First Major Live Classic Car Auction since COVID-19 Turns out to Be a Roaring Success

First Major Live Classic Car Auction since COVID-19 Turns out to Be a Roaring Success

The annual Amelia Island classic car auction is arguably the biggest event of its kind in the world. Traditionally held in the first week of March at the Golf Club of Amelia Island, it offers potential buyers hundreds of rare automobiles from all over the world. However, due to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, this year’s live auction took place from May 20 to 23. One unique thing about the 2021 auction is that collectors paid top-dollar for the world’s rare automotive classics. This led to the accumulation of $61.3 million worth of sales, up from $57.2 million in 2020.

Here’s a look at some of the main highlights from this event.

A Few Interesting Statistics

  • The highest sale was a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe. This car was sold for $5,725,000 ($1 million higher than the highest estimate)
  • Ferraris were also among the top 10 best sales, witnessing a 100% sell-through rate.
  • Other high sales were a 1965 Porsche 356 Cabriolet, a 1934 Bugatti Type 57, and a 1971 Jaguar E-Type Series III that were sold at $75,000, $200,000, and $15,000, respectively, exceeding their initial estimates.

Possible Reasons for the Wild Sales

According to industry experts, some of the factors that contributed to the better-than-expected sale prices include:

  • Presence of Serious Buyers Only – In every auction, the audience usually comprises serious buyers and looky-loos. However, in the 2021 annual auction, the audience was largely made up of highly motivated and competitive buyers who wanted to collect rare classics. In other words, the whole event was primarily focused on professional car dealers, brokers, and serious collectors, unlike previous auctions. This led to a surge in the average prices of the prewar cars, as well as increased sell-through rates.
  • Liquidity Spreading to Hard Assets – The COVID-19 pandemic posed a major threat to octogenarians, most of whom started getting more concerned about their own mortality. As such, they opted to spread their liquidity through the sale and purchase of classic cars. This largely contributed to a surge in the buying and selling of prewar cars in the 2021 auction.
  • Rise in Demand for the Roaring ‘20s Classics – In the previous auctions, wealthy octogenarians largely coveted 100-year-old Cruella de Vil-style saloons. On the contrary, the classic cars that were popular during the Roaring ‘20s and early 1930s carried the day during the 2021 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance auction. For instance, while the 1943 Mercedes Benz 500K Sindelfingen Roadster sold for $4.9 million in March 2020, its selling price increased by a whopping 17% in 2021.
  • Online Auction Customer Segmentation – Currently, it is easier to find a prewar car in a gold course such as the Golf Club of Amelia Island than on an online auction website. According to Bloomberg, online auctions are now more suitable for youngtimer cars, rather than the prewar collections.

These are some of the main highlights from the 2021 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance annual auction. If you own a classic car, you should protect it with the right insurance policy. For a car insurance policy that will adequately protect your classic car, reach out to our experts at CAV Insurance Agency, Inc today.