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Classic car market experts – 2016 review and 2017 predictions.

By CSF Team | Classic car Market and Values, Insider Knowledge | 4 Comments

The classic car market is all about opinions – the trick is knowing which to listen to.

For the second year in a row we quizzed those that we consider to be “in the know” about what has happened in 2016 and what they expect to occur in 2017. Our panelists live and breath classic cars every day and can consequently give what we would consider to be qualified opinions. Our panel represents different areas of the classic car industry from marque specialists to auctioneers and insurers in order to give a balanced view and there are certainly some common themes in their predictions for 2017. You can view the panel’s predictions for 2016 here and judge how accurate they were.

The expert panel

Damen Bennion – Partner at Goodman Derrick LLP – specialists in transactions and disputes in the field of collector cars.

Edward Bridger-Stille – Director, Historics auctioneers.

John Mayhead – Online Editor, Hagerty Insurance UK

Jeff Fosker & team at Foskers – the UK’s oldest independent Ferrari Specialists

Harry Metcalfe – founder of EVO magazine, serial car owner, creator of Harry’s Garage

Dietrich Hatlapa – founder, Historic Automotive Group International (HAGI)

Jonathan Aucott – Owner, Avantgarde Cars.


 

Five questions

1. The classic car market in 2016 – what three words or phrases would you use to describe it?
2. What has changed over the last 12 months?
3. The classic car market in 2017 – what key trends do you anticipate? These could also be external factors which are related to or influence the market.
4. Where will we see most growth in 2017? – this could be an individual car, a market segment or a general area of interest
5. What do you think was the highlight of the classic car year in 2016?


 

The answers

 

Damen Bennion

1. The classic car market in 2016 – what three words or phrases would you use to describe it?

Considered, cautious and quality focused.

2. What has changed over the last 12 months?

Not a lot. The last 12 months reflect what’s happened since the summer of 2014 when the “froth” began to evaporate. Buyers are taking time to consider purchases and demand the best otherwise they won’t pay.

3. The classic car market in 2017 – what key trends do you anticipate? These could also be external factors which are related to or influence the market.

More of the same. The shift from the 1950s and 1960s classics to more modern cars will continue.

4. Where will we see most growth in 2017? – this could be an individual car, a market segment or a general area of interest.

The very top end of the market is extremely healthy.

I also think the increased interest in 80s and 90s cars will continue to grow.

5. What do you think was the highlight of the classic car year in 2016?

In terms of our practice – the 61 days of October and November, when we were involved in the sale and purchase of $111m of cars.

The Duemila Route sale – a staggering one off sale.

Staggering statistics for Duemila Ruote sale
Staggering statistics for Duemila Ruote sale

 

Edward Bridger-Stille

1. The classic car market in 2016 – what three words or phrases would you use to describe it?

Resilient & robust, constantly evolving and always very exciting to see what is going to lead the pack each quarter.

2. What has changed over the last 12 months?

The ever increasing popularity in modern classics has strengthened and has seen some of the fastest growing values over the calendar year. A younger buyer/collector is no longer an unusual sight at a classic car auction and anyone underestimating their buying power does so at their own risk.

3. The classic car market in 2017 – what key trends do you anticipate? These could also be external factors which are related to or influence the market.

The strength or lack of strength of international currencies will dictate the car market in 2017. In the closing months of 2016, we have already seen a change from cars coming from Europe and the US to cars being bought back by European buyers and those from around the world. With the continuing downward trend in the mid-range pre-war marketplace, now might be a good time to buy..

4. Where will we see most growth in 2017? – this could be an individual car, a market segment or a general area of interest.

I think, with the increased popularity in electric cars and modern technology, a turn of attention to the more raw and enjoyable driving experiences of cars from the late 60s and early 70s is on the cards. We drive technology laden vehicles doing 98% of the work for us so when we buy a classic we want to re-engage with the real driving experience. I think these will bubble to the fore in 2017.

5. What do you think was the highlight of the classic car year in 2016?

Historics broke the mould when it launched itself amidst one of the greatest recessions in recent times. It offered good quality classic cars, was honest, didn’t charge the earth and paid back quickly and to great success. I am therefore bound to say that Historics has, amidst much scaremongering if we voted to leave the EU, has out-performed its more established rivals and leapt forward, year on year, in terms of sale rates and turnover. And so, for me, the highlight of the classic car year has been the continued success of Historics.

 

 


John Mayhead

1. The classic car market in 2016 – what three words or phrases would you use to describe it?

Modern classics. Steadier than expected. Quality trumps marque.

2. What has changed over the last 12 months?

Modern classics have really come to the fore. The price gap between the best and the rest has expanded significantly in 2016.

3. The classic car market in 2017 – what key trends do you anticipate? These could also be external factors which are related to or influence the market.

The definition of what is generally considered to be a classic will be stretched further than ever in 2017 . The enthusiast market got a shot in the arm in 2016 and we expect to see this continue as those enthusiastspurchase for fun – not profit.

4. Where will we see most growth in 2017? – this could be an individual car, a market segment or a general area of interest.

