HomeThe MarketHagerty sees sales down 7 percent this year at Monterey auctions

Hagerty sees sales down 7 percent this year at Monterey auctions


D-type Jaguar on RM Sotheby’s docket won the 24 Hours of Le Mans | RM Sotheby’s photo

‘As usual,” Hagerty reports in its annual pre-Monterey Car Week news release, “this year’s Monterey sales will tell the story of how the top of the market is faring.”

In that regard, Hagerty expects total sales of $370 million, a 7 percent decline from the 2015 figure.

“The difference is that all but the best of the best examples at this level have lost some momentum through the first seven months of 2016 with fewer cars of this caliber coming to market and sales rates tracking lower than recent averages,” the company’s news release explained.

1959 Ferrari 250 California Spider on Gooding & Co. docket | Gooding & Co. photo

“The 2016 Monterey dockets are stacked with more cars above the $10 million threshold than last year,” the announcement said, “so results above our projections will demonstrate that buyers continue to spend for those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

“If the overall results fall short of our projections, it will almost certainly be due to hesitancy at this level.”

However, Hagerty noted, “So far this year the ‘entry level’ market has been strong, which we expect to persist in California.”

As justification for its projection, Hagerty pointed to:

  • The total number of cars with high estimates of at least $1 million is 123. This is down from the past two years (129 in 2015 and 135 in 2014).
  • The number of cars with $10 million-plus high estimates is 11 (slightly up from 10 in both 2015 and 2014).
  • There is an increase in the number of 2010 and newer cars being offered this year.  This year they make up 4 percent of all cars offered in Monterey.  Last year they were only 2 percent and year prior was less than 1 percent.
  •  1950s and 1960s cars are appearing less at Monterey Auctions. Vehicles from the ‘50s has been steadily decreasing since 2009 when it peaked at 29 percent of all lots offered.  This year they only represent 16 percent of all offerings. Further, the number of vehicles from the ‘60s has been steadily decreasing the last two years from a peak of 34 percent in 2014. This year they represent only 27 percent of all auction offerings at Monterey.Monterey Auction Totals - 2006-2015 w Trendline


After examining all auction dockets, Hagerty came up with this list of the 10 most valuable vehicles being offered at Monterey:

1955 Jaguar D-type Roadster (RM Sotheby’s)
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider (RM Sotheby’s)
1959 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Spider (closed headlight) (Gooding & Company)
1962 Shelby Cobra 260 (RM Sotheby’s)
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione (Gooding & Company)
1933 Alfa Romeo 8C (Gooding & Company)
1932 Bugatti Type 55 (Gooding & Company)
1958 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Spider (closed headlight) (RM Sotheby’s)
1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB (Gooding & Company)
1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF COUPE (RM Sotheby’s)

Chart traces Monterey auction totals for the past 9 years and projects 2016 | Hagerty

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
  1. I believe the assessment of 2016 likely results is spot-on. European buyers, which have been a large contingent in the past few years because of currency strength in the Euro and Pound, will certainly be less of a factor. I agree with the most desirable choices, and note that, as usual, all are from RM and Gooding. Will the interest in late-model supercars hold, or is this a fad? We will have the answers in about 10 days.

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