Top 5 Most Expensive Shelby Cars Sold at Auction

Borro loves luxury cars, and we’ve been exploring the most expensive car brands sold at auction. Carol Shelby was a US car designer and driver who set up Shelby American Inc in 1962, specializing in American race cars. Mr. Shelby passed away in 2012, yet his legacy lives on. His cars still fetch millions at auctions and we’ve taken a look at the top 5 most expensive Shelby’s to ever be sold.

  1. 1969 Shelby GT 500 Convertible
1969 Shelby GT 500 Convertible

Image Source: Market Watch

Starting off the list with our first and only red car, this charming convertible sold for £588,477 when it was auctioned in 2008 at Barrett-Jackson. Its main selling point that is was one of Carroll Shelby’s personal cars.

  1. 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster

Image Source: Market Watch

This Shelby Roadster was sold at auction in 2007 for £769,547. It was a huge attraction in shows and track events and now belongs to one very lucky owner.

  1. Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake
Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake

Image source: Barrett-Jackson

Blue seems to be the colour theme for this list, as our third most expensive Shelby is the Cobra 427 Super Snake that sold at the Barret-Jackson auction in 2007 for £4.5 million. It is only one of two ever built so this may be why it raised so much in auction.

  1. Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe CSX 260
Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe CSX 260

Image Source: Mecum

At the Mecum auction in 2009, this blue beauty sold for a huge £5.9 million, setting the record at the time for the most expensive American car sold at auction. It was known as the “Champion Car” as it won the 1965 World Manufacturers Championship for Shelby American.

  1. 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra
1962 Shelby 260 Cobra

Image source: RM Sotheby’s

In 2016, RM Sotheby’s set a world record for the most expensive American car ever sold at auction. It was owned by Mr. Shelby himself before he passed away in 2012 and was the race car of his dreams, which may explain why the car managed to achieve £11.3 million in auction.

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Is Paid Celebrity Endorsement Reflected in Watch Values?

There’s a certain stratum of brands that rely on film stars and athletes to communicate their brand message to their customers. There is a noticeable congruence in price point rather than stylistic similarity: Brands whose products mostly retail between one and five thousand pounds lean heavily on celebrity endorsement. And so this raises two simple questions: Why? And: Is it a good thing?

George Clooney promoting omega watch

Image courtesy of Omega

Why Brands Invest in Famous Ambassadors

There’s a pretty easy (and quite scathing) answer to why these brands focus on this marketing strategy: They need to. The lower down the price brackets you slide, the more value becomes a major sales proposition; the higher up the same scale you climb, prestige and intrinsic quality take over as the main drivers. It’s the awkward middle ground where the majority of industry action takes place. The resulting competition is understandably fierce.

Creating market separation on a level where retail margins prevent mind-blowing complications or the use of incredibly rare materials is very difficult. In this sector of the market, companies rely on branding. Employing a reputable spokesperson is seen as a cost-effective alternative to the painstaking establishment of artificial heritage in the minds of consumers.

Lewis Hamilton promoting Tag Heuer watch

Image courtesy of TAG Heuer

With a glance George Clooney can communicate the suave culture of Omega; with a screeching overtake Lewis Hamilton can remind us of TAG Heuer’s willingness to push boundaries and exist on the edge; with a loving family portrait Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf express a grace in retirement that is an emboldening counterpoint to the win-at-all costs attitude they expressed during their careers. In short, it works, but should you, as an investor rather than a consumer, put any stock in it whatsoever?

Stars Fade While Quality Endures

In short, no. As a conscientious investor you should focus on the product and its significance within the wider context of watchmaking, rather than the reputation of the celebrity backer. Unless the watch is a stonewall classic associated with an unpaid hero or heroine (think the Rolex Daytona and Paul Newman or the Heuer Monaco and Steve McQueen), don’t buy a piece based on the guy or girl who’s paid to tell you it’s class.

As cringe-worthy as the Patek Philippe adverts can sometimes be, their products will always have high investment potential, because of their genuine heritage and their intrinsic quality. Look for eternal elements in watches, in design, in materials, in horological mastery; steer clear of fads and fan-boy watches. They won’t stand the test of time, so beware. Buy with one eye on the past and another on the future, never on the brief moment for which a paid celebrity ambassador is at the top of the tree. There’s only one way they can go from there, and you can bet the value of your investment will follow suit.

About the Author

Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.

