29 July 2016

Graph of the Week: Newer Cars Are Coming to Monterey

This year, the classic car auction market has seen a surge in barely used cars, many built after 2010, showing up to cross the block. Cars like McLaren P1s, Porsche 918s, late model Lamborghinis and newer Camaros and Shelby Mustangs don’t really fit the typical definition of a collector car, but they are becoming increasingly common sights at auction. In fact, these contemporary collector cars account for 2.5 percent of auction cars sold this year. It’s the same story in Monterey, too. Last year, less than 2 percent of the cars offered in Monterey were built after 2010. In 2016, it’s 3.8 percent.

Of the newer cars on offer in Monterey, it’s largely high-end. Nearly a quarter are Porsches, 17 percent are Ferraris and 9 percent are Mercedes-Benzes. 14 percent, though, are Fords, which are mostly Mustangs on offer at Mecum.

This is still a small number overall in the auction frenzy that is Monterey. Most of the cars to cross the block will still be the traditional ‘50s and ‘60s blue chip collectibles and coachbuilt prewar cars. 

In order to understand these barely used vehicles’ growth, however, one only need examine modern classics’, or cars built from 1980 to 2009, proliferation at auction. Eight years ago, they made up about 3 percent of the cars offered in Monterey. Now, they account for 20 percent. Will we see the same kind of growth in Monterey for cars built after 2010? Probably not soon. The modern classics segment encompasses a lot more cars and far more price points whereas most post-2010 cars will have to go through the usual depreciation cycle before becoming collectible. Even so, it seems clear that increasingly newer vehicles are making their way to auctions that had previously been limited to classic cars.

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    Adam Michigan July 29, 2016 at 12:10
    This shift can be explained by the changing demographics of the bidders as well as very low production models of modern classics and 2010+ cars. The bidders are younger now and going after cars they lusted over when they were younger. Now they can afford them but the supply is limited... not like when you were born in the 40s or 50s and lusted over a '57 Chevy or a '67 big block Corvette and later in life had the funds to buy. There are plenty of these cars to go around to keep the entry point sub $100k. Now when you were born in the 70s or 80s and lusted over a F40 or a 930 Turbo... these production numbers were incredibly low and entry point is $200k+ for most models in this class and some are 7 figures. Supply and demand takes over and the auction houses are responding by offering these types of cars. It only makes sense to see this type of shift in offering as auction houses are business and they are catering to buyers by offering products that generate large revenue.

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