In 2021, Hagerty was able to track more than double 2020’s auction sales with 12,500 UK and European auction results. The results for 2021 are impressive with a total of £310.8 million in sales of classic and collector vehicles, with 14 of them sold for more than £1m, a big jump from the 10 cars that was sold in 2020.
Understandably, the increase could be due to the expansion of the valuation operation of Hagerty. Renamed as Automotive Intelligence, it does not only track auctions, but also insured values and other data sources around the world. Of course, the increase is also largely due to the continued confidence in the market after a short hiatus in 2020. The specialist vehicle market continues to grow exponentially in spite of the current pandemic.
In any given time, it is understandable that certain vehicles would stand out, and 2021 is no different. The vehicles are oftentimes the most valuable, the rarest, or those that show a new trend in the market. There are others, of course, that stand out simply because they are really interesting cars or have an interesting history.
For 2021, below are Hagerty’s curated most influential global classic vehicle sales list:
Most Valuable: 1995 McLaren F1, £15.5m ($20,465,000)
Gooding & Company made the biggest sale of the year in August at Pebble Beach when they sold the 1995 McLaren F1 for £15.5m. It had a final sale price of $20,465,000 which is just a little short of the Hagerty Price Guide condition 1 ‘concours’ value which is £15.7m. Hagerty has noted that there are actually other, private sales that have been much higher, but this specific sale set a world record price for the F1 at a public auction.
Formula One: 2010 McLaren MP4-25, £4.73m
The example is the first F1 race and Grand Prix-winning car driven by Lewis Hamilton to be offered in a public auction. The example claimed victory at the 2010 Turkish Grand prix and what makes this McLaren doubly special is that Hamilton raced it against other renowned F1 legends at the time, mainly against Michael Schumacher. The 2010 McLaren MP4-25 was sold at a single-lot auction at the British Grand Prix by RM Sotheby’s, selling just short of its top estimate for £4.73m.
Japanese Domestic Market: 1998 Subaru Impreza STi 22B, $317,555 (£240,000)
This year, Hagerty has repeatedly noticed that the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) car values have been rising higher and higher in America. What is interesting is that some of the cars that were sold – much like the 1998 Subaru Impreza STi 22B – is not even eligible for the 25-year import rule that the country has imposed, wherein only vehicles 25 years or older can be imported to the US without the requiring it to meet national vehicle regulations. It hasn’t stopped buyers, however, as back in April, Bring A Trailer was able to sell the example for a record-breaking $317,555 (£240,000).
UK is still not fully onboard yet as back in May, Silverstone Auctions sold one of only 16 units of UK-spec 22Bs for £171,000. It went beyond its estimated sale price, but there’s a huge difference to the Bring A Trailer record.
Silverstone tried again in November during the NEC sale as they offered a 15,500-mile from new example. It was estimated to be worth £230,000 to £280,000. Although the bidding reached £200,000, the example did not sell.
Surprising Sale: 1960 Jaguar XK150 S Drophead, £90,000
Despite years in the industry, there are just times when a sale would surprise even the most experienced auction veterans. This is exactly the case with the example, which was crashed by the former owner in 1996. It wasn’t a simple fender bender either as the car spun off the road and smashed into a tree. The car not only sustained major damage to the front, but the whole right-hand side also sustained major damage as well. The steering wheel was broken by the driver’s chest with some of his hair still embedded in the windscreen.
Still, someone saw the potential in the car to bring it back to its glory days. He paid an impressive £90,000 which is just a little short of the current ‘excellent’ example in the Hagerty Price Guide value of £102,000.
Group B: 1988 Audi Sport Quattro, €2.017m
Back in February 2021, the 1988 Audi Sport Quattro became the highlight of the Artcurial Paris sale when it not only exceeded its high pre-sale estimate, but actually went €700,000 beyond the high pre-sale estimate price of €1m to €1.3m. Hagerty has recorded the values of all Ur Quattros that significantly increased in the last 18 months, but the example is a different story altogether. It was able to set a new level, getting three times the highest Hagerty Price Guide figure of £408,000 for a standard Sport Quattro.
Ugly Duckling: 1993 Jaguar XJ220, £460,000
Taking the prize is a notable XJ220 with mileage of a mere 385 miles and finished in factory Monza Red. Marque specialists Don Law Racing has inspected the unit and gave a thumbs up.
At the Bonhams Goodwood Revival sale, the XJ220 set the record for a public auction sale, exceeding the top Hagerty Price Guide value of £445,000 selling for £460,000. In November, RM Sotheby sold a similar notable example in their London sale which went beyond their pre-sale top estimate when it sold for £432,500. It is interesting to note that 10 of the highest 11 values that the model got in an auction happened since 2019.
Fit for Royalty: 1981 Ford Escort 1.6 Ghia, £52,640
There have been examples of the third-generation Ford Escort which Hagerty noted have sold for more than £50,000. However, these are for sporting models like the RS Turbo and RS1600i with low mileage.
What sets Reeman Dansie’s slightly unremarkable 83,000-mile, 1.6 Ghia apart making it so highly coveted? Back in May 1981, Prince Charles gave the example to then-Lady Diana Spencer as an engagement present. The sale was done during a specialist royal auction and it was able to get a price that is 10x more than a very good – yet very ordinary – example would get.
Online Record: Ferrari F40, £1,000,500
In July, The Market sold a 1989 Ferrari F40 ‘F40 BLU’ for £1,000,500 marking the first time that a car was sold for more than £1m in a dedicated UK online auction. What makes the sale stand out is that the car itself had none of the typical originality that was demanded from such cars as the example had a Porsche Aqua Blue finish. Its owner, Sam Moores, a Car Chat podcaster and photographer was able to generate enough hype for the car, however. After the car reached the £980,000 mark, there were still four bidders competing for it.
The value of the F40 has been rising for the last few years, from 2016 to 2021, the top values for the F40 rose by 11% in the Hagarty Price Guide.
In August, two more examples were sold in the US at Monterey. Gooding and Co was able to sell one for $2.89m while RM Sotheby’s sold another for $2.42m. More than 50% of F40 owners who insure with Hagerty were born after 1965, a significant increase from only 28% in 2018. It is becoming more obvious that younger money is entering the market, and the F40 is still seen as a bankable collectible car by the present generation.
Historics offered this restoration project, a stripped down supercar offered in component parts, back in September. It was a crazy offer, but the 1982 Lamborghini Countach LP 500S went way above its high estimate of £180,000 getting a final sale price of £257,600.
The LP500S was the original Athena poster model. The example was an extremely rare right-hand drive model, wherein only 37 were made. At the time, Hagerty’s ‘Excellent’ value was at £334,000, which admittedly did not give the new owner any room for a full-cost restoration. It should also be noted that it is also a once in a blue moon chance that a collector is presented with a completely blank slate wherein they can build their dream car to their own specification.