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.