2015 Welcomed a New Era of Classic Cars

Auction totals are highest ever, 1980 and newer vehicles demonstrate fastest growth

Dec 17, 2015, 09:02 ET from Hagerty

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Dec. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Hagerty, the classic car valuations and insurance leader, reports the hottest segment of the classic car market are models built 1980 through the early 2000s. According to analysis of public auction data and Hagerty's proprietary database, this emerging segment experienced the largest year-over-year increase in average sale price for the public auction market as well as private transactions.

North American classic car auction sales have reached a record $1.45 billion total for the year, an 11-percent increase over the prior year's $1.31 billion. This figure was driven by a 21-percent increase in the average price with nine percent fewer cars sold this year compared to 2014. While the average sale price increased significantly, the median sale price only increased by four percent. 

Combining public auction sales with private sales data, four of the five top increases in average sale price are within this new era of classic cars:

Greatest increase in average sale price:

  1. 1974 – 1977 Porsche 911 (+154%)
  2. 2004 – 2009 Aston Martin DB9 (+141%)
  3. 1984 – 1996 Ferrari Testarossa/512 TR/F512 M (+98%)
  4. 1975 – 1985 Ferrari 308 GTS/GTB (+69%)
  5. 1990 – 2001 Lamborghini Diablo (+65%)

Greatest decrease in average sale price:

  1. 1946 – 1952 Hudson Commodore (-36%)
  2. 1968 – 1975 BMW 2002 (-33%)
  3. 1976 – 1986 American Motors CJ-7 (-32%)
  4. 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk (-30%)
  5. 1955 – 1957 Chevrolet 150 (-27%)

Supporting this trend is a marked increase in activity among collectors who added 17 percent more 1980s-and-newer vehicles to existing Hagerty policies versus a 2.3-percent increase for pre-1980s classics. 

Overall growth for the broader market experienced more modest gains. The Hagerty Market Rating reached an all-time high of 72.11 in May, but decreased over the latter half of the year to its current 70.84. While still well within the "expanding market" range, the slight decrease demonstrates a less exuberant pace.

"The market is still growing, but at a slower rate than we have witnessed in the past three years," said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty.  "The notable exception is rapid growth among younger buyers who have entered the market and are exercising their buying power by spending on the poster cars of their youth. A new era of later model performance cars from instantly recognizable brands have irrefutably proven that the term 'collector car' is not synonymous with 'old car.'"

Top 10 2015 North American Auction Sales:

  1. $28,050,000 – 1956 Ferrari 290 MM Spider – Sold by RM Sotheby's, New York, Dec. 10
  2. $17,600,000 – 1964 Ferrari 250 LM – Sold by RM Sotheby's, Monterey, Aug. 13
  3. $16,830,000 – 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spider – Sold by Gooding & Co., Monterey, Aug. 15
  4. $16,830,000 – 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Speciale – Sold by Gooding & Co., Monterey, Aug. 15
  5. $14,300,000 – 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Coupe – Sold by RM Sotheby's, New York, Dec. 10
  6. $13,750,000 – 1998 McLaren F1 LM – Sold by RM Sotheby's, Monterey, Aug. 13
  7. $13,200,000 – 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF – Sold by RM Sotheby's, Monterey, Aug. 13
  8. $10,120,000 – 1982 Porsche 956 – Sold by Gooding & Co., Monterey, Aug. 15
  9. $9,625,000 – 1965 Ferrari 250 LM – Sold by RM Sotheby's, Phoenix, Jan. 15
  10. $9,405,000 – 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione – Sold by Bonhams, Scottsdale, Jan. 15

Hagerty
Based in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty is the world's leading insurance provider for classic vehicles and host to the largest network of classic car owners. Hagerty offers insurance for classic cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors, automotive tools and spare parts, and even "automobilia". Hagerty also offers overseas shipping/touring insurance coverage, commercial coverage and club liability coverage.  For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.com.  In addition to insurance, Hagerty publishes the Hagerty Price Guide and the online Valuation Tools, which are the premier price and value guides for post-war collectible automobiles.  For more information please visit www.hagerty.com/valuationtools

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