By the time you read this article, the results will be in, and we shall know if the mercury has risen or fallen. Monterey will have been and gone, and, alongside Trump versus Clinton, Brexit, the Rio Olympic Games, destabilization in Syria, and terrorist attacks in Europe, we should have a better understanding of where the classic car market is placed. Did Mecum sell the first GT40 road car delivered to the US or the 1933 Duesenberg Model J convertible coupé? Did Russo and Steele sell the 2004 Ford GT PB2-1 prototype for top dollar? How did Nuvolari’s 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix or the 1935 Mercedes-benz 500K cabriolet A fare at Bonham’s Quail Lodge auction? Was Rick Cole Auctions successful with the 1957 Chevrolet Corvette 283 Fuelie Airbox convertible? Did Gooding and Company achieve the estimated US$2.2 – 2.6M for the 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV? Or how about at RM Sotheby’s, where it costs US$300 just to register to bid and US$40 to be admitted to view the vehicles? Did the 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider by Scaglietti with racing history including legendary drivers Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby exceed US$5M, or did the 2015 Porsche 918 ‘Weissach’ Spyder make its low- end estimate of US$1.4M? 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans in the colours of Ecurie Ecosse. It has had just two private owners since, and its presale estimate was US$20 – 25M! The same estimate was on the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring, the first of its kind to be offered at auction in the 21st century. Also for sale was the very first Shelby Cobra, the 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra CSX2000, described as the most important American sports car ever. This single- owner car will surely have set some records, though the expectations would have been enormous, with the estimate not published and only ‘available on request’. The same was also true of the 1962 Ferrari 268SP by Fantuzzi, which ran at Le Mans that same year.
Questions, questions, questions, and
hopefully some answers. My guess is that, despite all the world’s attendant problems, we shall not be heading for a classic exit (‘clexit’?) and that the classic car market bubble will have expanded still further once the dust has settled in Northern California.
Despite the relatively lacklustre showing of Artcurial’s Le Mans sale in July, and the passing in of the ex– Paris Motor Show 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta No. 2917GT, English auction house H& H reported no Brexit jitters, with British marques leading the way at its successful sale at Donington Park at the end of that same month.
It looks to be onwards and upwards from here.