Daily Management Review

A Fleet of Classic Porsches Upstaged by an Aston Martin Sold for $2.9 Million


A Fleet of Classic Porsches Upstaged by an Aston Martin Sold for $2.9 Million
The limelight at an auction in London which was supposed to showcase a collection of classic Porsches was managed to be stolen by an Aston Martin, which sold for $2.15 million ($2.9 million).
R.M. Sotheby's annual London sale, which saw a total of £21.5 million change hands, was the setting where the 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT was auctioned. A carefully curated collection of limited edition Porsches which mostly smashed their estimates was the main focus of the event.
A Riviera blue 1995 911 GT2 was swept up £1.65 million and a yellow 1993 911 Turbo quadrupled its low-end estimate. A 1956 Austin Princess which was personally owned by ex-Beatle legend John Lennon was also given a starring role. Falling far short of its estimate of £185,000 to £260,000, the black vehicle was snapped up for £135,000. The vehicle boars a startling resemblance to a hearse and kitted out with real (economy class) airline seats.
Selling below expectations at £120,000, the "North by Northwest" movie star James Mason's 1965 white Mercedes-Benz with a red convertible roof and plush red leather and wood interior, failed to ignite excitement.
Largely in line with the 74 percent sales achieved rate at the same auction in 2015, around 76 percent of the lots for sale found buyers in total. Thrashing all nine other collectible asset classes tracked in the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, which includes coins, art and stamps, the ten years' leading up to December 2015 saw classic cars reach a 490 percent return, according to data from consultancy Knight Frank and the Historical Auto Group. The very distant runner-up to automobiles was wine with a 241 percent return over the period.
With selling price growth languishing around 2.21 percent (to end July) versus a 19.42 percent compound annual growth rate for the past decade spent in the fast lane, data from the Historical Auto Group's HAGI Top Index show classic car investors have jammed on the brakes this year.
"Generally speaking, cars in very good condition or very original cars, with fully documented history and accessories have been holding up much better than those that have issues such as accidents, incorrect repairs, parts or missing documents," according to Dietrich Hatlapa, founder of the Historical Automobile Group International.
Proven provenance, scarcity and quality, in sum, are key. An additional draw card is emotion. Fundamentally, nostalgia is a big contributing factor to buying these kinds of cars," said RM Sotheby's Chief Operating Officer Alain Squindo while speaking to CNBC.
A driver behind the move towards the more modern and sporty range on offer at auction was surely an evolving buyer base, with differing sentimental attachments, he added.
"The buyer base is still really diverse, however, we have new markets coming in. The Asian market in particular has been very actively buying at our events and we're seeing a lot of younger buyers coming into the market," he added.