Between Mecum’s gargantuan sale in Kissimmee and the bidding spree that takes place in and around Scottsdale, Arizona, January is the biggest month on the auction calendar and this year was no exception. All in all, the major North American collector car auctions sold a total of 4,265 vehicles in January for a combined total of over $335 million. This week’s graph is not an overall view of the past year’s changes in values but rather a snapshot of how eight popular cars performed year-over-year in the all-important January auctions, which can set the tone of the market for the rest of the year.
The biggest change, that of the 1970-74 Challenger, can largely be explained by the number of well-restored, highly optioned Hemi cars coming out of private collections at Kissimmee this year compared to last year. 14 percent more were offered and 24 percent more were sold, but the quality of offerings was the biggest difference this year. C1 Corvettes, meanwhile, saw the biggest decrease, which was likely driven by an aging key demographic, relatively high recent values and considerably more choice with 15 percent more examples offered.
As for C2 Corvettes, there appears to be an increase in demand for convertibles, as median price was up 35 percent compared to a four percent drop for coupes. First generation Camaros and 1965-73 Mustangs, some of the most commonly seen auctions cars, saw no significant change. Does all this mean that 2016 is going to be a big year for Mopars and Sting Rays? Not necessarily, but they’re off to a good start.