Classic car market lets off steam

Classic cars were once again the top performing luxury asset on an annual basis, according to the latest figures from the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII).

While the overall value of KFLII increased by just 5% in the 12 months to the end of March 2016 – the lowest annual increase since the first quarter of 2010 – cars outperformed with a 17% surge.

Wine saw the second strongest growth, up 9%, with coins in third position, rising 6%. Art and furniture were the biggest losers, dropping by 5% and 6%, respectively.

KFLII performanc by asset class

Recent figures suggest that the classic car market has also decelerated over the shorter term, despite 2016 seeing the highest price, in sterling and euro terms, ever achieved by a car sold at auction.

Since the beginning of the year, the HAGI Top Index, which tracks the value of 50 of the world’s most desirable motor cars, has risen by just 1%.

However, that didn’t stop a gorgeous 1957 Ferrari 335 S Scaglietti, from setting a new record price of €32.1m (£24.7m) when it was auctioned in Paris by Artcurial at the Retromobile Salon 2016 event this February.


Ferraris dominate the rankings of that rarefied group of cars – only about 60 in total – that have sold for over the equivalent of £5m.

But you don’t need a prancing stallion on the bonnet to achieve eye-watering prices. At the same Artcurial sale, a rare Citroen 2 CV Sahara fetched almost €192,000, way over its high estimate of €90,000.

For more luxury analysis, expert comment and lots of facts and figures about the classic car performance download the full report

Ferrari image courtesy of Artcurial Photographe


Showing 7 comments

  1. Nick Martin


    Fine wine is building momentum, there appears to be more broad-based consumer market support as well over the last 6 months.



    This is a really interesting piece. I wonder if I could have the time series of quarterly data so I could reproduce the chart used in today’s FT. I would, of course, credit you as the source.

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  7. Tom


    This is really a very insightful piece of research. I myself focus on alternative investments therefore a lot can be seen in this Report and also adjustments for future asset allocations can be thought through.
    Keep up the good work.

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