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The top 5 most expensive pieces of cricket memorabilia

Calling all cricket-lovers; it’s time to take a look back at the most expensive cricket memorabilia ever to be sold at auction. From bats to books, and caps to score-cards these pieces all have an extraordinary place in the history of cricket.

5) Sachin Tendulkar’s bat – £58,480

Sachin Tendulkar's bat

This cricket player is hugely popular in his homeland of India. This may be because he is the only player to score a century and 30,000 runs in an international game. This particular bat was used to scare 163 innings in 2009 in a game against New Zealand, and sold for £58,480 the next year in Mumbai.

4) MS Dhoni’s World Cup bat – £100,000

MS Dhoni's World Cup bat

MS Dhoni is currently one of the highest paid athletes, being the captain of the Indian cricket team. In the 2011 World Cup, Dhoni led the team to success when they beat Sri Lanka. The bat he used sold in London later that year in his wife’s charity auction event for the Sakshi Foundation for £100,000.

3) Wisden’s Almanac complete set – £120,000

Wisden's Almanac complete set

These books have been running since 1864 and covers all areas of cricket. This is a complete set consisting of every book for the past 143 years. In 2007, the collection sold for £120,000 at Graham Budd Auctions in London.

2) Don Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’ tour cap – £175,375

Don Bradman's 'Invincibles' tour cap

Bradman is one of the greatest batsman of all time, with a 99.94 batting average. When Australia toured England in 1948 and won all 34 games, the team earned themselves the nickname “the invincibles”. The cap that Bradman wore during this tour was sold for £175,375 at Charles Leski Auctions in 2008.

  1. Samuel Britcher’s cricket scorebooks – £324,000

Samuel Britcher's cricket scorebooks

Samuel Britcher was a score-keeper at the Marylebone Cricket Club which opened in 1787. A collection of the original scorecards that Britcher hand-wrote from 1795-1806 were sold in 2005 at auction by Christies for £324,000.

Images sourced from: justcollecting.com

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Can’t Miss January 2017 Auction Dates

It’s finally 2017 and we can expect some amazing auctions this year. Borro has compiled a list of the top three must-see auctions of this month.

Christie’s Jewellery Auction: 18th January, London

emerald ring

Image Courtesy of Christie’s

Christie’s often hosts beautiful Jewellery auctions, and the next one is on the 18th of January. Out of 250 lots, the lot with the highest estimate is this single stone emerald ring that weights 11.98 carats, that is expected to fetch between £18,000 – £25,000.

Bonham’s Scottsdale Auction: 19th January, Arizona

Ferrari 340 America Spider Competizone

Image Courtesy of Bonhams

The Scottsdale auction is the must-see auction for all car lovers. With a huge range of cars that will hitting the sale, the one that is expected to sell at the highest big is the 1952 Ferrari 340 America Spider Competizone. It has an estimate of £6,100,000 – 7,300,000.

Sotheby’s Old Master Drawings: 25th January, New York

The Madness of Sir Tristram

Image Courtesy of Sotheby’s

This sale combines wonderful pieces of work from over four centuries that have either been only just discovered or rarely seen before. This painting by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, entitled ‘The Madness of Sir Tristram’, has the highest expected estimate of £280,561 – 360,721.

