Classic car auction sales hit $1.3B in 2014, Hagerty says

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO became the highest-selling auction car of all time | Bob Golfen
A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO became the highest-selling auction car of all time at more than $38 million | Bob Golfen

Powered by a record $430 million in collector-car auction results during Monterey Classic Car Week in August, total auction sales in North America soared to $1.3 billion in 2014, compared with $1.2 billion in 2013, according to Hagerty classic-car insurance and valuations.

Vintage Ferraris led the charge in rising values, with high-end sports cars and historic race cars experiencing the most robust growth. There was a lesser relative increase for mid-range and affordable cars.

The top 10 auction sales in North American during 2014 were:

1.     1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Coupe sold for $38,115,000 (Bonhams)
2.     1964 Ferrari 275GTB/C Coupe sold for $26,400,000 (RM Auctions)
3.     1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spyder sold for $15,180,000 (Gooding & Company)
4.     1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe sold for $11,550,000 (RM Auctions)
5.     1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $10,175,000 (RM Auctions)
6.     1958 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder sold for $8,800,000 (RM Auctions)
7.     1964 Ford GT40 Coupe sold for $7,560,000 (Mecum Auctions)
8.     1953 Ferrari 250 MM Coupe sold for $7,260,000 (Bonhams)
9.     1965 Ford GT40 Roadster sold for $6,930,000 (RM Auctions)
10.  1962 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe sold for $6,875,000 (Bonhams)

(All prices include auctions fees.)

“It was another banner year for classic cars with gains at the top-end and more modest growth for the bulk of the market,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, located in Traverse City, Michigan.

“Ferraris continue to dominate the top sales, but 2014 witnessed many emerging models being sought after by the most discerning enthusiasts,” he added.  “For example, as some people have been priced out of the Shelby Cobra market, they shifted their focus to Sunbeam Tigers – a lightweight British roadster with a powerful American V8.”

Some of those emerging models seeing the greatest appreciation at auction, according to Hagerty research, include:

Lamborghini Countach:  175 percent increase with a $736,599 average price.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Berlina:  63 percent increase with a $85,687 average price.
Sunbeam Tiger:  61 percent increase with a $74,983 average price.
Aston Martin Lagonda:  32 percent increase with a $47,078 average price.
Jaguar E-type:  19 percent increase with a $100,047 average price.

In addition to the public auction market, all of Hagerty’s classic car value indexes, which include private sales, experienced 12-month increases: Blue Chip Index, up 31 percent; Ferrari Index; up 43 percent; German Index, up 25 percent; British Index, up 19 percent; Muscle Car Index, up 38 percent; 1950s American Index, up 1 percent; and Affordable Classic Index, up 2 percent.

Hagerty predicts a more-modest growth rate for 2015 across the collector-car marketplace.

“After five years of consistent double-digit increases, the market is headed toward a more sustainable single-digit growth,” McKeel Hagerty said. “The best examples of the most desirable cars will still set new records and the rest of the market will continue to grow at a healthy but slower rate.”

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