Another Bubble Bursts: High-end Classics

John Horner
by John Horner
another bubble bursts high end classics

Monster trucks aren’t the only ones taking it on the market chin; collectible car values are dropping through the floor as well. Today’s Wall Street Journal has a good overview of the situation. “In recent years, the vintage car market has soared, led by the priciest European models. But now, as the economy worsens to the point where even the wealthiest collectors feel pinched, demand for million-dollar sports cars is starting to skid.” Ferrari Daytona Spyder’s are a benchmark vehicle, and the benchmark is sliding to the point that at a recent California auction a fine Spyder failed to sell. Not only million dollar Ferraris and Mercedes Gullwings going begging though, 1965 Plymouth Hemis are down over 20% and pre-war everyday vintage cars like a 1940 Ford Club Coupe have skidded by 40% or more. Plunging investment account values, busted home equity lines of credit and sudden career collapses have turned a lot of buyers into sellers. “Recently, two of Michael Sheehan’s clients came to him looking to sell their Ferraris in a hurry — an unusual request. ‘They needed cash now,’ says Mr. Sheehan, a longtime Ferrari broker in Newport Beach, Calif. The cars, a $110,000 1982 Berlinetta Boxer and a $950,000 1972 Daytona Spyder, wound up selling for about 25% less than they would have sold for just a few months ago. Both sellers themselves were in hammered industries: One was a home builder from Chicago, and the other a former Lehman Bros. executive from New York.” The upcoming January Scottsdale auto auctions should make for some interesting reality television. If you have the desire and the nerve, now might make an interesting time to latch onto a copy of your childhood fantasies. Just don’t mortgage the house to do it.

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  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Nov 26, 2008

    Ronnie, you're right about _real_ 914/6s. Lot of conversions out there, though, as I'm sure you know.

  • Nick Nick on Nov 26, 2008

    If you think the original are going to take a hit, let's see what happens to the clones, er, tribute cars. They have little more intrinsic value than the 318 or 6 cylinder cars they are based on, yet were regularly going for plus 6 figures (and I am not evening counting hemi clones). Those cars are going to tank!

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  • Kcflyer LC 500
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