

    Berliet Type VIGB 10HP Taxi Landaulet

    Bugatti 57 Ventoux

    Citroën Trèfle

    Delage D6

    Delage D8 coach

    Delahaye 135 cabriolet Faget Varnet

    Delahaye 135 coach Chapron

    Delahaye 235 coach Chapron

    Delahaye 235 coach Chapron

    Delahaye 235 coupé Chapron

    Delahaye Type 43 coupé chauffeur

    Delahaye GFA 148 L

    Delahaye Type 43 camionnette

    Delaunay Belleville limousine VL8

    Facel Vega Excellence

    Ferrari 250 GT California SWB

    Ferrari 308 GTS i

    Ferrari 400

    Ferrari Mondial 3.2L cabriolet

    Hispano Suiza H6B cabriolet Millon-Guiet

    Hotchkiss cabriolet

    Innocenti S cabriolet

    Jaguar type S 3.4 L

    La Buire 12 A

    Lagonda LG45 cabriolet

    Lancia Thema 8.32

    Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 plateau

    Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 torpédo par Grumman

    Lorraine-Dietrich torpédo

    Maserati A6G 2000 berlinetta Grand Sport Frua

    Mathis cabriolet

    Mathis FOH

    Packard cabriolet Super Eight

    Panhard-Levassor Dynamic berline X77

    Panhard-Levassor Dynamic coupé X76

    Panhard-Levassor limousine X72

    Porsche 356 SC ex-Sonauto

    Renault AX torpédo

    Renault Vivastella cabriolet

    Sandford cyclecar 3 roues

    Singer Cabriolet

    Talbot Lago 11/6 cabriolet

    Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet

    Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet

    Talbot Lago Cadette 11

    Talbot Lago coach

    Talbot Lago T26 coach

    Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport coupé Saoutchik

    Talbot Lago T26 Record coupé Saoutchik

    Talbot Lago T26 cabriolet Saoutchik ex-Roi Farouk

  • James Bond is Back – 007 returns to the big screen in Spectre

    by Garry Shortt | Dec 5, 2014

    James Bond 007 returns for his 24th outing in the new film Spectre to be released in late October 2015.

    The film will also see the new Aston Martin DB10 which is being built just for the film.

    With only 10 being made, it will make this the most exclusive Aston Martin ever!

    Bond is Back - Preview photo of the stunning new DB10

    Daniel Craig will return to play 007 in his fourth film with director Sam Mendes also returning to direct his second film.

    M and Q return and played by Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw with the usual bevy of Bond Girls headed up by Miss Moneypenny played by Naomie Harriswith newcomers Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux.

    Spectre (Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence. Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion) has featured in past Bond Films, but the producers are keeping a tight lid on whether Ernst Stavro Blofeld will be making an appearance.

    The 007 production will based at Pinewood Studios and on location in London, Mexico City, Rome, Tangier and Erfroud in Morocco. The film will also see Bond returned to the slopes in Austria in Solden, Obertilliach and Lake Altausee.

    The Film also marks the 50th Anniversary of Aston Martin and its association with the Bond Films, having provided many different cars over the years including the famous DB5, Vanquish and DBS to name just a few.

    James Bond 007 in the classic Aston Martin DB5Aston Martin Vanquish demonstrating the latest James Bond weaponry and kitAston Martin DBS with Daniel Craig as James Bond 007

  • World records set at Artcurial auction - Paris

    by Garry Shortt | Nov 6, 2014

    World records set at Artcurial auction

    Two world records were broken at Artcurial's Automobiles sur les Champs-Élysées sale on 2 November – both for classic Porsches. 

    More than €5.9m changed hands during the auction, including €232,400 paid for a 1974 Porsche Carrera 2.7 targa and €212,200 for a 1972 911 2.4S targa – both  world bests for the respective models.

    A 1992 Porsche 964RS also posted a mammoth figure, though not a world record. The hammer came down at €252,700, shortly after the '74 Carrera.

    A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 fetched the largest sum of the night, selling for an impressive €955,400. The left-hand-drive example was the subject of a bidding war between a European collector, who was in the room, and a Russian on the telephone. The car was eventually sold in the room to raucous applause.

    Another British classic went for well above its pre-sale estimate, but some way short of the Aston's figure at €38,100. The 1969 Morgan 4/4 was expected to go for between €20-30,000, but enjoyed much more interest due to being the very car driven by Gérard Depardieu in Les Valseuses.

