Report: Investing in blue-chip classic cars has been lucrative this decade

Filed under: Classics, Auctions, Earnings/Financials

Classic car values have been increasing quickly in the past decade.

There’s always a financial risk with investing in collectibles – and that includes cars. They must be maintained and stored, which costs more money, and ultimately sold (they’re investments, right?). On top of that, if they’re driven, they can be damaged or just lose value with more miles. But lately, the rate of return from investing in some collectibles – particularly classic cars – has been much higher than that of traditional investments, The Economist reports.

According to an index of the 50 most valuable automobiles compiled by the Historic Automobile Group and cited by The Economist, the past decade has been a great time to invest in blue-chip classic cars. Since 2002, their value has risen by almost 450 percent, which is a much larger increase than that of the MSCI World index, an index of stocks in developed markets, which increased by a relatively paltry 147 percent during the same period.

A case in point, The Economist points out, is one of the most expensive, ultra-rare classic cars to be sold at auction this year at Pebble Beach: a 1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta that sold for $9.46 million. The gavel price was within the car’s estimated price range of $9 million to $11 million. An even better case in point at Monterey Week this year was the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider that sold for $27.5 million, a record sum for a car sold in the US – the second-highest price paid for a car at auction ever. On top of that, it beat the high end of its presale estimate by over $10 million! The most expensive auction car ever remains Juan Manuel Fangio’s Mercedes W196R F1 racer, which sold earlier this year for $29.65 million. Last year, a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K von Krieger Special Roadster was auctioned off for almost $12 million. In 2011, a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa prototype sold for over $16 million. You get the picture.

But if you’re not into making money on classic cars, then maybe you should start a collection of stamps, coins or violins, all of which have been increasing in value for the past decade. Or just go to work.

Investing in blue-chip classic cars has been lucrative this decade originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Investing in blue-chip classic cars has been lucrative this decade

Filed under: Classics, Auctions, Earnings/Financials

Classic car values have been increasing quickly in the past decade.

There’s always a financial risk with investing in collectibles – and that includes cars. They must be maintained and stored, which costs more money, and ultimately sold (they’re investments, right?). On top of that, if they’re driven, they can be damaged or just lose value with more miles. But lately, the rate of return from investing in some collectibles – particularly classic cars – has been much higher than that of traditional investments, The Economist reports.

According to an index of the 50 most valuable automobiles compiled by the Historic Automobile Group and cited by The Economist, the past decade has been a great time to invest in blue-chip classic cars. Since 2002, their value has risen by almost 450 percent, which is a much larger increase than that of the MSCI World index, an index of stocks in developed markets, which increased by a relatively paltry 147 percent during the same period.

A case in point, The Economist points out, is one of the most expensive, ultra-rare classic cars to be sold at auction this year at Pebble Beach: a 1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta that sold for $9.46 million. The gavel price was within the car’s estimated price range of $9 million to $11 million. An even better case in point at Monterey Week this year was the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider that sold for $27.5 million, a record sum for a car sold in the US – the second-highest price paid for a car at auction ever. On top of that, it beat the high end of its presale estimate by over $10 million! The most expensive auction car ever remains Juan Manuel Fangio’s Mercedes W196R F1 racer, which sold earlier this year for $29.65 million. Last year, a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K von Krieger Special Roadster was auctioned off for almost $12 million. In 2011, a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa prototype sold for over $16 million. You get the picture.

But if you’re not into making money on classic cars, then maybe you should start a collection of stamps, coins or violins, all of which have been increasing in value for the past decade. Or just go to work.

Investing in blue-chip classic cars has been lucrative this decade originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Classic Rover Mini is a passion-inspiring plaything

Filed under: Classics, Budget, Performance, Videos, Hatchback, Mini, UK

1998 Rover Mini Paul Smith Special Edition

Ask anyone that’s driven a classic Mini, and they’ll probably tell you that their first reaction to driving it was a lot like the start of this video – whooping, shouting, laughing and a whole lot of smiling. This video, from Jon Quirk, editor-in-chief at Auto Trader UK, highlights the connection between him and his Rover Mini Paul Smith. He really nails the man-machine interface that makes owning a great car so much fun. Besides that, Quirk does a good job of enumerating what is so enjoyable about driving a fun car on a twisting road.

For our British readers, this video is also meant to test the waters for a new format from Auto Trader UK, called “I Bought One.” With Quirk’s Mini, the car-buying site is looking at telling the story of people and their interesting cars. We think this video is a great start, with high production value and solid content. Head on over to the YouTube channel, and let them know what you think. But first, scroll on down for the entire video on this awesome Rover Mini.

