Auction Results, May 2022

In a whirlwind that saw the highest sale ever at an auction and 9 of the top 10 sales over $2M each, the top end of the classic car market made a huge splash this month. But when you look beyond the stellar auctions in Monaco, we are still seeing trends that have been pointing to a market plateau for the past few months. Let’s dig into the numbers:

The overall sell-through rate is back to 2019 levels at 66.5%, and the average sale is holding steady with 2021 (at $54,860 if you take out the top sale of €135M). And while we saw a 30% increase in listings sold, many of those are mid-market cars sold online – further showing the effect that online auctions and the associated increase of younger buyers are having on the industry as a whole.


Top 10 Sales, May 2022

May 2022 saw some very special cars cross the block, mostly courtesy of RM’s Monaco auction. The most noteworthy was the aforementioned Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé. Based on the highly successful W196 Grand Prix car, this is possibly the most remarkable piece of motoring history ever to cross the block. A handful of other very special race cars also crossed the block this past month – two of these are a 1991 Williams FW14 and a 1989 Ferrari 640, both ex-Nigel Mansell driven Grand Prix-winning cars, hailing from his own personal collection. Not as valuable, but equally spectacular, this 1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 is one of the Italian marque’s most celebrated race cars and perhaps one of the best-looking ones to cross the block. 

Aside from these iconic race cars, some notable sports cars also top the list. The most valuable one was this La Ferrari Aperta sold by Bring a Trailer, one of only 210 examples produced of the open-top version of La Ferrari. Curiously enough, the next in value is another rare, open-top version of a Ferrari: a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider, of which only 122 were built. Last but not least, we must mention this incredibly special Lamborghini Miura P400SV, one of 150 examples produced of the last and most powerful variant of the Lamborghini Miura. 


Top 10 Flips, May 2022

A "Flip" is defined as a car for which we have a previous sale record, so we can determine the net gain and time since the previous sale. Obviously, it's possible that cars have changed hands in private sales between these public listings, but nevertheless it provides great insight into the market to see which cars sold this month for substantial gains over their previous sales.


Comparing Online vs Live Auctions

For our fellow data geeks out there that want to dig in deeper to the difference between Online vs Live auctions in the past 5 years, here you go!


Auctions included in the above charts for May 2022:


Header photo credit: Ola Källenius (left) Mercedes-Benz’s chairman, and Renata Jungo Bruengger, a member of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, stand before the record-breaking 1955 coupé. Source: Mercedes-Benz via Bloomberg


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