It’s a case of, more of the same for the 2018-2019 Edition of the Classic Car Auction Yearbook. Once again, the authors Adolfo Orsi and Raffaele Gazzi, have delivered an excellent publication providing good quality, industry-leading, analytical information on the classic car auction market for the twelve months September 2018 to August 2019.
But it isn’t just a case of the same old same old, because the classic car auction market is a sector that is about as fickle as any other sector of the economy. This sector is susceptible to many different influencing factors, but not insofar as the buyer’s loyalties or affections is concerned. In this respect, it seems that the name of Ferrari is permanently affixed to the top of the score sheets.
If there is one message that comes through the commentary and the graphs contained in this edition, it is that the market dynamics have changed markedly in the last twelve months. For instance, where the total sales turnover has broken through the one-billion-dollar barrier for the past five years, in the year 2018-2019, it was down 23% in dollar terms. In the European and UK markets the fall was not as great, but in all three markets the 2018-2019 levels were still higher than the 2015-2016 period.
As the authors emphasise, a key pointer in the overall health of the market is the percentage of cars sold. This has fallen to 72% of the previous year’s sales, but again this level is still higher than the period between 2007-2012. The American sector is still the leading country for sold lots, where the level of sold lots was 81% compared with 66% in the UK and 63% in Europe. The number of cars sold ‘without reserve’ reached 1623 cars, the highest number in the last twelve years, accounting for 22% of total turnover.
The number of cars over the million-dollar mark accounted for 43% of the total turnover compared with 51% in the previous period. But the interesting dynamic at the top end of the market was the entry of a more modern classic that raised some eyebrows. The top spot was again held by Ferrari with a hammer price of USD 22,005,000 being achieved for the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM. Not far behind was the 1994 McLaren F1 (LM spec) that fetched an astonishing USD 19,805,000 which showed that more modern classics are to be looked at very carefully, suggesting strongly that the buyer dynamic too has changed.
The Top 10 best sellers contained the expected healthy number of Ferraris, six to be exact, with McLaren, Ford, Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin filling the other spots. Of interest too, is the shift away from some brands such as Bentley, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce, with a swing towards the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. This shift also comes as the market experiences a drop in the importance of UK auctions which is in turn an indication of the change in interest by the younger generation of buyers.
The Classic Car Auction Yearbook offers the enthusiast, and the more serious collector car market alike, an incomparable, in-depth analysis of the top international auction sales data, and follows how important cars, marques and models have performed from a variety of different angles. Chapters in the 2018-2019 edition include the Market Analysis; Authors’ comment with an increased 24 colour graphs; graphs of the prices achieved by cars offered and sold in earlier time (by specific chassis in three currencies); the Top 161 cars of the 2018-2019 season; Top 100 for make & country statistics; statistics for make; average price achieved graphs; the 2018-2019 season “Top Ten” with case study (see comment above); auction season results with 5467 cars (of 327 makes); 26 years of Top Five; 25 years of Top Five for Makes; and Top Twenty for both pre- and post-war of the last 26 seasons.
Whether you are a newcomer to this market and you’re looking for a Fiat 600, or a serious buyer looking for a rare D-type Jaguar or a Group C Porsche 962, you will not find a better, more concise and easy to read publication on the classic car auction market, than this one. The authors have once again excelled at their task, adding to and improving on, last year’s edition. The analysis, the quality of the presentation and the photography is out of the top drawer, making this publication truly indispensable.
And if you have missed out on an earlier publication, on page 398/399 you can see which editions are still available in order that you can build your collection. You had better hurry, as many are ‘sold out’! But for now, you can start by getting your copy of the 2018-2019 edition, because it really does offer an all-inclusive look at the classic car auction market.