    However, its result was eclipsed by a 1966 Morris Mini Traveller, which came close to doubling its €22,000 pre-sale upper estimate, selling for a whopping €42,912.

    The British success story continued when a 1992 Jaguar XJ220 made €211,120 – smashing its €145,000 expected value. 

    A 1974 Ferrari 246GTS raised no eyebrows when it sold for €357,600, illustrating that values of the Dino are showing no signs of cooling. 

    Moments earlier an American bidder landed a 1971 246GT for €274,200. 

    A Jaguar Mk2 that had belonged to French artist Pierre Soulages also drew a lot of interest, eventually achieving €57,200. 

    A half-scale replica of a Porsche 936 sold for €4000 above its upper estimate at €26,000, while a collection of enamel plaques sold for €4600 in the automobilia sale – some 10 times the pre-sale upper estimate. 

     

  • Forgotten Corvette collection emerges after 25 years

    by Garry Shortt | Oct 31, 2014

    Forgotten Corvette collection emerges from the dust after 25 years!

    36 Chevrolet Corvettes, one from every year of manufacture up until 1989, have been discovered....

     

    Peter Max was not a car guy. So when he purchased a collection of 36 Chevrolet Corvettes, one from every year of manufacture up until 1989, he had a very specific plan: He would use this slice of American history as a tool to self-promote his work as an artist, painting the machines in lurid colors while staging them in various oddball scenarios only the most expressive of minds could envision. 

    Only that never happened. Instead, Max left his collection in a New York City storage lot, which is where they've lived for a quarter of a century, sat gathering inches of dust, moved only when switching from one storage location to another.

    However, that is all about to change, as the cars are now under new ownership – one that will lovingly restore the 'Vettes and get them back on the road.

    The story of how Max acquired the cars began in 1989, when music network VH1 held a contest to award a lucky viewer with a Corvette from every year of the model's existence, from 1953 to 1989.Hemmings reports that VH1 purchased the cars for $610,000, and made its money back by creating a 900 number and charging contestants $2.00 per phone call to enter.

    Placing just one call, Dennis Amodeo, a carpenter from Long Island, won the prize. Shortly after receiving his army of Corvettes, Amodeo received a call from Max who had seen the collection at an auto show in 1990.

    Max stated that he wished to purchase the cars, and at a meet in New York City, the two hashed out a deal that reportedly included $250,000 in cash, $250,000 worth of Max's artwork and an agreement that if Max ever sold the cars, Amodeo would receive a portion of the proceeds, up to $1 million.

    While the exterior of the 1963 Vette is coated in grime, the interior has been fairly well preserved by neglect.The exterior of the 1963 Vette is coated in grime, the interior has been well preserved .[Richard Prince Photo …

     

    Why Max never executed his plan for the Corvette collection remains a bit of a mystery; in 2010, he talked about adding 14 more years of vehicles to bring the tally up to an even 50. Once again, that never happened.

    Perhaps it was the sheer amount of work that was required after the artist had let the cars sit for so long; some of the cars, like the 1974 and 1984, would cost more to restore than the vehicle's worth, and time was reportedly unkind to most of the 'Vettes in the group – two-thirds of which sport the less-sought-after automatic transmission with 14 of the cars convertibles; none feature the prized big-block V-8.

    Still, after Max approached a guy named Peter Heller to locate a new storage garage for his collection, according to the New York Times, Heller decided instead to offer the artist a deal to purchase the 36 Corvettes.

    Max agreed for an untold sum (it's unknown whether Amodeo will receive a portion of the proceeds, as stated in Max's original deal). Some of the cars, Heller discovered, could be show-ready with relatively basic restoration, and he plans to have even most decrepit vehicles brought back to life.

    When complete, the collection will return to the market, hoping to deliver a tidy return on Heller's investment and keep the wheels turning on the once forgotten Corvettes of Peter Max.

     

  • BTCC - Silverstone 28/09/2014

    by Garry Shortt | Oct 2, 2014

  • BTCC - Silverstone 28/09/2014

    by Garry Shortt | Oct 2, 2014

  • BTCC - Silverstone 28/09/2014

    by Garry Shortt | Oct 2, 2014

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