‘CLEXIT’ QUES­TIONS?

New Zealand Classic Car - - International Market Report -

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.

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