"Shoulda, coulda, woulda..."
Think some of the faces in next week's auctions look familiar? They should – many of this year's cars have crossed the block before, some barely months ago. But if you'd raised your paddle to buy them last time, and were selling now, how clever would you be?
We've compared their original sales prices with predicted mid-estimates for Monterey, to see what gains have been made, and whether the owners’ investments really have been ‘better than gold’ – or London property, Apple stock and other celebrated opportunities for exceptionally high returns.
Factor in auction costs and you'd get a very different picture, of course, as you can see from our in-depth guide to buying and selling at auction.
Timing is everything. The following shows how a total spend of $13.3m in seven different cars has fared – and how things might have turned out had the owners taken a different investment strategy at every stage. Note: original prices, and 2016 values based on mid-estimates, include buyer’s premium.
1. Gooding | 1976 Lamborghini Countach LP400 Periscopica '1120154'. Sold March 2010 $330k, scheduled to gross $1.485m August 2016. Compound Annual Growth 26.4%
2. RM Sotheby's | 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider LWB '1055 GT'. Sold January 2014 $8.8m, scheduled to gross $14.3m August 2016. Compound Annual Growth 20.7%
3. RM Sotheby's | 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback 'BC66LC'. Sold August 2008 $550k, scheduled to gross $1.65m August 2016. Compound Annual Growth 14.7%
4. Gooding | 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 '10497 GT'. Sold August 2008 $1.43m, scheduled to gross $3.74m August 2016. Compound Annual Growth 12.8%
5. Bonhams | 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Owen Sedanca Coupé '117RY'. Sold August 2010 $475.2k, scheduled to gross $770k August 2016. Compound Annual Growth 8.5%
6. Mecum | 1969 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 Spyder 'AM115S1005'. Sold February 2014 $1.0m, scheduled to gross $1.1m August 2016. Compound Annual Growth 5.2%
7. Gooding | 1967 Toyota 2000 GT 'MF10-10128'. Sold August 2014 $1.05m, scheduled to gross $715k August 2016. Compound Annual Growth -17.3%
Average of Compound Annual Growth: Seven classic cars as above, Gold; FTSE 100; Dow Jones Index; Apple Inc.; London prime property; Index of global, multi-strategy hedge funds. Total investment $13.3m, initial investment dates ranging from 08/2008 - 08/2014.
As you can see, $13.3m invested in these seven cars is now a potential $23.8m. With a compound annual growth rate on average of 10.1%, a spread of classic cars as an investment bought over a six-year period and sold today beats many others, including gold and UK and US stock indices. In this example, only shares in Apple (15.4% annual) and prime London property (12.9% annual) offered better returns.
You can probably pat yourself on the back – but wait until next week.
You can download a complete lotlist of all cars offered by Bonhams, Gooding & Co and RM Sotheby's sorted by make and model HERE.
Monterey Week 2016 auction schedule:
Mecum – sales Thursday 18 August to Saturday 20 August. Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, CA 93940. Gates open at 08:00. Auctions at 10:00. See www.mecum.com
Russo & Steele – sales Thursday 18 August to Saturday 20 August. Downtown Monterey on the waterfront by Fisherman’s Wharf, 290 Figueroa Street, Monterey, CA 93940. Auctions at 17:00. See www.russoandsteele.com
Bonhams – sale Friday 19 August. Quail Lodge, 8205 Valley Greens Dr, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923. Auction at 11:00 (preview Wednesday, Thursday, Friday). See www.bonhams.com
RM Sotheby’s – sales Friday 19 August, Saturday 20 August. Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940. Auctions at 19:00 (preview late-afternoon Wednesday, all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday). See www.rmauctions.com
Gooding & Co – sales Saturday 20 August, Sunday 21 August. Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, Corner of Stevenson Drive and Portola Road, Pebble Beach CA 93953. Auctions at 16:00 Saturday 20 August, 18:00 Sunday 21 August (preview Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday). See www.goodingco.com