The collector car market amounted to $450 Million dollars in the United States in 2018. That was approximately 0.17% of the total auction market in 2018 of $264.65 billion.
Relatedly, we wondered what the highest priced collector automobiles were sold at auction anywhere by the major car auction enterprises. Here we’ve listed the highest price achieved by each of these companies to date:
- August 26, 2018 RM Sotheby’s sold a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO 3413GT for $48,405,000.
- August 14, 2014 Bonhams sold a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO 3851GT for $40,338,000.
- February 15, 2016 Artcurial sold a 1957 Ferrari 335 S for $37,281,000.
- August 25, 2018 Gooding & Company sold a 1935 Duesenberg SSJ 2594 for $22,000,000.
- October 14, 2015 H&H Classics sold a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta 1995GT for $12,093,000.
- November 17, 1987 Christie’s sold a 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe 41.141 for $9,800,000.
- August 15, 2009 Mecum sold a 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe for $8,975,000.
- January 21, 2007 Barrett-Jackson sold a 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake CSX 3015 for $6,646,000.
- June 15, 1986 Kruse International sold a 1931 Bugatti Royale Berline de Voyager 41.150 for $6,500,000.
- April 22, 2017 Leake Auction Company sold a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari for $3,700,000.
Many including Bloomberg‘s Kristie Pladson think the classic car auction business is headed for a (further) downturn; her analysis is here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-07/the-classic-car-feeding-frenzy-is-over-for-skittish-collectors.
Here’s a chart from Hagerty concerning the average sale price of collector cars at auction from 2007-2019:
Hagerty’s collector car market trends analysis is here: https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/market-trends. Here in 2019, the market seems softer at the high end, but stable for more affordable cars.
Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.