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AuctionAuction HouseVerticalStart DateLocationURL
InteriorsChristiesFine Art11/01/2017Londonhttp://ow.ly/ZZP9307I9Hh
Watches & Wristwatches, Collection of a European NoblemanBonhamsJewellery & Watches13/01/2017Londonhttp://ow.ly/kI7d307I9I8
Erotic: Passion & DesireSotheby'sFine Art16/01/2017Londonhttp://ow.ly/aOa1307I9IP
Alexander Hamilton: An Important Archive of Letters and ManuscriptsSotheby'sFine Art18/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/AK6L307I9Jw
Chinese Export ArtChristiesFine Art18/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/vSk4307I9K8
JewelleryChristiesJewellery & Watches18/01/2017Londonhttp://ow.ly/a0Or307I9KO
ScottsdaleRusso and SteeleLuxury Cars18/01/2017Arizonahttp://ow.ly/KwuF307I9Ln
Of Royal and Noble DescentSotheby'sFine Art19/01/2017Londonhttp://ow.ly/A3P3307I9Mt
Boundless: Contemporary ArtSotheby'sFine Art19/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/kd4B307I9Nm
The Highly Important Americana Collection of George S. Parker II from the Caxambas FoundationSotheby'sFine Art19/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/uV3S307I9O8
The Scottsdale AuctionBonhamsLuxury Cars19/01/2017Arizonahttp://ow.ly/cAsI307I9Pc
Palmetto Hall: The Jay P. Altmayer Family CollectionChristiesFine Art19/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/XUbS307I9Qv
Evenings & Day EditionsPhillipsFine Art19/01/2017Londonhttp://ow.ly/OWtY307I9RG
ArizonaRM SothebysLuxury Cars19/01/2017Arizonahttp://ow.ly/Ulha307I9Sz
The Scottsdale AuctionBonhamsLuxury Cars19/01/2017Arizonahttp://ow.ly/puSL307I9T9
Courageous Spirits: Outsider and Vernacular ArtChristiesFine Art20/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/NZt4307I9TL
The Iris Schwartz Collection of American SilverSotheby'sFine Art20/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/89nc307I9Uu
Important American Furniture, Folk Art and SilverChristiesFine Art20/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/n2XP307I9Vc
Important Americana Including Property from the collection of Joan Oestreich KendSotheby'sFine Art20/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/6C5V307I9VM
The Scottsdale AuctionGooding & CoLuxury Cars20/01/2017Arizonahttp://ow.ly/FFU4307I9Wy
Important American Folk Art from the Raplh and Susanne Katz CollectionSotheby'sFine Art21/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/L9oi307I9Xz
Property from the Collection of E. Newbold and Margaret du Pont SmithSotheby'sProperty21/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/puBt307I9YA
Old Master DrawingsChristiesFine Art24/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/p9NA307I9Zk
Old Master DrawingsSotheby'sFine Art25/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/jukg307I9ZS
Finest and Rarest WinesSotheby'sFine Wine25/01/2017Hong Konghttp://ow.ly/6ujq307IagI
Master Paintings Evening SaleSotheby'sFine Art25/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/AVW5307Ia1a
Old Master PrintsChristiesFine Art25/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/9pfq307Ia1P
Master Paintings and Sculpture Day SaleSotheby'sFine Art26/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/OON3307Ia2V
Important Maritime Paintings and Decorative ArtsBonhamsFine Art26/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/raa5307Ia3R
Master Paintings & 19th Century European ArtSotheby'sFine Art27/01/2017New Yorkhttp://ow.ly/Ttt8307Ia4v

Why Some Watches are Worth Millions

In November 2016, a 1943 stainless steel Patek Philippe reference 1518 set the world record for the value of a wristwatch at a Phillips auction as part of Geneva Watch Auction. With a hammer price of $11 million (£9 million), this rare steel variant took the title with ease (the previous record holder sold last year for a paltry £6 million). Astounding as that may be, the value of historically significant watches is almost certainly set to rise.

1943-stainless-steel-patek-philippe-reference-1518

Image courtesy of Phillips

The bar has been reset. £9 million is now the ‘upper limit’ that a watch has sold for. It’s old news. It’s the new normal. It stands to reason this sale will do nothing but increase the value of its peers. And it’s totally possible the Patek Philippe reference 1518 will have a legitimate chance to beat its own record next time it goes under the hammer (there are reputedly four examples of this reference in existence).

One question we, as investors, should be asking is whether there is anything on the modern market that might one day be as valuable as the Patek Philippe reference 1518?

If you have a huge amount of money to invest, I would still recommend one of the seriously limited pieces from world-leading talents like Roger Smith, Kari Voutilainen, or Lang & Heyne, simply because they are made in such small numbers, largely by hand. These items are perhaps the closest current counterparts to the Patek Philippe 1518.

voutilainen-watch

Image courtesy of Voutilainen

But the truth is that nothing modern is as likely to overtake the 1518 in the record books. The stainless steel Patek Philippe reference 1518 was commissioned to be the most complicated watch in the world. Despite the madness of some modern timepieces, nothing is as far beyond the pale as the 1518 would have been in its day. Bizarreness is, regrettably, a crowded category.

Watchmaking was not a luxury playground in the past as it is today. Luxury timepieces from an era during which horology existed out of necessity are rare. They will always be more desirable than today’s mechanical marvels, because their existence, as well as their workings, begs belief.

The current record holder was so exceptional because of its case material, which is unusual for this model. If you’re looking for a cheaper purchase and hope that might appreciate over time, look for dial misprints, market-testing first editions, or maybe a stylistic outlier that divides expert opinion.

