Looking back at the auction year with Adolfo Orsi Jr.

If you thought the auction rooms around the world felt a little flat this season, you needn’t have worried. The insight in the 21st edition of the Classic Car Yearbook, co-authored by automotive historians Adolfo Orsi Jr. and Raffaele Gazzi, in reality, paints a much more positive picture...

With the international auction houses’ gavels almost ready for their short winter slumber, the recently launched Classic Car Yearbook can reveal a total turnover of 1.2bn US dollars from September 2015 to the end of August 2016 – just 1.5% down on last year’s figure and, while the percentage of cars sold dropped from 78% to 72, more cars actually found new homes (4,044 plays 4,036). Other points to note include the significant reduction of pre-sale estimates on certain models and the burgeoning interest in modern classics, indicative of a new, younger generation of collectors entering the market. Both are telling of a slower but healthier and more sustainable market.

Artcurial retained its ‘Top Sale’ award from last year, with the 1957 Ferrari 335 S it sold in Paris in February for 32,075,000 euros, while the Ferrari marque itself – the undisputed honey of the collector-car world – counted for 30% of the total turnover, with 236 more examples offered this year than the 576 offered last year. For plenty more insight and expert analysis into the market, including the top-ten highest-selling cars from the 2015-2016 season and interesting details about how the auction world has evolved since 1993, a copy of Historica Selecta’s new Classic Car Yearbook is an essential addition to any collector’s coffee table this winter. 

Photos: RM Sotheby's, Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2016