Saturday, August 24, 2013
Why a $27,000,000 Ferrari is just the beginning of a bigger story
While having lunch in a charming Russian café I glanced down at an article on Flipboard about the recent RM automobile auction in Monterey California, it had made national news since a prize 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 sold for a staggering $27,000,000. However rare vintage Ferrari's such as the much sought after GTO have been going for millions for some time now; this one however just raised the bar. What I found more intriguing about this particular auction was that more modern Ferrari's such as the F40 and F50 were now selling for around the $1.5 million mark. The F50 for instance when released in 1995 sold for around a half million and is now selling for three times this price. The Monterey auction overall watched three hundred million dollars trade hands… to some this may seem absurd, people may wonder why these types of cars have become so valuable as of late.
The truth to the matter is due to hardships in the economy the people who have the money to invest are investing in the rare and unique items that could be sold and shipped on a worldwide market. It is the exclusivity that is worth so much and fine automobiles fit the bill better than just about anything; especially automobiles that have great historic significance.
A number of my clients have such automobiles and sometimes even duplicates. Finical advisers have told them to invest in things that they are passionate about and have broad appeal.
Historic automobiles are not the only chips on the table, if you have been paying attention to the modern supercar market as of late you will also notice a high number of special edition or exclusive vehicles such as uniquely painted, tuned or modified Bugatti Veyron’s (Pur Sang, Sang Bleu, Sang Noir ,etc.. ) the 3.9 million dollar Lamborghini Veneno , McLaren’s new P1 or the La Ferrari. Most buyers of these ultra-rare supercars are actually notified of these automobiles for purchase before the public even knows they exist, this is because many of these investors already own several automobiles from these manufactures; needless to say most of this exclusive automobiles are sold before they are even listed as “for sale”.
Then there are the cars not supposedly for sale such as the Lamborghini Egoista but something tells me in this type of market there is always a price if the offers get high enough (nothing gets the demand up like a one off thing that no one else is allowed to have.)
For those who don’t want to wait for the crown jewels from high end automakers, you can have one custom made if you have enough prestige and money. Ferrari actually has a “Special Projects” department that creates one of a kind Ferrari's such as Eric Clapton’s Ferrari SP12 EC. Many specialized tuning shops also can create exclusivity such as MEC Design, Mansory or Hennessey tuning, transforming the engines and body style to make the standout exotics stand out even more.
For me as an automobile photographer times are quite good, demand is up to not only shoot cars for auction but to also photograph and preserve recently acquired cars for historical reference, something that will be immensely valuable to car owners for future auctions. I shot several cars that sold in the Monterey Auction and I don’t see the demand for such vehicles fading away anytime soon.
Call me biased but I am happy to see an era of high appreciation for fine automobiles. To me, I see these automobiles as works of art both in engineering and visual design. Few things can invoke such a joyful reaction as a stunning automobile at a show, on the track or out on the open highway.
Photos and story ©2013 Savage Land Pictures