It’s hardly the same as investing in penny stocks, but it is certainly a lot more fun if you buy something you believe in. Watching a personal choice flourish into a leading classic, is just about the most rewarding thing for a watch aficionado can experience.

About the Author: Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.

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A Fact File: Most Expensive Ferraris Ever Sold at Auction

As providers of loans against luxury and classic cars, we stay abreast of auction results. Ferraris are often amongst the top lots so we decided to take a look at the most expensive models ever sold at auction.

5. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti

1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale by Scaglietti

Price: £21.4 million

Auction: RM Sotheby’s Auctions, Monterey Sale

Year: 2014

This Ferrari is only one of three of its kind, built in the mid ‘60s. It was the first ever Ferrari to have independent rear suspension and had a huge role to play in the evolution of the 250 series. It has an aluminum body that covers a V12 engine, which is actually placed lower down in the car to have the cars center of gravity as close to the track as possible.

4. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spider

Price: £22.2 million

Auction: RM Sotheby’s Auctions, Monterey Sale

Year: 2013

This Ferrari is only one of ten of its kind and has been featured in films such as The Thomas Crown Affair with Steve McQueen. This car was heavily involved in the popularizing of open-top sports cars, particularly on the market in the States.

3. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM

1956 Ferrari 290 MM

Price: £22.7 million

Auction: RM Sotheby’s Auctions, New York City

Year: 2015

This Ferrari, only one of four made, earned the title of being the most expensive car sold in 2015, the most expensive car sold in New York and finally the most expensive car that RM Sotheby’s had ever sold. It has a history of a competitive career, competing races such as the 1956 Millie Miglia race.

2. 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti

1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti

Price: £28.9 million

Auction: Artcurial, Paris

Year: 2016

This curvaceous car has an incredible history of racing, from Sebring to Mille Miglia to Le Mans, which may be why it deemed so attractive to buyers this year. The greater the competitive history of the car, the more valuable Ferraris become.

1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Price: £30.9 million

Auction: Bonham’s, The quail

Year: 2014

If you’re a Ferrari lover, you won’t be surprised by the fact that the 250 GT has made it to first place on this list. And that’s not the only thing it’s come in first for. It won the FIA World GT Championships in 1963, which the car was specifically designed for. There were only 39 made, but this one is one of the most well-kept and raced of the lot.

So, there we have it, the top 5 most expensive Ferraris ever to be sold at auction – did any of them surprise you?

Images Sourced From: autoexpress

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10 Most Expensive Cars Sold at Auction in 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, it is only in true Borro fashion that we take a look back to see which were the most expensive cars sold at auction this year.

  1. 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster: £8 million

1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster

The January Scottsdale, Arizona sales are considered the kick off for the collector car auction season. RM Sotheby’s got 2016 off to a strong start with this Roadster, setting a new record at £8 million. It is an old-school US delivery car and one of the earliest ever made.

9. 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster: £8.4 million

1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster

Records were set at the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach sale when this Bugatti was sold for £8.4 million. It was the only Type 55 Roadster ever to have taken part in the Mille Miglia open-road endurance race.

8. 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza: £9.7 million

1933 Alfa Romero 8C 2300 Monza

Also, featured at the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach sale was the 2300 Monza which sold for £9.7 million, making it the second most expensive pre-war car ever. It was also the winner of the 1947 Sport Nazionale Championship.

7. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione: £10.9 million

1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione

This was 7th car to finish at the Le Mans race in 1960, and still has its original frame work, engine and gear box. It is one of the first competitive Berlinettas ever built, placing its value at £10.9 million when it sold at the Gooding & Co Pebble Beach auction.

6. 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra: £11.1 million

1962 Shelby 260 Cobra

This year, the 260 Cobra became the most-expensive American car sold at auction when it went for £11.1 million at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey classic car auction. The car is also the first Shelby Cobra ever made.

5. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider: £13.9 million

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

This car holds the distinction of posting the highest result ever for a Gooding & Company auction.  It was featured in the classic Italian film Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow which likely factored into its huge selling price of £13.9 million when it sold at the Amelia Island auction.

4. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione: £14.7 million

1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione

This California Spider is the most expensive car ever sold at the Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auction at £14.7 million. It is the fourth of its kind to have ever been sold over $15 million. It was sold in the same silver uniform it was wearing when it came 5th in the Sebring race in 1960.

3. 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider: £16 million

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider

Introducing the most expensive Alpha Romeo ever sold, and the 8th most expensive car sold. The 8C’s were one of the most sought after cars before the Second World War and only 32 of this type were made. RM Sotheby’s had the pleasure of selling this on to a lucky home for £16 million at RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction.

2. 1955 Jaguar D-Type: £17.6 million

1955 Jaguar D-Type

Setting records seemed to be a trend this year, as this car is the most expensive British car ever sold at auction, and the 7th most-expensive one to go to public auction. It may be because this car is a winner – it came first place at the Le Mans race in 1956. It is the only D-Type winner that has still retaining its form since winning. It fetched over £17.6 million at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction.

1. 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti: £28.9 million

1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti

We’ve finally made it to the top of our list: the most expensive car sold this year, the Ferrari 355 Sport. It holds an impressive racing history, finishing second at the Mille Miglia race in 1957 and was the winner of the World Championships of 1957 and the Cuban Grand Prix in 1958. When it sold for £28.9 million at Artcurial’s Paris Retromobile sale, it became only the second car to ever sell over £24 million.

So there we have it, the top 10 most expensive cars of 2016, and it’s not very surprising the Ferrari tops the list. With 2017 right around the corner, we’re excited to see who will make it on to next year’s list!

Images Sourced from: Classic Car Auctions

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Must-See December Auctions: Review

Bonhams Fine Watches & Wristwatches Including the Collection of a European Nobleman – 14 December, London

Patek Philippe

153 beautiful time pieces featured at this Bonhams auction on the 14th December. From Rolex to Patek Philippe, all the big watch players were captivating buyers with their classic watches. The top selling lot was this Patek Philippe 18 Carat white gold wristwatch with moon phase, fetching a worthy £96,250.

Sotheby’s 19th Century European Paintings – 14 December, London

Harald Sohlberg

Sotheby’s Celebration of the English Watch, Part III, The Genius of Thomas Tompion – 15 December, London

Charles Frodsham

This sale included pieces from the 17th Century through the 20th Century and explored Thomas Tomion’s greatest achievements in timekeeping, whilst celebrating his students’ contributions. The auction achieved over £1.3 million in sales. The top earning lot was this yellow gold Charles Frodsham Chronograph watch which sold at £276,750.

Sotheby’s Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art – 15th December, London

Sir George Clausen

This sale included pieces from artists that were heavily influenced by the artistic advances that allowed British art to be revolutionized in the late 19th Century. A range of drawings, oil paintings and watercolours from Victorian artists such as Frederic Leighton were featured and raised a total of £3.17 million. The painting shown above is a piece by Sir George Clausen, titled ‘The Birds Nest.’ It was the highest earning lot and sold for £452,750.

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The Most Expensive Christmas Decorations

Christmas is near and Borro wants to make sure you celebrate in style. So, we’ve compiled a short list of the most expensive Christmas decorations.

The Christmas Tree Skirt: £1,326

Designer Jay Strongwater has created a beautiful gold velvet Arabesque Christmas tree skirt to give the tree a little extra glamour. What makes it special is that it is hand sewn with gold silk and is decorated with Swarovski crystals, and so is worth around £1,326.

The Christmas Tree Skirt

Nativity Set: £2,732

Christmas decorations are not complete without a classic nativity set. This three-piece set is hand-sculpted and painted in gold and covered in Swarovski crystals, placing its value at £2,732.

Nativity Set

The Bauble: £104,493

 The key to a wonderful Christmas tree is how well you decorate it, so why not decorate in style? 1578 diamonds worth of style. Hallmark Jewelers and the Embee Jewels of London came together in 2010 to create the ultimate Christmas bauble. It’s while gold and covered with diamonds and then surrounded by 2 rings with 188 rubies. It’s been valued by the National Associations of Jewelers at £104,493.

The Bauble

The Wreath: £3.7 million

Pasi Jokinen-Carter, a Finnish designer, created the most expensive wreath in the world in 2013. The classic shrubbery is coated in 17.49 karat rubies and 3.03 karat yellow diamonds, placing its value at £3.7 million.

