Market Busters of 2021

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

Ferrari F40

Image credit: RM Sotheby’s
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

Image credit: Gooding and Company
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

Image credit: Bonhams
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

Image credit: PCARMARKET
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

Image credit: Bring a Trailer
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

Image credit: RM Sotheby’s
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

Image credit: Bring a Trailer
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

Image credit: Bring a Trailer
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

Image credit: Bonhams
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

Image credit: Collecting Cars
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

Image credit: RM Sotheby’s
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

Image credit: Cars & Bids
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.

Which markets do you think will be Busters in 2022? Let us know in the comments.

One thought on “Market Busters of 2021

  1. 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.

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