So already talk of $260m worth of collector cars sold at the start of the season - a little bit up on last year although average sale price was down - some bargains for those who put their hand up...
You can spin the figures how you like - and like all discussions on classic car values - your views could be influenced by:
1 - Fact you have got some classic stuff which has got caught up in crazy price rises over the years and it almost looks like you made a good decision on hosing money on old cars for the first time in decades. Reality is that if you cashed in - you are more concerned on whether your current steed has got closer or further in value to the next car you are going to sink loads of money into (make a sound investment...ahem...)2 - You have a vested interest in the success of the classic car market through work and tend to adopt a glass "half full" attitude3 - You perpetually witter on about when you could buy a 2.7 RS for next to nothing - but then - as now - you did not buy anything because you did not have the money/balls to borrow/make enough sacrifices and now you are simply resentful that loads of the cars you covet are outside your financial means etc.4 - The fact you don't have a classic car because you think prices are "frothy" and the market will "crash". You project the idea that when prices are "sensible" you will come into the market as a shrewd player in the market. This is of course bollocks - and its likely you will spend your whole life having an opinion on a market in which you have never had/never will have any actual participation.5 - You are filthy rich and you see these cars as another "asset" class - you have no intention of driving any of the cars you buy - and are obsessed by sometimes improbably low mileage and other spin relating to "originality"6 - You have a passion for cars and although you don't have enormous sums of money - when the right car comes along - you will take some risks to get the moolah together soon to buy a car you cannot wait to thrash the nuts off. Current softening or flattening of the market should be seen as an opportunity and time to dig deep....
Remember - YOU CAN LIVE IN A CAR - BUT YOU CAN'T DRIVE A HOUSE
Some observations from Scottsdale Sales relating to the Big Three (Bonhams/Goodings/RM):
1 - Estimates were set too high - consignors obviously think 2014 prices are relevant - they are not. Auction houses have to accept consignor influence on estimates to get the business. It does not help a car long term if it does not sell or does sell at what pre-sale was perceived to the estimated value.
2 - Although many cars actually sold - they found new homes significantly below the catalogue estimates - suggesting the the real "reserves" were accurate and the estimates were optimistic or that on the day consignors decided to take what was clearly market price to move the cars on. Ask dealers how harder it is move stuff today than it was 2 years ago and what REAL not advertised prices are for a number of cars...
3 - Some sublime 275 GTB models noticeably shy of pre-sale estimates - a model which tends to be a real "bellweather" of the market - or was this an overdue "correction" in prices and reflecting REAL values to end user owners?- Goodings - Gorgeous Pino Verde 4 cam at Goodings with lovely provenance - EST=$3-3.4M - bid to $2.4M ex comm- no sale- Goodings - Silver Long Nose Alloy - lovely example - EST=$2.9-3.2M bid to $2.5M ex comm - no sale- Bonhams - Silver Long Nose - 2nd to last model - admittedly had engine/box change in period - but against EST=$2.5-3.5M - SOLD at $1.575m looked cheap for the next owner- RM Sothebys - Yellow Long Nose 6 Carb - Giallo Fly and 6 Carb factory spec - gorgeous!!! - EST=$2.4-2.8M SOLD at $2.1175m - Factory 6 carb car makes it for me
4 - 993 GT2 bandwagon jumpers and optimistic estimates....Ok because mr tech billionaire paid an enormous sum for the blue one last year - which is not really indicative of a realistic value for the other 56 cars madeYes they are great cars and certainly on the shopping list for any major well-resourced Porsche freak - but at £1m - it's thin air time for the number of real buyers for this car. The silver one at Goodings was bid to $950k against an optimistic $1.2-1.5m estimate - so with commission on top - why was over $1m not seen as the right price for this car???? The yellow one - an ex Jap export and not as nice as the silver car - was bid to $850k ex commission - there was certainly $100k difference between the cars so this did not seem a bad price for the consignor to let it go?
Put it this way - the Carrera GT's sold at Scottsdale at around $650-750k look good value in comparison?