More modern sportscars cars that are flying low on the radar: Maserati 3200/4200, Lancia Delta Integrale – and other boxy 80’s & 90’s cars! I think the Porsche 996 GT3, V12 Jaguar XJS and the BMW 850 all still have some way to go.

5. What do you think was the highlight of the classic car year in 2016?

For me it was definitely being a judge at this year’s Warren Classic – a fantastic event  second only to the Hagerty Festival Of The Unexceptional.

 


Jeff Fosker

1. The classic car market in 2016 – what three words or phrases would you use to describe it?

Best year ever.

2. What has changed over the last 12 months?

Modern Classics are in high demand compared to previous years. The rate of growth in the value of classics above £200k and up to £1 million has certainly slowed. Buyers will still pay top prices but only for top cars and average or below are not selling unless they are priced accordingly. I believe that classic Ferrari sub £100k have seen the largest % of growth of all Ferrari in the last 12 months.

3. The classic car market in 2017 – what key trends do you anticipate? These could also be external factors which are related to or influence the market.

Exchange rates are always an  factor although Brexit has affected the UK market in the short term. If the £ weakens against other major currencies then the rest of the world will look to the UK as a place in which to buy good value cars. Our depth of knowledge and restoration skills here in the UK inspires confidence in the overseas buyer.

4. Where will we see most growth in 2017? – this could be an individual car, a market segment or a general area of interest.

Modern Classics are hot news as are cars with traditional manual gear change and limited production number cars – this is where we predict the the most growth in 2017. For classic Ferrari sub £500k watch 365 BB and 365 GT 2+2, both are low production numbers and fun to own.

5. What do you think was the highlight of the classic car year in 2016?

Without doubt RM’s Milan sale, it defied logic!!


 

Harry Metcalfe

 

1. The classic car market in 2016 – what three words or phrases would you use to describe it?

Slowing but plenty of opportunities.

2. What has changed over the last 12 months?

People are buying to use their cars rather than making purchases for investment.

3. The classic car market in 2017 – what key trends do you anticipate? These could also be external factors which are related to or influence the market.

Less media attention on booming classic car market.

4. Where will we see most growth in 2017? – this could be an individual car, a market segment or a general area of interest.

Usable classics should do well. We collector cars rather than classic cars.

5. What do you think was the highlight of the classic car year in 2016?

The £1.8 million 911 GT2 at RM Sotheby’s London sale.

Porsche 993 GT2 RM Sothebys London 2016

 


 

  Dietrich Hatlapa

1. The classic car market in 2016 – what three words or phrases would you use to describe it?

The HAGI Index shows slower price growth, just over 8% to the end of November in GBP terms.

2. What has changed over the last 12 months?

For the first time in eight years our indices have moved from strong double digit price growth to single digits (YTD to end November 2016). Inflationary expectations have crept up across the globe which can be a negative, while US election outcome can be interpreted as mildly positive for the market. Many players who were mainly speculators have left the market and turnover has fallen sharply in many segments. In the UK the weak currency has pushed up prices for left hand drive cars. Top quality cars may still achieve record prices.

3.The classic car market in 2017 – what key trends do you anticipate? These could also be external factors which are related to or influence the market.

We are monitoring the global macro picture and how global cross border liquidity develops. “Will interest rates continue to rise?” is a key question. Furthermore the current market offers opportunities for many enthusiasts. They focus on driving cars and owners do not mind if some cars are not perfect, e.g. matching numbers, if they can be bought for less money.

4. Where will we see most growth in 2017? – this could be an individual car, a market segment or a general area of interest.

Just like 2016: The very best cars within any group. For super-cars this means ultra low or delivery mileage.

5. What do you think was the highlight of the classic car year in 2016?

HAGI´s third ‘Value in the Classic Car Market’ conference at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, USA, which took place in October 2016.

 


 

Jonathan Aucott

1. The classic car market in 2016 – what three words or phrases would you use to describe it?

Busy start, steady middle, manic end (in terms of sales).

2. What has changed over the last 12 months?

Not much really. A feeding frenzy for exceptional stock, of which there is a lack of. Lots of average stuff out there to buy, but who wants that? Brexit seems to have changed things very little despite concerns, actually if anything things have gained momentum since. It’s definitely livelier than it was this time last year, and 2015 wasn’t exactly bad.

3. The classic car market in 2017 – what key trends do you anticipate? These could also be external factors which are related to or influence the market.

Nothing appears to be getting in the way of the classic car market. I think it is now understood that classic cars are a serious commodity, a safe place to invest and above all else a lot of fun. I think a wider awareness of this can only help the market continue to grow.

4. Where will we see most growth in 2017? – this could be an individual car, a market segment or a general area of interest.

A BMW 3.0 CSL is still undervalued at about a quarter the value of a Porsche 911 RS Touring of the same year. Also a Jensen Interceptor when compared to Aston Martins of a similar vintage look great value for money but finding a good one can be difficult. 80’s & 90’s performance icons such as Integrale’s and 911 Turbo’s did well in 2016 and I think this is set to continue in 2017.

5. What do you think was the highlight of the classic car year in 2016?

It has to be Duemila Ruote. Were investors looking for a safe investment? Whatever the reasons the results speak for themselves.

Lancia Delta - on the way up?
Lancia Delta – on the way up?

 

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