It's been the word of the year(s) within collectible and memorabilia markets from sports cards to comic books.The vintage car market had long been a premier class of collectibles with post-war Corvettes, Mustangs, and Ferraris commanding six and seven-figure prices at auction. While historically it's been characteristics like age, body styling, and high-performance engines that have captivated collectors, there seems to be a new "emerging" attribute that's already shaking the auction market.Enter: Gas-powered vehicles.Okay, it might be a little premature to toss all cars powered by ethanol into the "vintage" category or to otherwise exalt them, especially considering more than 90% of all cars on the road today still use internal combustion engines rather than alternative sources such as electric.That fact still isn't stopping gas-fueled cars from becoming the hottest collectible on the auction block, especially as leading automakers have started to announce final production runs.
Last week, Bugatti sold its last (fully) gas-powered supercar at an auction hosted by RM Sotheby's in Paris for $10.7 million. The eight-figure price tag established a new record for any new car ever sold at public auction and doubled the pre-sale estimate of $4.5 million.The supercharged prices for supercars have been on ongoing trend through the first quarter of 2023 after Barrett-Jackson opened the year with a $184 million auction at their Scottsdale event in January. The auction was led by a 1989 Ferrari F40 which sold for $2.75 million, and when the final hammer had fallen, more than 200 world records has been recorded.
Altan's Insight: The record-breaking auction results might not have directly correlated to increased valuations for fractional investors, but it's worth noting the recent returns delivered by democratized cars. Rally was a trailblazer for collectible car investing, and today the platform offers a lineup of classics that have managed to outperform the majority of asset classes on their secondary market. In January, the Altan Insights Fractional Car Index gained 5.9% while 63% of cars trading on Rally's secondary market closed with a positive monthly return.