Classic Car Auction Yearbook 2010 – 2011

David Gooding and Charlie Ross sell the $7,260,000 (with premium) 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider at Pebble Beach 2010

Once again bringing order to the tangled world of seemingly ever-soaring classic car prices, experts Adolfo Orsi and Raffaele Gazzi have published the 2010 – 2011 edition of the collectors’ ‘bible’, the Classic Car Auction Yearbook.

As in previous years, the redoubtable Italian duo have painstakingly collated the published auction results of the world’s most significant companies to produce an overview of a 12-month collecting period that starts with the August Pebble Beach-week sales and finishes at the end of the following July.

During a fascinating launch at the Royal Automobile Club, London last month (the morning of the RM sale), Adolfo Orsi presented the latest volume, commenting that, “It’s a shame that we have to put the same car on the cover so many times... but then it is a Ferrari!”

The car to which he was referring was the $7,260,000 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider sold at Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction in 2010. Ferrari is the leading collectors’ marque in the world - by some margin - and the book examines the Maranello company in the greatest depth.

Average price achieved, Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing' Average price achieved, Aston Martin DB4

As an example, Ferrari enthusiasts can view auction data (since 1994) of the number of cars offered, number of cars sold and average price achieved. So, you’ll learn that 156 Ferraris were offered in the 1995-1996 season, 66% sold at auction and the average price was $43,000. Surprising, eh?

Compare that with the 198 cars, 69% and whopping $567,000 average seen in 2010-2011. If only you’d bought a... well, you know the principle.

And, of course, each car offered at auction is catalogued in detail, with chassis number, estimate and sales price including premium converted to sterling, euros and US dollars at the rate existing at the time of the event. ‘Not Solds’ are recorded, too.

Overview: percentage of cars sold Overview: total auction sales, $USm

In addition, separate charts break sales down by manufacturing period. So you can see the rise of the ‘Post-War Classic’ and the relative decline of ‘Veteran’ and ‘Antique’. "Sell, sell those Rear-Entrance Tonneaus and buy, buy 275 GTB futures..." I say - in jest, of course.

Before the heavy number-crunching, the book opens with an editorial summary entitled ‘Market analysis’. It's by both the authors and leading lights of the classic car auction business.

All in all, another superb, indispensible book that should be on every collector's bookshelf.

The book is available from specialised booksellers (such as Chaters, in the UK) worldwide at 44.90 euros / £44.90 + P&P.

For further information, please email the publishers, Historica Selecta SRL: [email protected].

Text - Steve Wakefield
Photos - Historica Selecta / © Gooding & Company

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