There were buyers for all three Ferraris consigned by ACA for their King’s Lynn season opener, during which the 1981 London Motor Fair displayed 308GTBi pictured, one of only 42 in RHD, sold for £50,400 including 5% premium.
The 456M GTA, also in RHD, that had been owned by the extremely acquisitive Sultan of Brunei from 1996to 2006, cruised past the rostrum to make £53,550, again more than top estimate money. Whilst on a January Saturday afternoon in Norfolk, when £1.85m was spent on non-essential classics, a 308GTB with 86,433 mileage from new in 1980 that had been in receipt of a photo-recorded restoration also cost a new keeper £71,400, within the guide price band.
For although most of the Historic Automobile Group International indices that chart the classic car market experienced a statistically lacklustre start to 2017, the HAGI P Index for Porsches falling 2.15% and their MBCI monitoring Classic Merc prices declining by 1.47%, by contrast the HAGI F Index tracking Ferrari transactions recorded a gain in prices actually paid for Ferraris of 1.57% in January.
Their number crunchers reckon that this latest golden spike in Ferrari fortunes was achieved through a number of high end Ferraris - and, significantly, rarer models from Maranello - changing hands for higher prices. For instance, there were five Ferraris in the ‘Overall Top Ten’ at last month’s seven sales during Arizona auctions week, led by the 1952 340 America Competizione Spider sold by Bonhams for $6.38m (£5.17m).
Six more Ferraris occupied the RM Sotheby’s leader-board with a 1969 365GTS Spider selling for $3.60m (£2.92m), a 1995 F50 Coupe $3.14m (£2.54m) , a 1961 Superamerica Coupe $3.08m (£2.49m), a 2003 Enzo $2.70m (£2.18m), a 1967 330 GTS Spider $2.48m (£2.00m) and a 1966 275GTB/2 Coupe $2.12m (£1.72).
For whereas the S&P Global 1200 put on 2.47% growth during January alone, most Ferrari types with production numbers in the 100s or more continue, report HAGI, to experience price pressure and low turnover. Currency volatility has also had a major impact on the classic car market during the past year, they say. For if calculated in US dollars, 2016 growth in the benchmark HAGI Top Index would actually have been closer to zero and yet stronger in Euro terms. While buying classics priced in US dollars or euros now certainly costs Brits abroad much more following the Brexit vote result, although thanks to the exchange rates imbalance selling British owned classics both in the US and on the Continental mainland can net more Sterling for a UK vendor.
Nonetheless, Ferrari Prancing Horses certainly enjoyed a good gallop last season, the HAGI F Index having risen by 2.95% in December alone, resulting in growth of 6.37% year on year. Lest we forget, it was during last year’s Paris Retromobile sales that Artcurial sold a 1957 335 S for 32.08m euros (£25.7m), a record classic car auction price for 2016 and an overall record for any car ever sold at auction in Europe.
In the same February sale in 2015, the Parisian firm hammered away a sleepy 1961 250 GT California SWB Spyder for more than 16.29m euros (£11.80m). Although during this far more uncertain year, any rise in global interest rates could impact negatively on the overall market for classics and drive investor-collectors into cashing in their assets and scrambling for the fire sale exits.