Happy New Year 2023!
Volume 48 Issue 1
Jan 8, 2023
Happy New Year! 2023 will be filled with events and auctions. The market appears to be on the upswing. Choosing which event, auction or Ferrari you want will be difficult.
Wow, it’s 2023 already. The Cavallino Classic is right around the corner, Amelia Island won’t be far behind and Pebble Beach will be the highlight for concours again this year.
Weekends will fill up fast with local shows and those that require greater planning and logistics to attend. Looks like 2023 will be another fun-filled year with too many car events and too little time.
Throw in a few auctions like Scottsdale, Rétromobile and Monterey and you have the makings of another full year to satisfy the car crazy inside us all.
It would appear the Ferrari market is well. Prices have been on the rise and inventory is still good. I think the real surprise has been the supercar market which seems to have bounced back with some exceptional auction sales, especially the F50s.
Other models continue to hold good values and exceptional cars have brought exceptional prices and as usual, those exceptional sales tend to bring the market up as a whole.
Optimism in the market abounds. Two years ago, I suggested it would be a good time to buy. While the market still had a chance of further declines, I felt the bottom was near.
Here we are two years later, and I believe the trend line is clearly headed in the upward direction. As our founder, Gerald Roush famously opined, “You can never pay too much, you can only buy too soon.”
As values begin to climb again it would be better to get the car you’ve been dreaming of than wait until the next cycle.
Why the optimism? The elections in America are over. We can be sure of what the political future will hold for the next two years. Congress has just spent like drunken sailors on a weekend pass and like it or not, that money will flow into the hands of the connected businesses which will put more dollars into the economy. Prosperity for all!
Worldwide economies are still facing some difficulties, but I think most have come to accept the hardship and the well-off will be able to withstand the economics better than the masses.
Baring any massive stupidity among warlike nations I believe we will head into some cooling off period that will bolster economic stability for at least the short term.
I don’t know enough about the real estate market in other countries, but here in America there is a looming housing crisis. Mortgage pricing is up, home sales are slowing, and more people are renting than buying.
That entire scenario could be cause for an article just on its own, but I’m here for the Ferrari market.
While each of these economic indicators are important collectively, they have an effect on the Ferrari market in general. The largest factor is there is something tangible in owning an automobile.
Ferraris and other collectible cars do well in turbulent economic times. Cars are not investments. Cars are not investments. Yes, I did say that twice.
When the total cost of a vehicle (Ferrari and others) is factored, few, and I mean few, automobiles make money. That’s not to say money can’t be made with cars, but not as much as you might think.
When the initial purchase price along with maintenance, insurance, storage, etc., are accounted for, most cars will not make a profit. Add in some restoration cost and you can be sure it would be difficult to reach the break-even point.
250 MM Vignale Spider
Yes, I hear you in the background. I bought my XYZ for cheap and over the last twenty-five years it has brought me joy and pleasure, and I sold it for far more than I paid.
Was it registered? Did you pay the ad valorem tax each year? Ever pay to have it worked on, restored? Have you kept each and every receipt? After you sell, will you have to pay capital gains taxes?
If you are lucky, the Ferrari is the only car you have ever made money on. All the others were an expense.
None of that reduces the passion for cars in general. When it comes to Ferraris the passion overrides most common sense.
Why do collector cars do well in difficult economic times? Because it is a hard asset. You can touch it, feel it, enjoy looking at it or driving it. When other forms of investments begin to feel shaky having a collection provides comfort in the ability to see where your money is.
Collector cars are also a global market. If you needed to sell, the market might be better in some other country than the one you live in. While real estate requires location, location, location to be valuable, automobiles can be sold to the market that can provide the best value.
I think right now Americans have the strongest market. The dollar is nearly equal to the Pound and Euro which makes the dollar go farther in buying power. This may trend for more Ferraris to immigrate to the states.
