The classic car market in 2023 is set to take a more significant market share as interest in this subcategory continues to grow. Despite the increasing inflationary pressures due to the geopolitical situations between Ukraine and Russia, China’s slowed growth and supply chain disruptions; the auction market had a good year in 2022.
Silverstone Auctions, one of the leading auction houses for classic cars, predicts that sports cars from the golden era of motorsport and rallying will take top seats in 2023. Steven Keen, a consignor at Silverstone Auctions, shares that “all M3s, RS500, 190E Cosworth, Integrale Evos, special edition Subaru and Mitsubishi P1” and others are on many collectors’ lists. However, these same buyers also want to secure only well-preserved or original car models from the 60s to 80s.
Cars like Porsche Turbos Type 964 and the original GTS RS are a must-have in any collector’s repertoire of automobiles. Other notable mentions include a right-hand Ferrari Testarossa, 550 Maranello, right-hand drive Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia. At Gooding & Company, the firm’s Amelia Island Auctions plans to put a 1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast under the hammer with an estimated price between US$2 million and US$2.5 million. Also to be shown at the auction event are a 1958 BMW 507 Series II and a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.
While the appetite for cars models from the 60s to 80s is on the rise, Silverstone Auctions’ Rob Hubbard has noticed a resurgence in collectors searching for pre-war cars, “as [they] can see the amazing early engineering and have access to many events to enjoy”. An example is the 1934 MG PA/B Type Supercharged “Black Adder” Special.
“With the drop in the pound and the strength of the Euro and US Dollar, the demand for left-hand drive vehicles is also increasing. There appears to be a healthy buyer group eager to enjoy classic car ownership, so 2023 may be a good year for selling these models.”
On a broader note, not only is the auction market for cars set to boom, but people are also buying used cars. While car manufacturers routinely put out new models to entice buyers, the ongoing chip shortage and increased raw material costs have pushed prices up.
According to research by JP Morgan, the average price of a new vehicle was up 6.3 per cent. Coupled with soaring fuel prices and rising interest rates, this makes car ownership an expensive venture. For first-timers, the high cost makes it unattractive, and many turned to the used car market to purchase a vehicle, bumping up prices by about 42.5 per cent.
David Gooding, President and Founder of Gooding & Company, further adds that “the quality, historical significance, and rarity of the cars we bring to the market provide a valuable hedge against greater economic fluctuation”. Seen as a form of alternative asset, buying these classic cars helps with the diversification of one’s portfolio. While these are potential earnings, serious collectors would typically not put what they purchase back on the market. And usually, these collectors have a strong passion for collecting vintage and the disposal income to support their hobby.
Additionally, the buyer’s demographic has also become younger in recent years and the people participating in these classic car auctions have also diversified. The APAC region and Asia generally have seen more first-time bidders. These new entrants’ high spending power enables the classic car market to be even more robust and exciting in the coming year.
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