“During times of crisis, invest in property.”
This is supposedly one of the principles that the rich live by to maintain and protect their wealth. These investments may include real estate, jewelry and cars. The saying seems to hold true as UK-based auctioneers Coys reported successful sales of classic cars at their events lately.
As of last month, more and more patrons have flocked to auctions for these rare machines which have been going at premium prices. Coys, which has been in the business for almost a century, is not complaining as sales have reached record levels so far. This increased shift of interest can only be attributed to the lackluster performance of the stock market, apparently brought about by the recent Lehman Bros and Northern Rock fiascoes.
"It would appear that people would rather buy a historic car and put it in the garage than brave the current stock market," observes Coys managing director Chris Routledge.
Some of the more notable vehicles auctioned off at the company’s Spirit of Motoring event last Saturday included a 1996 Ferrari F50 previously owned by the Sultan of Brunei. The car, sold at £350,000, is the only one of its kind as it is a right-hand drive vehicle.
A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, was also sold, this time for £385,000; the last remaining unrestored 1955 Aston Martin DB3 S was bought for a cool £2 million; and a rare right-hand drive Lancia Aurelia B24 Spyder fetched a more modest £145,000.
“These are just some of the cars that have been sold and we are continuing to get inquiries from around the world and not just from traditional car collectors but from those who want to get into something different,” adds Routledge.
Like fine wine which can only get better with age, these collectors’ items are now the bold, new investment vehicles (no pun intended) of the wealthy these days.
Another 50 or so classic cars will be available to the highest bidders when Coys holds another Spirit of Motoring auction at the Ascot racecourse on Saturday, October 11.