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Classic Rover Mini is a passion-inspiring plaything originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 01 Sep 2013 17:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Classic Rover Mini is a passion-inspiring plaything

Filed under: Classics, Budget, Performance, Videos, Hatchback, Mini, UK

1998 Rover Mini Paul Smith Special Edition

Ask anyone that’s driven a classic Mini, and they’ll probably tell you that their first reaction to driving it was a lot like the start of this video – whooping, shouting, laughing and a whole lot of smiling. This video, from Jon Quirk, editor-in-chief at Auto Trader UK, highlights the connection between him and his Rover Mini Paul Smith. He really nails the man-machine interface that makes owning a great car so much fun. Besides that, Quirk does a good job of enumerating what is so enjoyable about driving a fun car on a twisting road.

For our British readers, this video is also meant to test the waters for a new format from Auto Trader UK, called “I Bought One.” With Quirk’s Mini, the car-buying site is looking at telling the story of people and their interesting cars. We think this video is a great start, with high production value and solid content. Head on over to the YouTube channel, and let them know what you think. But first, scroll on down for the entire video on this awesome Rover Mini.

Continue reading Classic Rover Mini is a passion-inspiring plaything

Classic Rover Mini is a passion-inspiring plaything originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 01 Sep 2013 17:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Quartet of classic Chevys stolen during Monterey week

Filed under: Classics, Auctions, Government/Legal, Chevrolet

stolen 1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409

The weeklong festivities that take place in Monterey, CA for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance draw in some of the finest cars from around the world. Unfortunately, these events also seem to be drawing in some opportunistic lowlifes looking to score to some high-dollar hardware the easy way. In this case, four classic Chevy cars were stolen over the weekend of August 17th.

According to Hemmings, an extremely rare ’61 Impala SS 409, a ’61 Impala resto-mod and a one-owner, unrestored ’57 Bel Air all went missing after failing to sell at various auctions. The article states that the Impala SS 409 – worth an estimated $220,000 – disappeared from the Russo and Steele auction, while the other two cars vanished from the Mecum auction. In addition to these thefts, Jalopnik is reporting that a customized 1962 Corvette was also stolen around the same time only instead of being stolen from an auction, this classic ‘Vette was snatched up as the owner was enjoying dinner. Hemmings points out that the cars were most likely targeted to be stripped for parts, but check out both reports and keep an eye out for these beautiful rides.

Quartet of classic Chevys stolen during Monterey week originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Honda engines and giant killing in the classic Mini Cooper

Filed under: Performance, Videos, Hatchback, Mini

Original Mini Cooper in green with white roof - video screencap

Electric Federal has taken a fresh look back at the enduring legacy of original Mini with a video interview with Heritage Garage’s Graham Reid, one of the foremost experts on classic Minis. As Electric Federal points out, it’s important to remember that the Mini did not start out as a performance car. It was built in response to the Suez Canal crisis of the mid-50s, which had a similar effect on British gas prices as OPEC did on American prices in the 1970s – rationing and rapid price jumps.

Through the years, Minis have grown from their budget roots to become seriously competent performance machines. As Reid says, a 150-horsepower Mini on the right track should have no problem outpacing a contemporary Porsche 911.

For some time now, classic Mini owners have been dropping Honda engines under the tiny hoods of their classics. With up to 250 horsepower pulling a car that tips the scales at barely 1,200 pounds, the upgraded Mini is “a real sleeper,” Reid says. Interestingly, Reid doesn’t mention another increasingly common swap in the Mini community – Suzuki Hayabusa-powered Coopers.

Modern Mini owners, you haven’t been entirely left out – we’re glad to see that Reid isn’t a Mini enthusiast that discounts the newer models launched under BMW. In the video, a Chili Red R53 Cooper S sits right alongside a classic model in a similar color. Check out all the fun in the video below.

Continue reading Honda engines and giant killing in the classic Mini Cooper

Honda engines and giant killing in the classic Mini Cooper originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: F1 2013 game to feature ‘classic’ cars from ’80s and ’90s

Filed under: Videos, Toys/Games

Codemasters’ series of Formula One games focus heavily on realism, both in terms of physics and appearance. Every team, every car and every driver are represented, with every track recreated in high definition and exacting detail.

This attention to detail is only reflected if you’re looking at modern F1, though. The market for video games that show the sport’s past is disappointingly bleak. For F1 2013, the latest installment in the yearly franchise, that’s set to change.

For the first time, Codemasters will explore F1’s past with cars, drivers, and tracks from the 1980s and 1990s. This is, of course, in addition to the modern content the game is known so well for. The content from the 1980s is available regardless of which version of F1 2013 is bought, giving gamers access to five cars from Ferrari, Williams and Lotus. Ten drivers will also be added to the game, including greats like Nigel Mansell, Mario Andretti, and Gerhard Berger. Finally, Circuito de Jerez and Brands Hatch, former homes of the Spanish and British Grands Prix, respectively, have been added.

