It has emerged that wealthy Asians are choosing classic cars over gold and property. Thanks to rising demand from wealthy Asians, classic cars such as Ferraris, Bugattis and Bentleys soared by 28 per cent in value in the year to June, outstripping gold, art and luxury London property.
Most collectors buy because they are passionate about old cars, but many are well aware of their rising value and buy accordingly. Over the past three to four years, values for older classic motor cars at auction or in dealer and private sales have bucked the global recession, proving a prudent investment..
“It’s an asset class that’s very rare and it’s very aspirational,” said Andrew Shirley, editor of the report. “A lot of Asian high net worth individuals have acquired classic cars…They keep them in their garage in the UK or Europe and they come over and drive them in rallies.”
However the classic car market has always been difficult to play. In 2007 banker Dietricj Hatlapa creative the first authoritative independent index, which now covers 50 cars worth at least £100,000, each with only 1,000 examples built and all with an established collector community. The index shows values racing up 16 per cent in 2012.
According to Mohammad Syed, head of strategic solutions at Coutts private bank, the non-financial rewards of owning a classic car are many. “The sector has bragging rights. Anyone can buy, or have purpose-built, a super-yacht, a big estate or a private jet, but you can’t replicate a unique historic car with provenance. This is something that no amount of wealth can recreate.”
He says the super wealthy want something unique which gives them access to exclusive events and social circles. For example, LVMH hosts an invitation-only car rally for high-end collectors. Other examples of strictly invitation-only events are the Pierre Corthay/Rothschild car run and the Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle, which features 60 of the rarest motor cars in the world.