There was much anticipation as to how the classic car market would perform in 2017. The bears warned we were in a bubble, some argued the bubble had already burst. On the other side of the table the bulls confidently boasted the market would only strengthen with uncertainty in traditional financial markets around the world.

The outcome? Well, it’s a mix of the two in our opinion. Some outstanding cars have come under the hammer this year and performed strongly whilst others have flopped. Interest in the market was strong and prices have edged up as a result, if only slightly, though it isn’t moving upwards as quickly as during previous good year.

Conditions in 2018 look very similar to 2017, but before we jump into predictions lets take a look at look back at last year first.

Number of events in 2017

Collector car auctions 2017 by month

In 2017 we reported on 232 auction events in total, up 1 from 231 in 2017.

Number of lots that went under the hammer in 2017

Collector car lots sold at auction 2017 by month

We tracked 27,869 auction lots; 18,791 sold and 9,078 that remained unsold. By comparison, in 2016; 34,122 lots, 24,742 sold, and 9,380 were unsold.

Value of auction sales in 2017

Collector car auction sales values total 2017 by month

$1,455,522,223 ($1.46 billion) was raised from sales in 2017, down almost $300 million from 2016.

As always we saw a spike in sales during August, dominated by the top tier Monterey auctions.

Top 10 marques by number of sales 2017

car_makecount
CHEVROLET3290
FORD2470
MERCEDES-BENZ1245
PORSCHE868
JAGUAR735
PONTIAC543
BMW483
MG477
FERRARI469
CADILLAC413

There are a larger share of US based auctions in our database which somewhat accounts for the large number of US marques in the top 10 by sales. Over 3,290 Chevrolet’s sold at auctions we tracked this year (down from 5,537 in 2016). Our database has over 20,000 Chevrolet Corvette sales since 2002 alone.

The order of the list remains unchanged compared to 2016.

Top 10 cars by sale value in 2017

Car YearCar MakeCar ModelCar Price
1956ASTON MARTINDBR1$22,550,000
1959FERRARI250 GT LWB CALIFORNIA SPIDER COMPETIZIONE$17,990,000
1995MCLARENF1$15,620,000
1966FERRARI275 GTB/C$14,520,000
1970PORSCHE917 K$14,080,000
2017FERRARILAAPERTA$9,994,030
1959FERRARI250 GT LWB CALIFORNIA SPIDER$9,458,206
1961FERRARI250 GT SWB$8,305,000
1963JAGUARE-TYPE LIGHTWEIGHT$8,000,000
1937BUGATTITYPE 57 S CABRIOLET$7,700,000

Many may be surprised that only 469 Ferrari’s sold this year at auctions we monitored, but 5 of the 10 highest sales by price were all prancing horses.

Number one spot this year by hammer price was taken by a beautiful Aston Martin DBR1 that sold for $22,550,000 at RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2017 sale.

Further analysis

You can explore all of this data and generate your own reports using the Collector Car Price search functionality.

Let us know what you find…