The Classic Car Market is Expanding...and Evolving

Spend a weekend watching coverage of a Barrett-Jackson or Mecum auction, and you’ll be astounded at how much seemingly pedestrian classic cars are selling for. You'd think buying a classic car would clear out your life's savings, but it’s not all bad news for prospective buyers.

According to a news release from classic car insurer, Hagerty, the actual size of the market has been on the rise. The company has a gauge-like market indicator, which shows 71.59 our of 100 for this month–up from 71.55 in June.

PHOTOS: See more images of the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing

The Classic Car Market is Expanding...and Evolving

This market health index gain indicates a steadily expanding classic car market. Hagerty attributes this to private sales dropping for the first time in a year, and high-end insured values have fallen for the first time since February. Specifically, value increases for Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and 190 SL models have either leveled out or fallen off in the past six months. Additionally, values of the 1950s Porsche 356 have dropped, as have values for American cars from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Meanwhile, a new classic car market is emerging; one of imports from the 1980s and 1990s. Cars like the Porsche 911 930 Turbo, and Ferrari 308 (and 328) are all experiencing growth in their respective values.

PHOTOS: See more images of the Porsche 911 930 Turbo

According to McKeel Hagerty, chief executive of his namesake company, the proof is in appearances at high-profile auctions. “Last year,” said Hagerty, “Monterey auction week saw five Ferrari 308/328s and one 930 Turbo; this year they have more than 10 of each. The auction houses are clearly responding to consumer demand for later model years.”

PHOTOS: See more images of the 1987 Ferrari 308 GTS

The Classic Car Market is Expanding...and Evolving

The Hagerty Market Rating was at an all time high of 72.04 in May of this year. The rating is based 15 data points in eight different categories. Those categories include public auctions, private sales, values of insured cars, and price guide values. The rating also factors in Hagerty’s own index and input from classic car industry analysts.


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