View on the Car Market – Q1 2019

48 Hours with a McLaren 600LT
February 1, 2019
Ferrari F40 Road Trip: Italy
February 9, 2019

After putting together, the recent article on our Garage Goals ( https://karenable.com/garage-goals/) I have started taken a much keener interest on what’s happening in the classic car market.  In the US, normally the trend for the year is set at the January auctions in Scottsdale.  If this trend holds true, then it will be a bit of a bifurcated market this year. Only the very best cars will sell in the $1 mil and up market, the new models in the $250k-$1 mil range will hold well while the older models decline, and the market will be pretty stable in the $250k and under range.  Across these ranges I have been tracking the McLaren P1, Porsche 918, Ferrari 275 GTB, Porsche Carrera GT, Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona”, Ferrari 430 Scuderia, and the Ferrari 308 GTB as both a mix of benchmarks and cars of personal interest.

In the $1+ mil. group, it looks like the McLaren P1 has been on a slow decline for the last couple of years. The last sale in Arizona was at $1.4 mil. This is down by a third off the $2.1 mil high hit a few times back in 2017. Hard to say if this is the bottom. The original lithium batteries on the P1 have to be nearing the end of their useful life and replacement is $100k plus. I would imagine this is having an impact on P1 values.  The Porsche 918 is sitting at a very similar price point and has been stable for the last several years.  The Ferrari 275 GTB jumped up significantly a few years ago to the mid $2 mil range with alloy bodied cars commanding $1 mil more. Rarity should keep 275 GTB values strong over the long term.

In the mid $250k – $1 mil range, despite my hopes, the Porsche Carrera GT are still trading hands consistently around $700k.  While Carrera GT prices haven’t risen in the last two years, they certainly haven’t retreated to the $400k range of 2014. As the Carrera GT is one of the key cars on my “Garage Goals” list, I’m slowly getting my head around the fact that this is likely going to be what it will cost to acquire one.  The car that has retreated a bit on price is the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona”.  Like the Carrera GT, they jumped in price from $350k to $700K+ a few years ago but now have been slowly sliding backwards for the last couple of years.  They are now changing hands in the $500k range.  My guess is they will fall further.  Many of buyers today were born long after the Daytona was launched and prefer the cars they grew up with.  This does not bode well for late 60’s and 70’s value Ferraris going forward.  The Daytona also isn’t an easy car to drive which might also be impacting its appeal.

In the last group, $250k and under, the two on the “Garage Goals” list are the Ferrari 430 Scuderia and the Ferrari 308 GTB (76-79).  The 430 Scuderia has been holding steady for many years now and there are also always quite a few for sale via dealerships.  The 308 GTB is a bit of another story.  308s were $30k cars for years and then suddenly jumped up to just under $100k.  They have now retreated more into the $50-60k range. While the 308 GTB is an easier car to drive than a Daytona, in comparison to a modern 488, it’s a lot of work and will bite you if you get it wrong.

In summary, it looks like P1s have entered that stage where they are no longer the new new must have thing and prices have adjusted accordingly.  The Porsche 918 really never jumped up in value and therefore hasn’t taken much of a fall back.  Porsche Carrera GTs have held very steady the last 3 years and will likely continue to do so. Both the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” and 308 GTB rode the market up in 2012-2016 and now are settling back down more towards their long-term historic price points.  On a related front, I would expect the same trend to apply to 70’s Porsche 911s.  Late 60’s & 70’s Ferraris now sit in a tough position as they don’t have the rarity and universal collectors appeal of the 250/275 series Ferraris, weren’t the poster cars of many of today’s buyer’s youth but do carry similar usability and costs as the earlier Ferraris.  As the last and best of the 360/430 series Ferraris, demand for the 430 Scuderia continues to be strong as it is definitely a future classic.  

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February 2019

7 Comments

  1. Josh Stephenson says:

    I assume the 918 batteries have the same issues as the P1?
    Really hope the price of old 911’s drop, seems crazy what they’re currently going (or advertised) for.

    • Secret Supercarowner says:

      On the 918, I assume so but not sure. Same should also apply to the LaFerrari I would guess. On the old 911, hope so as well.

  2. james says:

    You mention the Scud but what about the Challenge Stradale…going up, down or staying stable?

  3. Christian says:

    Dear SCO. First of all thank you for sharing your view in the blog above. I have a small collection ( 10 ) of past and further classics and I think that on the value front, the market will split in two halves. The recent classic supercars will not rise dramatically in value, firstly because the cohort of interested buyers is diminishing as you rightly say in your post and secondly, the cost of ownership of cars like Carrera GT, P1 and La Ferrari are still very high even when these cars enter their twilight years. This is not the case with the true classic cars such as Mercedes 300 SL, Aston Martin D4/5 or indeed the Ferrai 275 GTB. When cars started to become dependent of software updates or featured complex electronics (Vanquish springs to mind) they started to get expensive to maintain. So I personally thing that the golden area of classics is up to the mid 70ties ( V8 Vantage ) and not much beyond. Enjoy motoring. (I live in the Alps so if ever you are around for a European Hoon please say hello).

    • Secret Supercarowner says:

      You raise a number of great points. The advance tech is definitely a liability in many cases. Its the reason I didn’t pulled the trigger on buying a Porsche 959 several years ago.

  4. […] up on the article on the car market in Q1 ( View on the Car Market Q1), I recently received the following auction result […]

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