The Price Was Steadily Increasing
As recently as five years ago, the luxury star cars topped $9 million. In contrast, and for the first time ever, the biggest sale this January was for the Bullitt Mustang, which went for $3.74 million. This begs the question, where have the top consignments gone? Many believe those are held back exactly because the market is trending down, just as it did before the recession in 2007. Another factor is that the tax advantage that some collectors used to roll over gains from the sale of one luxury car into the purchase of another, has been eliminated.
The Tides Have Changed
Today, the high-end buyers keep paying top dollars, but only for the rarest of cars. Overall, the number of million-dollar car sales went down, and those that did sell went for less than their established values.
Another notable difference is that there are now too many auction events, too many auction companies, and too many cars. Some of these cars are offered with distressing regularity, and such circumstances usually lead to prices going down further.
In the current market, more data becomes available when it comes to evaluating various offers, and fewer people are willing to let emotions lead them to paying high-bid prices that are much beyond accepted norms. Tastes change as well, and that can also be a factor as the collector demographic changes. For one, “brass era” cars, from the earliest days of the automotive industry, are considered mere novelties and have extremely limited utility. Fortunately, the most desirable luxury cars, like Ferraris or Bugattis, tend to keep changing owners through private transactions and events.