The rise of the Ferrari 456 and the butterfly effect
The Ferrari 456 is enjoying a rise in popularity thanks to a TV pundit, chaos theory and an intriguing world record.
You will have heard of chaos theory and the butterfly effect – if you haven’t here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it.
In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.
We’ve recently seen the butterfly effect in action in the classic car market as the merest hint of an opportunity gets buyers talking about the Ferrari 456. The 456 is a good car to drive – as front engined V12 Ferrari’s usually are – and it has certainly been “good value” for a while now. A few short weeks ago on The Classic Car Show, Quentin Willson flagged the 456 as an affordable classic to watch, forecasting that current prices in the £25-35,000 bracket could soon be hitting £40-60,000. So, the butterfly had flapped its wings and like all the best self-fulfilling prophecies, Quentin’s prediction looked to be in danger of coming true – sort of…
We had a number of enquiries for 458s the day after the program aired and just two short weeks afterwards, Silverstone Auctions claimed a world record result for a Ferrari 456 at auction when a delivery mileage example sold for £118,125 including premium. The interesting thing about the car was that it was well known and been for sale for a number of years in the showroom of a London dealer for less than £100,000 (although it had started out at £115,000). A few days later a 4,000 mile car that had been available at Romans International for £79,950 for an extended period was also reported to have found a buyer.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the prices of 456 for the forseeable future but at this point in time the cars that were available for sale haven’t gone up in price. Expect the numbers of cars available (there were only seven at last count) to increase as well as prices.
What we found really interesting was the psychology behind the purchases. The amount paid for the 400 mile car wasn’t the surprise – it was the fact that a buyer was willing to pay considerably more for a car at auction than they could have bought it from a dealer with no warranty and no recourse if the car wasn’t right. It stands to reason that the buyer hadn’t been looking for a delivery mileage 456 for very long….. The sale of the second car so quickly afterwards just goes to show that you can wait for years for a low mileage Ferrari 456 to sell and then two of them find new homes in one weekend.