Ist der große Hype im Oldtimermarkt vorbei?

“The hype on the classic car market is over!” For the past couple of months, this statement has appeared from time to time again. One has the impression that some experts have a certain malicious undertone when confronted with this statement. “It has been known for quite a period now that the market will eventually fall.” What happened on the classic car market last year in 2016? 

The prices of classic cars rose again, even not as extreme as in 2015. The Oldtimer Index, which was determined by the “Verband der Automobilindustrie” (The German Association of the Automotive Industry), gained 4.4 percent based on the previous year. In 2015, growth rate was 5.6 percent. Currently, this is a reduction of 1.2 percent points. But this does not necessarily introduce a tragedy! 

One reason for the market’s easing is the fact that potential purchasers pay much more attention to quality, originality, and history when it comes to the purchase of a vehicle from the rather lower and middle price segments. This has a certain stagnation of specific brands and types as its consequences. Buyers and interested parties do not blindly accept each offer of especially favoured and higher-traded model series. Apart from that, in 2016, maximum prices were achieved with the sale of some special jewels of the classic car market. Multi-time winners were the following brands: Ferrari, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, but also some specific model series of traditional brands such as Jaguar, Aston Martin, Maserati and especially also the legendary names of the automotive racing sector. 

The Porsche 356 A Speedster (year of construction: 1957) can be regarded as a further instance. The car (in original, patinised condition) was discovered in a barn and auctioned for US dollar 665,000. Furthermore, an auction at the “Milano Auto Classica” in November 2016 was also record-breaking. 400 vehicles of diverse brands such as Porsche, Jaguar, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati were offered therer. More than 5,000 potential buyers from all over the world outbid another during the three-day marathon-event. In a heated atmosphere of a really bidder-hype, it came right to maximum prices of the offered classic vehicles. To give but one example: a Mercedes-Benz 300 E Youngtimer from 1988 was sold for the super price of Euro 84,000! 

Furthermore, during the “Scottsdale Auction Week” (from 14 Jan. to 22. Jan. 2017) in Arizona, USA, reticence was clearly not felt: the superlative automotive market place for classic cars. Sales rate of diverse auction houses was around 87 percent (!); total sales were US dollar 260 million. Additionally, it is interesting to note the ranking of the top-ranked disposals in terms of value. There were three pre-war vehicles among the first six frontrunners. A Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster from 1939 occupied second place (US dollar 6.6 million), a Mercedes-Benz Type S Sports Tourer from 1928 was put in fourth place (US dollar 4.8 million) and a Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Racing Car from 1925 became number 6 (US dollar 3.6 million). 

In conclusion, it is possible to say that a certain easing at the highest level has happened to the classic car market coming from a critical stance. Of course, as in other spheres, changing preferences consequently causes a transforming demand. This can even happen within the product range of individual brands. 

The demand for wanted and top quality classics is still very vivid in light of the findings of recent auctions on the international classic car market.