Welcome to our list of “Market Busters” for 2021 – a list of 12 classic car markets that out-performed their benchmark over the last year.
We evaluated each market’s average sales performance in the US in 2021 against the CLASSIC.COM Market Benchmark (CMB)*, which includes data from the past 5 years. The “Buster level” shows how this year’s sales out-performed the CMB for each market.
We’ve broken the Market Busters into 4 value tiers:
- Average price over $1M
- Average price between $250K-1M
- Average price between $100K-250K
- Average price under $100K
Enjoy this list of beauties – and if you have one in your collection, congratulations!
* The CLASSIC.COM Market Benchmark (CMB) represents a benchmark value for vehicles in a market based on data accumulated by CLASSIC.COM, calculated by our proprietary algorithm. Actual market value for a specific vehicle will depend on various elements, including the condition of the vehicle.
Market Busters: Average Price Over $1 Million
Buster level: 31%
Some say the F40 is the last proper Ferrari, as it was the last car Enzo Ferrari approved for production. 2021 saw 5 of these sold stateside, all of them low-mileage, highly-original examples, fetching on average $2.17M and a total of $10.9M.
Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
Buster level: 20%
The 300SL Roadster was the open-top variant of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL (W198). Although all 12 sales this year were impressive, there was one especially distinguishable sale: this beautifully restored last-year-production 1963 example which sold at Gooding Pebble Beach for US$3.09M, making it the second-highest sale at auction in the past 5 years.
Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
Buster level: 11%
Priced slightly above its younger Roadster sibling, the iconic Gullwing saw 5 sales averaging $1.5M and fetching $7.5M in sales. Unlike the Roadster though, the Gullwing saw much more stable sales this past year, as well as a more moderate buster level. However, we weren’t surprised when we saw this one make the list, as it’s hard for icons to get overlooked in a bull-market.
Market Busters: Average Price Between $250K-1M
Porsche 911 Turbo S – 993
Buster level: 54%
The 993 Turbo S is possibly one of the most special and rare high-performance, non-RS or GT cars that Porsche ever made; only 345 were ever built. The three sales that took place in 2021 fetched $1.2M in total, averaging $597K and having the highest Buster level of the entire list.
Porsche Carrera GT
Buster level: 43%
The Carrera GT was a mid-engined, V10 high performance sports car developed by Porsche as a concept in 2000, and produced between 2003 and 2007. Even though only 3 sales took place in the US in 2021, they fetched $3.8M altogether, averaging $1.27M and a Buster level of 43%. There are already 2 up for auction in January 2022, and it won’t be a surprise to see the prices stay strong.
Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series II
Buster level: 23%
The Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series II was Ferrari’s bet in the mid 1960’s for a two-door, four-seater touring car – featuring a 4.0 L, V12 engine, and a series of technical upgrades from the Series I. It is perhaps the epitome of the mid-60’s Italian Berlinetta, which could be why it performed so strong this past year: 5 sales took place, averaging $342K and totaling $1.7M.
Market Busters: Average Price Between $100K-250K
1968 Porsche 911 – Base Model
Buster level: 42%
The ‘68 911 base model was the last short wheel-base 911, available in both Coupe and Targa versions. Even though we only saw five sales in 2021, it’s worth marking the difference between the lowest and highest sale: the highest being a professionally-restored soft-window Targa that sold for $257K in Monterey, whilst the lowest was a standard Targa featuring matching numbers and a few performance upgrades that sold for $65.5K on Bring a Trailer. Despite the variability, we saw another interesting point worth mentioning: a $107K flip for this Targa, which was sold in April for $100K and then again in December for $207K. These few, but strong, sales is what helped this SWB 911 make it into our list, averaging $159K per sale and fetching $795K in total.
Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet – 3.3 Liter – 930
Buster level: 35%
The Cabriolet version of the 930 – Porsche’s first turbo-charged 911 – was only produced for two years. As a rarer variant of the iconic 930, it’s no wonder that the Cabriolet saw a Buster Level of 35% from 8 sales averaging $181K and fetching $1.5M in total. Strong vehicles in this market are the highly original, low-mileage cars, all of them fetching sale prices well above the CMB.
Cadillac Eldorado – 4th Gen
Buster level: 34%
The fourth generation of the Eldorado is most known for its large rear tail fins positioned over the rear fenders and finishing over bullet-shaped tail lights. Offered in both sedan, coupe and convertible variants, this market saw a record setting sale in 2021: $330K for a blue convertible in September, well above the average sale price of $195K and contributing to the market’s high performance over its CMB.
Market Busters: Average Price Below $100K
In contrast to the higher-priced markets, markets below $100K had to have at least 10 sales in 2021 to qualify for “Buster” status.
Mercedes-Benz CL500 – C215
Buster level: 32%
Topping the affordable classic tier is the CL500, the 5.0L V8 Luxury Coupe from Mercedes. Averaging $15.3K over 11 sales that added up to $169K, this is the most affordable variant of the C215 CL Class, compared to the CL600 and the performance-focused CL55 and CL65 AMGs. Nonetheless, with a buster-level of 33% it could be a good idea to put yours on the market, especially if it’s a low-mileage example!
Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45 Pickup
Buster level: 31%
The FJ45 was the longer wheelbase version of Toyota’s FJ 40 Series lineup, offered as a pickup, “Troopy”, or LV. The FJ45 Pickup had 20 sales in the US this year, averaging $62K and totaling $1.2M. Its Buster level was slightly pushed up by two high-end restorations, but with 20 sales we can confidently say it’s a strong performer for 2021.
BMW 840Ci – Automatic – E31
Buster level: 30%
The 840Ci was the V8 variant of BMW’s first 8 series line-up, and was only available in Automatic. We saw 11 sales in the US averaging $25.8K and totaling $284.3K in sales, but saw 15 more cars go up for sale in Europe (mainly UK) and another 8 that crossed the block but did not sell. With a Buster level of 31% and 10 sales, it seems that as with the MB CL500, the early 90’s and 2000’s European luxury coupes are seeing the start of a trend for 2022.
One thought on “Market Busters of 2021”
Great post! My votes for 2022 are 2005-2006 Ford GT, 2004-2005 Subaru WRX STi, 1976-1977 Porsche 3.0L Turbo Carrera, Nissan 300ZX TT, Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4.