A wealth report by independent global property consultancy Knight Frank has revealed that 8.5 percent of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI) worldwide own a Mercedes-Benz 300SL, making it the most collected classic automobile. The German vintage car is followed by the Ferrari 275 GTB/4 (4.1 percent) and Shelby Cobra (2.6 percent)
The Wealth Report 2016 included a Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII), which measured the luxury investments made by UHNWIs (net worth over US$ 30 million excluding primary residence). The KFLII tracks the performance of 10 investments of passion by the ‘wealthy people’. The trend was topped by Classic cars (+17%) and furniture (-6%) made up the rear end. Although no classic car managed to beat the record set by Bonhams in 2014 when it auctioned a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta for US$ 38 million, eight of the 25 cars ever to have sold for over US$ 10 million at auction went under the hammer in 2015. These included all-time high results for Jaguar C-Type (US$ 13.2 million), Porsche (US$ 10.1 million) and, interestingly because of its youth, McLaren (US$ 13.75 million).
Despite this, Dietrich Hatlapa, analyst of Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI), says growth is considerably lower than for the 12 months to September 2014, when the HAGI Top Index zoomed up by 25%. Hatlapa says the collector market is reacting to a downturn in global liquidity and potential interest rate rises.
Wealth-X’s Madelaine Ollivier and Ben Kinnard said in the report, “In order to navigate the intricacies of doing business in emerging markets such as Africa, brands will have to re-calibrate their product offerings. We have seen more top-end marques such as Bentley release off-road models more suited to rougher roads. Appealing to a rapidly growing and youthful population heavily influenced by the strength of the continent’s online community is also key for luxury marketers to get right.”