Classic car market: 2012 auction review


2015-06-26 13:06:23


Classic car market: 2012 auction review

2012 saw some stunning results for classic cars, here's a reminder with our auction review

"Better than gold" is the title of the new book on investing in historic cars by HAGI Publishing, and that certainly rings true for investors in 2012.

The HAGI Top Index is up 16.94% since the beginning of the year, with classicFerraris enjoying the largest increase in value of 22.92%.

Top sale

The record has boosted Ferrari sales throughout the year

Ferraris have held pole position throughout the year, with the remarkable $32m auction of a Ferrari 250 GTO getting the marque off to a flying start in February.

See more of the Top 10 classic car auctions in 2012.

New records in 2012

The Ferrari 250 GTO, which holds the title of the top sale, became the most valuable Ferrari ever sold at auction. It also set a record for the most valuable ever sold in the UK and the second most valuable classic car sold at auction. The US car world record was set at the annual Monterey sales in August by a 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf-Mirage racer, which sold for $11m to displace the previous $10.34m record held by a 1931 Duesenberg Model J.

Ford GT40 Mk1 Gulf Steve McQueenThe Ford was driven by the legendary Jack Ickx at Le Mans

The British car world record was also topped, after a 1929 Birkin Bentley sold at Bonhams for $5m. However, this was beaten in July by the 1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Le Mans Sports Bobtail, which sold for $6m in California. Aston Martin saw a new world record for a DB4GT Zagato, which was sold for $1.94m at Bonhams' May auction at the Aston Martin works in the UK. A Gurney Nutting-built Rolls Royce Phantom III 3-position DHC set a new auction record for the model, after selling for $1.4m at a Monaco auction in May. Further US records were seen by the 1967 Mustang Shelby GT500 SE Super Snake, which set a record for the model at a three-day show dedicated to Carroll Shelby, who died in May this year.

It was a breakout year for

Classic motorcycles. Classic car enthusiasts may be a little disgruntled of this inclusion in the review, but vintage motorcycles have had a superb year in 2012, led by the sale of the historic Brough Superior "Old Bill", which set an auction record for any classic motorcycle.

Old Bill Brough Superior SS80George Brough, founder of Brough Superior, rides the restored Old Bill

A year to forget for

Ayrton Senna's F1 car, which caused a stir when the sale was announced back in March, with an expected sale price of $1.2m. However, the Toleman TG184-F1 - which Senna drove during his debut season - failed to attract strong bids from collectors and did not meet its reserve.

One you may have missed

The 1949 Buick Roadmaster that plays a central role in the 1988 film Rain Man sold for $170,500 on December 16 by Heritage Auctions. Classic cars with movie provenance have been selling well, with Clark Gable's 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe set to appear at Scottsdale on January 19.

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