Graph of the Week: Hottest Classic Cars on the Private Market

While auctions grab headlines, the majority of collector cars are sold via private transactions. Classified ads or good, old-fashioned ‘For Sale’ signs on the windshield still work. These ten cars are currently the hottest collector cars in the private-sales marketplace, which is measured in the private sales section of the Hagerty Vehicle Rating. The number is compiled by examining changes in numbers of cars offered, their average sale price and the percentage selling above insured values.

The Toyota FJ40 is quite surprising at first glance since auction prices have decreased noticeably from only a couple of years ago. The likely explanation is that there has been an oversupply of these vintage trucks at auction, but the demand on the larger private market for good FJs has not yet been satisfied. The Mercedes-Benz 560SL is a different case, as that car is leading both the private market and the auction market with more examples offered and achieving higher prices across the board. 

Another unusual case is the sixth-generation Corvette, which is much newer than the other vehicles and theoretically should still be depreciating. While only 54 percent of Corvette C6s are selling through at auction (far behind the overall market average), there has been an increase in both the number offered and prices on the private market.

The general progression, however, seems to be that a car sells well at auction, leading to an increase in the number offered, dropping the average price at auction. It’s then that folks start looking elsewhere to sell their cars, resulting in a jump in the private market. This is what is occurring for the majority of these 10 classics.

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