Everyone understands the allure of a classic car. They can be a throwback to your youth, a status symbol, and a great piece of manufacturing all at once. However, as two recent news reports have illustrated, there's something else that classic cars qualify as, too: a great investment.
For instance, The New York Times recently reported on the "soaring market" for classic cars that is being observed right now. The article is centered around the recent sale of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta, for more than $38 million dollars. (Good luck trying to compare car insurance quotes for that purchase!) But as the experts quoted illustrate, that's hardly the only classic vehicle commanding very big bucks in the current market.
"Without exception, we're seeing every segment of the market, and nearly every model, hitting new all-time highs," McKeel Hagerty, chief executive at an insurance agency, explained to the Times. "[$38 million for the Ferrari is] a rational number. We don't know yet who the buyer was, but I think whoever it is showed discipline and restraint. That Ferrari is from the glory days. It's beautifully designed, handcrafted and rare. You could race it or drive it. It was one of the last models before race cars started to look like science projects."
It's not just this auction – classic car prices are going up everywhere
For proof that classic cars are a great investment, you need only to look at the figures. At the same auction where the 250 GTO was sold, nine other Ferrari models sold for record prices, as did a Rolls-Royce and multiple different Maseratis.
According to the Times, the value of classic cars has soared since the Federal Reserve began new policies in the face of the 2008 financial crisis. That means that the high prices could merely be a trend – just like they can be for other assets, like gold.
Another recent report, from USA Today, also looked at the increasing values of classic cars. While the news outlet also considered at the risks inherent in such investments – some people lose money on classic cars, if they spend too much on maintenance and sell them at a period when prices are low – but it also found a number of experts who were happy to testify to the glory of owning an old car. One individual even compared the practice to the collection of valuable artworks.
"People are starting to see the cars more as rolling art than weekend toys," Donnie Gould, president of Auctions America, explained to USA Today.
That's a claim that's mirrored in the report from the New York Times. As one expert explained to the news source, these increasing prices are a sign that cars are starting to be considered works of art, and not merely transportation objects.
"The $38 million raised eyebrows, but it's less than a third the price of the most expensive painting," Eric Y. Minoff, a car specialist at Bonhams, explained to the Times. "And cars are also usable objects. A few collectors keep them locked up in climate-controlled garages, but most drive them."
It seems that cars – like artworks before them – may soon become one of the most valuable assets someone can have. That's something you should keep in mind – not just when you're considering whether or not to purchase a classic car, but when you're deciding which contemporary vehicle to buy next. If you get something well-designed, and you keep that new car in mint condition, it may be a valuable classic someday! In fact, it may end up being considered "rolling art."