After boom years, vintage car market cools ahead of Zurich auction

Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:59am EDT
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By John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters) - After years of double digit growth, the price of vintage cars has stopped soaring and they may no longer be seen as the smart choice for wealthy investors, some of whom will attend an auction of valuable autos in Zurich this weekend.

With global interest rates at ultra-low levels and stock markets in the doldrums, classic cars had joined property, paintings, and wine as attractive alternative investments.

As a result, prices of cars like classic Porsches and Jaguars surged around 16 percent in both 2014 and 2015 following a near 47 percent rise in 2013, according to data from Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI), a consultancy.

But the brakes have been applied this year, with average prices rising by around 1 percent, according to HAGI.

"It's not a bubble and it's not bursting, but the market is going sideways at the moment," said HAGI's Dietrich Hatlapa, adding that supply had caught up with demand.

"The boom times appear to be over, but the market is resilient and high quality cars will continue to be sold at top prices."

Oldtimer Galerie International, which is organizing the car auction in Zurich this weekend, also expects the market to cool.

"The market can't always go up," said Beat Leu from the company. "It is impossible to rise, rise, rise."   Continued...

A 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GT (front) is shown with other vintage cars during a preview of an auction by Swiss Oldtimer Galerie International in Zurich, Switzerland June 10, 2016.    REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann