Good news, you can start a collection and have fun, without spending all your fortune on it. The advice of Gautier Rossignol, associate director at Aguttes, in the collector’s car department, to achieve this.
L’Express: How has the collector’s car market evolved over the long term?
Gautier Rossignol: In the 1980s, it experienced rampant speculation, which came to an abrupt end in 1992. Sales resumed in the early 2000s. Then in 2012, the market experienced a very strong resurgence of interest, with an average increase prices of more than 470% in three years! A Ferrari F40, for example, sold for around 280,000 euros in 2012 and 1 million euros in 2015. After this very rapid increase, prices eroded, which signaled the end of the speculative wave. However, the market remains very dynamic and certain models retain a high rating.
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What are the most popular models?
There is not just one market for vintage cars, because you have to think in terms of generations. The first is those of the ancestors, built between 1890 and 1904, followed by the pre-war ones, which date from 1905 to 1949. Then the period of the golden age of the automobile goes from the 1950s to the 1970s or 1980, according to experts. Finally the market « youngtimers », with cars from 1980 to 2000 or 2010. This distinction between the periods of construction is important, because collectors generally prefer models that marked their youth. As over the past ten years, our market has become much younger, buyers in their forties prefer youngtimers, while the previous generation still favors the golden age.
What criteria determine the rating of a classic car?
Firstly the rarity, because some models were produced in limited numbers, and others are kept for a very long time by their owners and seldom put on sale. Then the production period and the brand, some enjoying a higher rating, such as Ferrari for example. Finally, the history of the car, if it belonged to a personality, the fact that it is a first or second hand model, whether it is in original condition or has been restored, damaged or not , plays on its rating.
You also have to take into account the nature of the car, those that have raced and won rallies or Grands Prix are highly sought after today and their value is rising. But here too, we must distinguish the prototype models from the grand touring models and the beautiful road sedans. For example, a Ferrari 250 GTO which raced under the brand’s colors and won the sports car championship is worth between 70 and 75 million euros. A Porsche 906 that raced in the 1960s and remained in the hands of privateers is worth around 2.5 million and a Jaguar E-type modified to be eligible for historic races sells for around 250,000 euros.
Do you have to be a millionaire to get into this type of collection?
Not at all, it is possible to start from 5,000 euros, the price of a Diane Citroën for example. But, in this case, it will be necessary to start with popular cars which are not qualified for the competitions. Whatever the model, our market is very fragmented and there is not really an official rating. It is possible to buy from a specialized merchant, on a dedicated site, from an individual via classified ads or in an auction house.
What precautions should be taken before acquiring a vintage car?
Always buy a car that you love with your heart and that meets the use you intend to make of it. The model must make its owner dream so that he wants to drive it. It is also a necessity to preserve the value of a car, because if it does not run, it is damaged. Then, it is necessary to make an acquisition at the height of its means, taking into account the purchase price but also the cost of maintenance.
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It is always necessary to have additional funds to be able to face an unforeseen repair. This is one of the main problems with car collections, because many buyers forget that an old car can hold unpleasant surprises. Finally, it is necessary to surround yourself with professionals capable of detecting the authenticity of the parts and the quality of the repairs and able to give a real value of expertise. Because there are many counterfeits of original cars and you have to have a good eye to detect them.
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