The Wreath

Images Sourced from: theweek.com

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2016 Car Market Q&A with Bryan McMorran

alfa_monaco_coys

2016 has been a fascinating year for the car auction world. We caught up with industry specialist Bryan McMorran from Abbeyfield Sports & Classics to understand what it all meant. Bryan has been in the industry for longer than he will care for me to mention and alongside his specialist knowledge in Aston Martin, he is a personal buyer for private collectors at auction.

f40_milan

Bryan, at the beginning of the year there seemed to be a lot of talk that this year the market would start to stall and that prices fetched for cars in 2015 were unmatchable. Was that the general feeling within the industry too?

Prices have continued to surprise everyone, and it does seem when one particular sector starts to level out, another starts its rise. For example, the 1980’s supercar icons such as the Countach and Testarossa have now, I believe, reached their peak, but then air-cooled Porsches seem to be continuing their rise. I think that this is the future trend. Not just the continual rise of cars that have been climbing, but other marques becoming desirable and having their moment in the sun. Maserati is a prime example of this, and I believe one to watch.

rm_monaco

Monaco Historique saw a fine selection of cars being offered by most of the top auction houses but there was a large quantity of cars that didn’t sell. Did they get greedy?

Yes, I think so. In my opinion there are too many auctions and people don’t have time to catch their breath. There are only so many cars available, and the auctions are pushing to fill their catalogues. If they cut down on the number of auctions per year, they would achieve better prices, but when you keep seeing multiples of certain cars over and over again, it lessens the effect on their desirability, and ultimately their prices.

rm_battersea

RM Battersea saw some crazy prices for modern RS 911s, surely that’s unsustainable?

Well, yes, that was a crazy night! I think many were taken by complete surprise! But I suppose it was a new area of the 911 market for the auction to delve into so there was nothing to benchmark it. You also have to keep in mind that the cars sold were cars that were built in such small numbers that if someone really wants one, they are going to have to pay the price. I personally don’t think it sets a bar for other examples to sell at that price, however. It was just over-excitement!

rm_milan

The Duomo Ruote in Milan seemed like a potentially great opportunity to buy some bargains, then the news came that some cars didn’t have paperwork and would remain on site until they did have Italian papers. When you factor in storage fees, there was no longer a bargain. Still, most cars sold for well over estimate and over market value, do you think this was a case of new buyers?

The lack of papers should have been dealt with long before the cars were offered in my opinion, and many were possibly caught out by this. The political situation in the country didn’t really help, and there was obviously a need to get them to market as quickly as possible. That being said, it is a very clever way to achieve high prices by offering everything at No Reserve. People believe that they will get a bargain, and so it attracts more buyers on sale day, and then “auction fever” takes hold and cars achieve better prices as bidding wars take place. Yes, I believe a lot of new buyers were there hoping to snap up a cheap investment and have come away the worse for it.

What cars were of great value in 2016?

I like an underdog, and I think you should look to the less obvious cars to see what made a lot of sense to buy. For instance, we know air-cooled 911s are having their moment in the sun, so I would rate the 924/944/968s as long as you look towards the rarer examples such as the Turbos, 924S Le Mans edition, 944 SE’s and 968 Sport/Club Sport. I think they still have a way to go value-wise. Mercedes too have an interesting back catalogue with certain sporting models. Take a look at where the original E30 BMW M3 and Sierra RS Cosworth are now and compare their prices to the 190E 2.3-16/2.5-16. Forgetting the Evo models, they were a bargain between £10k – £15k. In exotica, look at the contemporaries to the ubiquitous Ferrari and you have some fabulous cars such as the Maserati Merak & Bora and Lotus Esprit, not to mention some oddities like Alpine A310/GTA/A610. With the relaunch of the Alpine brand in 2017, I think these will start to gain ground, and I believe the same will happen with Maserati as the marque continues to grow from under the skirt of Ferrari.

bugatti_milan

What do you envision happening in 2017?

Pretty much the same I think, but with different brands achieving growth. You will always have the blue-chip manufacturers such as Ferrari, Bugatti, Aston Martin, etc., but as I have said, look at some of the less obvious, yet still rare, cars. Pre-war cars have their own following and I don’t see much change there, and certain cars have reached their peak, but with more manufacturers achieving success with their modern sports cars, many buyers will be interested to delve into their past to sample the classics. What is important to remember though is that it is still originality and provenance that defines prices. Gone are the days of over-restoration. You can buy condition, but not history, and the “continuation cars” such as the Jaguar E-Type Lightweights, XKSS and now Aston Martin DB4 GTs can’t be valued the same as those original cars.

Welcome to the new world. Same as the old world…

Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 17 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, petrol is very much in his veins.

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