Led by surging later-model supercars, 2015 North American classic car auction sales hit $1.45 billion, Hagerty reports

Hagerty graphic charts total sales volume of North American classic car auctions | Hagerty
Hagerty graphic charts total sales volume of North American classic car auctions | Hagerty

Call them whatever you like – “modern collectibles” or the “emerging segment” or even “later-model performance cars” – the supercars built from the 1980s through the Ford GT of the early years of this century certainly had the pedal to the metal in terms of rising values in the classic car marketplace during 2015.

Hagerty, the insurer and vehicle valuation tracking company based in Traverse City, Michigan, has shared its annual collector car market recap for the past year. Highlights include:

  • A record $1.45 billion in sales at North American classic car auctions in 2015.
  • An amazing 21 percent increase in the average sales price — $79,100 — at those auctions.
  • But that increase was at the top end of the market. The average median price — $26,400 — at those auctions increased only 4 percent.
  • Hagerty customers added 17 percent more 1980s-and-newer vehicles to their collections compared with only a 2.3 percent increase in pre-1980s classics.

 

“The market is still growing, but at a slower rate than we have witnessed in the past three years,“ McKeel Hagerty, Hagerty chief executive, said in a news release.avgprice

“The notable exception is rapid growth among younger buyers who have entered the market and are exercising their buying power by spending on the poster cars of their youth. A new era of later model performance cars from instantly recognizable brands have irrefutably proven that the term ‘collector car’ is not synonymous with ‘old car’.”

Further, a Hagerty spokesman revealed to Classic Car News that not only were searches on the Hagerty Valuation Tools website for 1980-and-newer vehicles up 6 percent compared to 2014, but now comprise 20 percent of all the site’s search traffic.

Hagerty’s analysis considered both public-auction results and Hagerty’s own proprietary database. The company said the emerging segment experienced the greatest year-over-year increase the company has seen in average sales price both at public auctions and in private transactions.

Speaking of auctions, Hagerty said the $1.45 billion figure for the 83 North American auctions was an 11 percent increase compared with the $1.31 billion figure in 2015, and came even though 9 more auctions were held in 2014 than this year.carsofferedsold

According to Hagerty’s figures, the 10 highest prices paid at public auctions in 2015 in North America were:

1. $28,050,000 – 1956 Ferrari 290 MM Spider (RM Sotheby’s, New York, December 10)
2. $17,600,000 – 1964 Ferrari 250 LM (RM Sotheby’s, Monterey, August 13)
3. $16,830,000 – 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spider (Gooding & Co., Monterey, August 15)
4. $16,830,000 – 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Speciale (Gooding & Co., Monterey, August 15)
5. $14,300,000 – 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Coupe (RM Sotheby’s, New York, December 10)
6. $13,750,000 – 1998 McLaren F1 LM (RM Sotheby’s, Monterey, August 13)
7. $13,200,000 – 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF (RM Sotheby’s, Monterey, August 13)
8. $10,120,000 – 1982 Porsche 956 (Gooding & Co., Monterey, August 15)
9. $9,625,000 – 1965 Ferrari 250 LM (RM Sotheby’s, Phoenix, January 15)
10. $9,405,000 – 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione (Bonhams, Scottsdale, Arizona, January15)

medianprice

 

While median prices increased only 4 percent in 2015, cars selling in the $250,000 to $500,000 range experienced a 12 percent growth. By number sold, the top 5 vehicles in that range at North American auctions in 2015 were — 1. 1960s and ‘70s Porsche 911, 2. 2005-2006 Ford GT, 3. Lamborghini Countach, 4. Jaguar E-type, 5. Mercedes-Benz 280 SE.

Hagerty also provided two other lists: Cars with the greatest increase in average sales price and greatest decrease in average sales price, based on both auction and private sales figures in 2015:

Greatest increase:

1. 1974 – 1977 Porsche 911 (+154 percent)
2. 2004 – 2009 Aston Martin DB9 (+141 percent)
3. 1984 – 1996 Ferrari Testarossa/512 TR/F512 M (+98 percent)
4. 1975 – 1985 Ferrari 308 GTS/GTB (+69 percent)
5. 1990 – 2001 Lamborghini Diablo (+65 percent)

Greatest decrease:

1. 1946 – 1952 Hudson Commodore (-36 percent)
2. 1968 – 1975 BMW 2002 (-33 percent)
3. 1976 – 1986 American Motors CJ-7 (-32 percent)
4. 1957 – 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk (-30 percent)
5. 1955 – 1957 Chevrolet 150 (-27 percent)

Overall, the company noted that growth for the broader market experienced modest gains. The Hagerty Market Rating reached its all-time high of 72.11 in May and then decreased in ensuing months to its current 70.84 figure. Nonetheless, the company added, that figure is well within the “expanding market” range for the overall marketplace as it heads into the 2016 auction calendar.

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