Claiming records – plenty of auction houses are at it, but does it really do the market any good? Any seriously high price – the sort that merits a story in a national newspaper – is interesting, but only for as long as you’re reading the piece. Otherwise, to almost all of us, it’s immaterial, and an unaffordable dream.
However, we’re seeing more cases of affordable cars being sold for ‘world record’ prices. OK, that’s great for the auctioneer and good for the vendor, but what does it tell potential bidders and would-be owners? What worries me is that it can put bidders off: they might think the car of their dreams is no longer affordable because of that claimed ‘world record price’. Before we know it we’ll see world record prices being claimed for a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280SL, and the following week a world record price for a 1985 280S and then for a 1986 model, meaning almost every week a ‘record’ price will have been made. As good as this is, and a brilliant message for the market, how long can it go on?