The annual August angst of collector car auctions taking place on the Monterey Peninsula have begun, albeit to a very slow start.
Hagerty, the collector car insurance and valuation-tracking company, supplies us with daily reports on the auction action.
“Despite nervous hand-wringing and much debate about a dramatic downward shift, most of the signals that Hagerty is reading indicate that the market is steadily chugging away,” the company reports. “We expect sales totals this year to be lower than last year ($290 million vs. $338 million), but that is due to significantly fewer seven- and eight-figure vehicles being offered rather than a wholesale slide in prices.
“Meanwhile, since the market has come off the boil, there is less opportunity for speculators who are now leaving the buying to end users. We consider this a good thing overall for enthusiasts.”
Mecum Auctions got things started a day early Wednesday with 100 vehicles crossing the block. Hagerty reports that only 32 of them sold, for a total of $470,000.
“There was little in the way of star power in the 100 vehicles offered during their first day as is obvious from the $14,713 average sale price,” Hagerty said, “but the selection of accessible cars showed that even against the backdrop of Pebble Beach, these auctions hold opportunities for people of all budgets.”
Hagerty suspects that consignors are still setting their reserves too high for the current marketplace. Also, many buyers may not have arrived yet on the peninsula, where the action kicks up Thursday with Mecum, Worldwide Auctioneers and also Russo and Steele selling.
“Those cars that did sell generally did so at appropriate amounts based on their conditions,” the Hagerty reported noted. “Exceptions on the strong side include a decent 1977 Dodge Warlock that sold for $20,900 (well above the current Hagerty Price Guide value for its condition) and a 1978 Chevrolet C10 ½-Ton Scottsdale pickup that traded for $16,500. The vintage pickup market continues to be hot.”
Wednesday total: $470,100
32/100 lots sold: 32 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $14,713
Median sale price: $12,375
Top 10 sales Wednesday
1. 2005 Shaw Silsby NA Supermodified Race Car, $33,000
2. 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Hardtop Coupe, $31,350
3. 1999 Bentley Arnage Sedan, $28,600
4. 2013 Ford Mustang GT Coupe, $25,850
5. 1972 Chevrolet El Camino Pickup, $23,650
6. 1972 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible, $23,100
7. 1973 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, $22,000
8. 1977 Dodge D100 Warlock Utiline Pickup, $20,900
9. 1967 Pontiac Firebird Hardtop Coupe, $19,800
10. 2008 BMW 550i Sedan, $17,050