The LaFerrari, Maranello's 950-hp apex predator, is a rare beast.
Beginning production in 2013 with a $1.4M list price, a litany of ownership requirements (multiple Ferraris in the garage, a personal recommendation sent to the factory from a Ferrari dealer, and a full review of candidates before being anointed), and a restriction that has mostly kept them out of the resale market: Selling one within 12 months of taking possession brings down the wrath of Ferrari and obliterates the owner's VIP standing. In other words, violating terms all but guarantees that you won't even get to see the newly announced LaFerrari Aperta, let alone park one in your garage.
This last detail has made the LaFerrari scarce on the secondary market, but the time limit has started to expire and there are two for sale in Monterey this week. The first appeared at the Bonhams auction on Friday—although a failed battery prevented it from taking the stage—and the second was scheduled for Saturday at Mecum.
The Bonhams car has fewer than 250 miles, wore red paint, and was bedecked with carbon fiber and extra prancing ponies on the seats, while the Mecum car has slightly lower mileage and a rarer matte black paint scheme. With the Bonhams car static and away from the crowd, suspense was high, but the opportunity was too great to pass up and three bidders kept on the car until the end. After a few minutes, the LaFerrari sold for $3.685M, including buyer's premium. In round numbers, that equates to a 160 percent return over the course of a year.
According to Steve Chapman, CEO of the DuPont Registry, low-mile LaFerraris (and nearly all of them qualify for that label) currently trade privately in the $4M-$4.5M range and options can make a major difference in price. The carbon fiber roof is the most valuable piece of kit, and the more carbon fiber applied elsewhere the better in terms of value. Other special features, including colors, add to the car's already rare status and can also elevate the price.
Does this always happen to hypercars as they hit the secondary market? Turns out there are plenty of recent sales to answer that question. The first two McLaren P1s to auction, for example, sold a year earlier than this LaFerrari for $1.98M and $1.95M (by RM Sotheby's and Gooding, respectively). Five months later, Bonhams sold a P1 for $2.09M, and then did so again today for the same amount. All four were 2015 models. The P1 is slightly rarer than the LaFerrari and was slightly less expensive when new, and has nearly doubled in price during its short lifetime.
The Porsche 918 is another contemporary. Twice as abundant, much less expensive initially at $847,000, and just as in-demand, the first 918 to publicly sell was in January 2016. Two sold that month, with the first hitting just below $1.6M and the second achieving $1.76M. Again, around a year later, the cars have essentially doubled in value.
These types of cars are incredibly popular right now among collectors and are still extremely exclusive. They also remain three of the most potent cars on the planet. Since demand is so much greater than supply at this level, expect the trend to hold. Of course, the plight of supercars is that their values are directly proportional to their super-ness. As soon as a newer, faster, more advanced model from a major manufacturer comes to market, depreciation can set in quickly. Consider the wickedly fast 2008 Lamborghini Reventon that was offered in the same sale. One of only 20 built and priced at $2M when new, its bidding slowly inched along before stalling as a no sale at $1.02M. When does the Bugatti Chiron come out again?
Editor’s note: Mecum sold its LaFerrari a day later for $5.17M. It is one of three to be painted in Nero DS Opaco.