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This article will hit home for those with old car magazines lying around.

Sports Car Digest has a story called "Classified Ads from the Past" where they profile a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder that was initially listed for sale in 1964 for $10,500(!) and again in 1976 for $16,750(!!).

Needless to say, similar California Spyders now exceed $4 million, not to mention the record-breaking one that sold at auction in May for nearly $11 million.

http://www.sportscardigest.com/archives/1892
 

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OMG that makes me sick to my stomach hind sight is 20/20

That car still looks so sexy I hope the new one does it justice.
 

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Although today's (or is it yesterday's? ;)) market prices far exceed compensation for inflation, you still have to consider that at the time, these were the most expensive cars on the market. You could buy a lovely house for that kind of money. So although they were cheaper, you still needed a lot of money to be able to afford them.


Onno



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well yes a Ferrari was never like buying a Ford Falcon or Dodge Dart. You had to be loaded. Today with the stratospheric values on the vintage Ferraris, you have to be uber-wealthy. $11,000,000 for a car that will not be driven but maybe 100 miles per year.
 

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Although today's (or is it yesterday's? ;)) market prices far exceed compensation for inflation, you still have to consider that at the time, these were the most expensive cars on the market. You could buy a lovely house for that kind of money. So although they were cheaper, you still needed a lot of money to be able to afford them.


Onno
Good point Onno, but that $16,750 house bought in 1976 would be nowhere near as valuable as the California. Nor as much fun.

Apparently GTOs were even "cheaper" back then-a small market for a competition car that was no longer competitive/eligible for international competition.
 

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Good point Onno, but that $16,750 house bought in 1976 would be nowhere near as valuable as the California. Nor as much fun.
Not necessarily, David, there are properties that have sky rocketed since then. Take a flat or house in Mayfair, for instance. It's maybe not have quite the inflation of the California SWB but certainly beats that of other 12 cylinder Ferrari's of the '60ies, such as the 330 GTC. People I know have sold their flat for 1.9 million pounds last year, having bought it for 800,000 just 3 years prior. The same flat would have been no more than 10,000 pounds in the mid-70ies. Definitely not as much fun, though, I agree. The point, I think, is that these kinds of increases are very rare and only apply to something that is the pinnacle of desirability. As an illustration, just see how the Ferraris in the '60ies vary in value: they range from US$120k for a reasonable 330 GT 2+2 to US$10 million for a SWB California. At the time, they were both (sort of) similarly priced, and both were exclusively built as road cars. Simplistically put, the only difference between the two is the perceived mystique, the rarity, and the fame.

The biggest increases have definitely been on racers, as they were like David says just uncompetitive relics in the early '70ies.


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Lots of residential real estate has dropped in value like off a cliff recently, with equities evaporating. Real estate may be a bad example as a parallel at this time. It's no place to be for talking about rising values. It's the worst thing going on right now.
 

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Lots of residential real estate has dropped in value like off a cliff recently, with equities evaporating. Real estate may be a bad example as a parallel at this time. It's no place to be for talking about rising values. It's the worst thing going on right now.
On the contrary, it is great analogy. Do you really think classic Ferrari prices are not going to go down in this economic crisis? I think the people at the RM auction in London this weekend are buying just before the value curve starts resembling the Mariana trench.


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In due respect, I don't think anyone is implying prices are going to be rising anywhere anytime soon. Yes, they're going down. My point is that classic Ferraris have risen far far far in excess of real estate over the past 30 years.
 

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When you say real estate, I have a feeling you're talking average house prices. In that case, you should also talk average classic car prices (i.e. include the rusting Morris Minors and Pacers). You can't compare the top-end of one market to the average of another and make a meaningful comparison.

As I said before - if you look at the very, very, very best in real estate locations (only 39 houses built :)), and you compare how those prices stack up to the best in the classic car world, then I think the price increases are fairly similar, although I still think that cars would be ahead just because they are easier to shift. IMHO.

BTW - the RM Auction is not this weekend, it's coming up at the end of the month.

Onno



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When you say real estate, I have a feeling you're talking average house prices. In that case, you should also talk average classic car prices (i.e. include the rusting Morris Minors and Pacers). You can't compare the top-end of one market to the average of another and make a meaningful comparison.

As I said before - if you look at the very, very, very best in real estate locations (only 39 houses built :)), and you compare how those prices stack up to the best in the classic car world, then I think the price increases are fairly similar, although I still think that cars would be ahead just because they are easier to shift. IMHO.

BTW - the RM Auction is not this weekend, it's coming up at the end of the month.

Onno
I see the angle you're approaching this from; ie, exclusive v exclusive. That isn't my position or angle, so we have 2 premises going on, each with some validity.

If exclusive v exclusive is the position, then.....

...in that case comparing it to real estate in general is irrelevant. Exclusive or rare items will often, if they are valuable as rare or special commodities, outpace any inflationary rises in any general sector.


From a purely return-on-investment point of view, however, commodities are commodities. Real estate, gold, platinum, comic books, stamps... are all valuable in their own requisite contexts. An investor is looking for return on investment.

And in general, exclusive classic Ferraris such as the ones being discussed in this thread have far outpaced rises in real estate over the past 30 years, having revealed a far greater return on investment.

In my opinion, one would have faired far better, from an investment point of view, in 1976, having bought a Cali Spider and not a middle-income level house. The Ferrari was cheaper than a house and is now worth much greater than the house:

avg middle income house, 1976: $40,000
same house, 2005: $600,000

classic Ferrari Spyder, 1976: $16,750
today: $4,000,000

Not only is the 1976 price for the car lower than a house, it is now FAR higher by several orders of magnitude than the house.

From a purely R.O.I. stance, an investor having bought 2 or 3 of these Ferraris in 1976 --compared to one house-- would have paid out about the same level of 1976 capital, but garnered a vastly greater R.O.I. in 30 years.
 

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Yes, I see your point. But if you would have spent the same $40,000 for an average house in the right location, then the return would have been much more than $600k. That is my point. It's not the objecttype that defines the returns, it's the desirability of the object itself.


Onno
We can go back and forth on this all week. I think both of our points have been taken into consideration and hold validity.

It's fun to debate with you. You're a good sport ;)
 

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This article will hit home for those with old car magazines lying around.

Sports Car Digest has a story called "Classified Ads from the Past" where they profile a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder that was initially listed for sale in 1964 for $10,500(!) and again in 1976 for $16,750(!!).

Needless to say, similar California Spyders now exceed $4 million, not to mention the record-breaking one that sold at auction in May for nearly $11 million.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder - Classic Cars for Sale
Didn't a couple of 250 GTOs change hands for less than $10k in the late 60s?
 
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