5 - The Ferrari F50 which reached $3.14m (record price for this model?) - very rare in black - was a spectacular example - but like the Blue 993 GT2 from last year - it would be surprising if this will raise the bar for F50's across the board - or is this comparitively low profile modern classic Ferrari about to get it's day in the sun? Think it is a one-off result - but with comparitive rarity of 349 made - arguably more desirable than a LaFerrari - which may be reflected in prices in the future?
6 - 1960's American Muscle Car market has noticeably softened - some really great rare cars will have sold below the cost of restoration/preparation - a good time to buy if they float your boat? The well known "marmite" colour Pontiac GTO at Goodings which sold for $60.5k - represented a sum well below what it would cost to restore. Cheap car?
7 - Huge number of cars consigned - if you include Barrett Jackson and other US auction houses - something like 5-6000 cars went under the hammer??!! Auction fatigue anyone? Many cars were not the top drawer quality that you expect for the big prices estimated - you kind of get the feeling that there was a lot of "cashing in" mentality and today and some less than specimen cars were on offer - buyers are much more selective than a few years ago.
8 - Auction queens - some cars seems to live their lives in auction catalogues and pop up once a year (Boxer?) - smaller volume sales with "fresher" stuff might be better all round for maintaining high prices - albeit not quite working for an auction company's revenue model...
9 - The reference "mega" stuff like the early blown Alfa Romeos, Bugatti, Mercedes and superlative lightweight E type sold well - there is still plenty of money for really special rare big money collector cars - which has always been the case. Admittedly the undoubted star lot of Scottsdale - Paul Michaels' Ferrari 250 SWB California Spyder did not sell on the day - it got bid up to approx £9.5m all in - be very surprised if Paul does not manage to do a deal post sale - imagine the ask would be £10m? Seen this car in the flesh when we used to do stuff for them - it really delivers on the hype!
10 - Bargain of the sale for enthusiasts who wanted to buy a car to "drive" opposed to store? It's a no brainer!!! - Has to be the 1966 Chevrolet Corvette racecar at £22.2k all in!! 500 + HP - Dirty, noisy, seductive style in a sort of "wrong side of the tracks" way. Love it - imagine trying to get this angry bitch through Craner Curves on a damp trackday!!!! You would get hero points for not falling off the track although i would imagine you would be restricted to NO NOISE LIMIT days. If you were really daft - imagine road registering it.....Crazy value and thrills for money.
See details on Corvette here>>>> http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23945/lot/60/?category=list&length=100&page=1
TOP 10 SALES FROM SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA AUCTIONS 2017
1. 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight — $7.37 million (Bonhams)CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON THIS CAR - http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23945/lot/24/?category=list&length=100&page=1
2. 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster — $6.60 million (RM Sotheby's)CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON THIS CAR - http://www.rmsothebys.com/az17/arizona/lots/1939-mercedes-benz-540-k-special-roadster-by-sindelfingen/1691511
3. 1952 Ferrari 340 America Competizione Spider — $6.38 million (Bonhams)CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON THIS CAR - http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23945/lot/44/?category=list&length=100&page=1
4. 1928 Mercedes-Benz Typ S Sports Tourer — $4.81 million (Bonhams)CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON THIS CAR - http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23945/lot/54/?category=list&length=100&page=1
5. 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS Spider — $3.60 million (RM Sotheby's)CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON THIS CAR - http://www.rmsothebys.com/az17/arizona/lots/1969-ferrari-365-gts-by-pininfarina/1087236
6. 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Roadster — $3.30 million (Gooding & Company)CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON THIS CAR - http://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1925-bugatti-type-35-grand-prix-2/
7. 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe — $3.14 million (RM Sotheby's)CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON THIS CAR - http://www.rmsothebys.com/az17/arizona/lots/1995-ferrari-f50/1690729
8. 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupe — $3.08 million (RM Sotheby's)CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON THIS CAR - http://www.rmsothebys.com/az17/arizona/lots/1961-ferrari-400-superamerica-swb-coupe-aerodinamico-by-pininfarina/1691502
9. 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series I Coupe — $2.92 million (Gooding & Company)CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON THIS CAR - http://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1965-ferrari-500-superfast-5/
10. 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider — $2.80 million (Bonhams)CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON THIS CAR - http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23945/lot/30/?category=list&length=100&page=1