Supercar Market Update– Q2 2019

Following up on the article on the car market in Q1 ( View on the Car Market Q1), I recently received the following auction result alerts: 

31k- Mile 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, Sold $550,000

4k- Mile  2004 Porsche Carrera GT, Sold $687,000

1k- Mile  2004 Porsche Carrera GT, Sold $775,000

15k-Mile 1996 FerrariF355 Spider 6-Speed, Sold $52,800 

23k-Mile 1997 Ferrari F355 Spider 6-Speed, Sold $57,000

1k – Mile  2008 Koenigsegg CCX, Not Sold at High Bid $875,000

which I believe are quite indicative of where the market is today and where it is headed.  I’ve chosen these four as I believe they are a good representation across the market. It’s wasn’t too long ago the F355 Spiders were regularly selling in the $90-100k range and market experts were predicting Daytona would be $1 mil cars shortly.  Koenigseggs prices seem to have finally succumbed to the grip of gravity and started returning to earth.  The one car that hasn’t retreated in value (which is a bit personally frustrating, see Garage Goals) is the Carrera GT.  CGTs have been rock solid at $700k for the past year.  A car is only worth what someone is wiling to pay for it and the buyer today has changed from who it was several years ago.

I believe the market is currently in a place where the speculators who drove prices skywards in the 2012-2016 period are now all long gone.  The people buying the cars today are collectors and enthusiasts.  They intend to use the cars they buy and maintenance costs do matter.  Time is also playing a role as many of the buyers today are younger.  The cars these buyers remember from their teenage years and early 20s are from the Ferrari F50, Enzo and Carrera GT era.  These are the forces which are driving the market now. 

When looking at the each of these four cars, I do believe different factors are driving the values in each case. Starting with the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, I don’t believe the majority of buyers who came of age in the mid to late 90s have much affinity for the car.  The Daytona was your father or grandfather’s Ferrari.  To top it off, they are not easy cars to drive ( Driving a Daytona). At low speed, Daytona’s are an upper body workout. The gearbox and clutch require skill and experience to operate properly, skills that are much less common with a generation that has grown up on automatics and paddle shifts.  The brakes are a whole new experience for those who are used to a car actually stopping soon after you push the middle pedal.  All of the above doesn’t do much to broaden the Daytona’s appeal and therefore demand, along with prices that have been steadily falling.  

Many of the same factors that have been driving Daytona prices south, have been supporting Carrera GT values.  CGTs are the cars that the new generation of buyers grew up with.  They are still quick by today’s standards and no longer that tricky to drive.  New tire technology from Michelin has improved handling on the CGT significantly to the point that it is no longer a smart gift to give to a spouse you want to dispose of surreptitiously.  Owners do use there CGTs and they are a common sight at both car shows and major auctions.  In many ways the CGT is as much an icon of the early 00s as the Enzo and therefore desirability along with prices remains steady.

In many ways the Ferrari F355 has replaced the 328 as the new “starter” Ferrari (SSO’s Ferrari History).  With prices now around $50k, the F355 is affordable (by Ferrari standards) and its modern enough so the learning curve is short.  The F355 is an infinitely usable car with enough luggage room for a multiday trip which certainly aids in its appeal.  It doesn’t hurt that the F355 is one of the prettiest Ferraris to ever emerge from Pininfarina’s pen.  Plant your right foot and the F355 will scare a passenger silly and.  A few years ago, prices did jump up to the $90-100k range but fell back as that put the F355 at or above a 360, not too far off a 430, and out of the affordable starter range. Given Ferrari built over 10,000 F355s, there are always plenty for sale so rarity will never drive values.  F355 prices will always be impacted by very high maintenance costs, the every four year cambelt change is an engine out exercise, and the F355 has a host of known issues that are not inexpensive to address. The F355 is also now in that awkward age where technology and performance have long since passed it by, but it isn’t old enough to be considered a classic yet.  My guess is F355s are now properly priced and should hold at current values.

Koenigseggs have operated in a very different value universe for multiple years now.  In less than a decade Koenigseggs have gone from little known to quite famous.  Prices on their new cars have risen astronomically.  This huge jump in new car prices has impacted the small used market for Koenigseggs dramatically.  Our ex Koenigsegg CCR is a good example of this, we were the 3rdowner and paid around £160k for it in 2010.  After a couple of years, we traded it in at a £180k valuation.  To the best of my knowledge our ex-CCR has yet to find another private owner in the past 7 years.  The CCR has been moved through a few different dealerships and now has a current asking price of around £1mil.  My guess is these asking prices are not sustainable as witnessed by the recent no sale on the CCX at auction.  While the newest Koenigseggs may be able to demand multi-million dollar prices tags as engineering and automotive art, the older used K’eggs are tricky cars to drive ( Driving the CCR) with limited usability.  

In summary, the Porsche Carrera GT has held very steady over the last 3 years and will likely continue to do so.  Both the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” and the F355 rode the market up in 2013-2016 and now are settling back down more towards pre 2012 price points.  Koenigseggs weren’t the poster cars of any of today’s buyer’s youth, usability is a real challenge and while prices have risen dramatically, they now seemed poised for a drop as the demand is just not there.

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