There have been many cycles in the past where Ferraris have crossed oceans to accumulate in other countries. Japan was large in the mid-1990s and Europe has had several times with large movement of Ferraris to the continent.
How long will collector cars and Ferraris specifically be in high demand? I believe the next cycle has already started. We have passed the bottom and all models are seemingly trending upward.
When will it stop? When will we reach the top of the market? Hey, I just track history, I can’t predict the future. If I did, I would have made several fortunes throughout the many cycles of the market.
My life has been noted to be along the lines of “Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, administrate.” History does repeat itself and I try to observe the trends and put them into context.
So, to summarize. The market appears to be on the way up. Some cars will do better than others. F50s are hot right now. Other Supercars may follow that trend.
‘A’ list cars, top-notch restorations, no stories, low-mileage, well-kept original cars will continue to lead the market. Even second tier cars like 308, 328, Testarossa, and I’ve seen some 348/355 cars with exceptional pedigree go for top dollar.
It is good to see many of the “lesser” Ferraris getting restored. There was a time when Ferraris like the 250 GTE and 330 GT were never going to be lavished with a proper restoration. It was worth restoring a 250 GT PF Cabriolet, but there was no way the same could be said for the coupe version.
Today, many of these cars are being treated to proper preservation and restorations. There are restorations taking place on 308 GTBs and 308 GT4s. As values go up, the possibility of restoring and not completely throwing money away begin to make sense.
But wait, you said cars are not investments! Yes, that is still true. Many an advisor will advocate to purchase a Ferrari, or any collector car, that has already been restored. Restorations require a certain amount of deep pockets, a love for the car, and a hearty constitution to stomach the never-ending bills that come with a full restoration.
Sure, the costs can be high, but the rewards can also be high. You will never get to put a car on the 18th fairway without putting the time, effort and money into a full-on restoration. There is a satisfaction that comes from displaying your special work of art for all to see and be graded upon the quality of that restoration with a trophy.
We can see the Ferrari market in many different lights. While not every Ferrari has investment potential, some will increase the coffers of an individual. I will still contend it is more luck than precise planning and timing of the market.
As a hedge against loss of funds, the Ferrari will tend to hold its value. When most items are consumable, a Ferrari has lasting value. That value is in the beauty of the design and the quality of the Ferrari.
Which is why most Ferraris are well taken care of because the owners see the value in keeping the car in top shape and the perceived value makes spending the money on improvements justifiable.
Then there is the ego of showing the Ferrari and sharing the car for all to see. Beautiful cars become beautiful art and when Ferraris are displayed it becomes difficult to distinguish between the two.
Where do we get to see exceptional Ferraris? You must go to where they congregate, like Cavallino, or Pebble Beach, or even a local show in your area.
Soon, the first large show to kick off the year will be held in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Cavallino Classic is right around the corner. There you will see the unique and common Ferrari presented in all the glory they deserve.
Beautiful cars with loving owners who have sacrificed their time and money keep these special cars in concours condition. To be displayed in competition to determine which ones deserve a coveted Platino award.
Award or not, every Ferrari is loved by its owner and has been brought to be displayed and enjoyed by others who have the same passion and desire to own one of these special machines.
Competition cars hold a special place in Ferrari history. Much of the Ferrari reputation has been built upon the victories of Ferrari’s racing machines. This year Cavallino is honoring 70 years of the 250 MM, 340 MM, 625 TR and 735 Sport.
These racing cars are rare and varied in their bodywork, the small quantities each was made in will showcase Ferrari’s early days in racing. This will show when just a few cars carried the flag for Ferrari to victory.
A 60-year celebration will also be held for the 330 LMB and 250 P race cars when racing was transitioning from gentleman driving a combination street/race car to purpose-built racing cars.
The 60-year anniversary also extends to the 330 America. While the body looks like a GTE the final fifty cars carried the larger 330 engine making this model not only rare but unique in the evolution of Ferrari’s production car for the discerning connoisseur.