Believe us, though, you want to spend however much extra is demanded for the Classic Edition of F1 2013. The 1990s content, which is standard with the Classic Edition, adds new cars from Ferrari and Williams, along with seven legendary drivers, like David Coulthard, Alain Prost and others (that being code for Ayrton Senna, we think). Two extra tracks have been added, as well. Estoril, former home of the Portuguese Grand Prix, joins the legendary Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the track more commonly known as Imola.

F1 2013 hits stores the fall, and will be available for Playstation 3, XBox 360, and PC. There’s no word on whether it will be ported to the next-gen systems. Scroll down for the official trailer of F1 2013 Classic Edition, as well as the official press release.

Continue reading F1 2013 game to feature ‘classic’ cars from ’80s and ’90s

F1 2013 game to feature ‘classic’ cars from ’80s and ’90s originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Watch this story of a father, a son and a classic Plymouth on Father’s Day

Filed under: Classics, Convertible, Videos, Specialty

Father's Day Plymouth

They met in high school. Bev was a cheerleader, Joe played sports. The pair got married, and the first car they shared, driving off into their mutual futures together on their wedding day, was a 1948 Plymouth convertible. As is often the case with first cars – and especially cars as classically stylish and memorable as the Plymouth – they were left with nothing but fond memories after being forced to sell the car after Joe was drafted into the military.

Fast forward 60 years and their son has pulled off a brilliant surprise. The result of which is summed up rather nicely by Bev herself: “Uh oh. Grandpa’s got tears.” And you may, too. Scroll down below to see the video, produced and shared by Hagerty, for yourself.

Happy Father’s Day from the crew here at Autoblog.

Continue reading Watch this story of a father, a son and a classic Plymouth on Father’s Day

Watch this story of a father, a son and a classic Plymouth on Father’s Day originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 16 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Classic Recreations unleashes Shelby GT500CR Venom

Filed under: Classics, Performance, Ford

Classic Recreations Shelby GT500CR Venom

Classic Recreations Shelby GT500CR Venom – Click above for high-res image gallery

Fresh off helping the Oklahoma State Legislature to write a new law to help restorers of vintage cars, Classic Recreations has announced the availability of the “Venom” version of its Shelby GT500CR. From the outside, the Venom appears to be identical to the standard GT500CR model, but under the hood lurks a ProCharger F1-R centrifugal supercharger to boost output of the 427-cubic-inch V8 to 780 horsepower.

There are some subtle changes to the rest of the car, as well. Inside is a set of racing-style bucket seats and a 200-mph speedometer, while the suspension has been upgraded and wider Nitto NT555 series tires added to help handle the extra horsepower.

Classic Recreations has released a bevy of photos of the Shelby GT500CR Venom, which you can see in the gallery below, or hit the jump to see a video of the car in action as well as a list of full features and specifications.

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Classic Recreations unleashes Shelby GT500CR Venom originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 May 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mullin Automotive Museum steps closer to bringing classic Bugatti coupe to life

Filed under: Concept Cars, Classics, Bugatti, Design/Style

1939 bugatti type 64 coupe

1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe – Click above for high-res image gallery

Peter Mullin is nuts for classic French cars. His Mullin Automotive Museum is a beautiful shrine to a very specific period of automotive history. One particular vehicle in his collection is Jean Bugatti’s unfinished 1939 Type 64 Coupe. Jean was Ettore’s oldest son, and he died while test driving the Le Mans-winning Type 57 C. His Type 64 Coupe chassis never got the body that Bugatti hoped to have built for it… but Mr. Mullin is going to change that.

Using Jean Bugatti’s sketches as a guide, Mullin has partnered with Stewart Reed Design to develop a vision of what the car should look like. Now, that pair is joined by Mike Kleeves of Automobile Metal Shaping Company, which means that team officially have someone on their team capable of bringing this bit of conceptual art into the physical world.

For more on the Type 64, check out the up-close look at the car we experienced during a field trip to the Mullin Museum in 2010.

Gallery: 1939 Bugatti Type 64

1939 Bugatti Type 641939 Bugatti Type 641939 Bugatti Type 64

Gallery: Mullin Museum: Bugatti Type 64 Coupe Chassis

Photos copyright (C)2011 by Drew Phillips/AOL

[Source: Mullin Automotive Museum]

Continue reading Mullin Automotive Museum steps closer to bringing classic Bugatti coupe to life

Mullin Automotive Museum steps closer to bringing classic Bugatti coupe to life originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Apr 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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