These are the collector car segments that stood out in 2023

The last time we flipped our calendars to a new year, we looked back at a 2022 full of record-breaking car auctions, price-smashing sales and unprecedented growth for all things four-wheeled and fun. As we flip our calendars to 2024, things are a little different. Prices are still high overall and higher than some of us would like. Some cars still go up in value, but the lines on the graph aren’t as sharp and quite a few cars actually decrease in value. The Hagerty Market Score, our measure of overall activity in the collector car market, just fell for the eighth month in a row. While this year saw far fewer mainstream trends covering this huge hobby of ours, a few segments offered compelling storylines that stood out to us. Here they are below.

Momentum among Japanese collector cars appears to be slowing

Unsplash/Eddie Jones

Of course, Japan is the Land of the Rising Sun, and cars from this country have been rising on their own for the past few years. The Mk IV Toyota Supra costs roughly double what it did in 2018. The same goes for the first generation (AP1) Honda S2000 and (NA) Mazda Miata. Nissan’s Skyline is on its own monstrous trajectory.

However, this year was not so drastic. Of all the Japanese collector cars in Hagerty Price Guide, the average appreciation in 2023 is 4.5 percent. It’s still rising then, and it’s still higher than inflation, but last year the number was 15.6%.

Some Japanese classics dipped. From May 2015 to April 2022, the 1970-73 Datsun 240Z grew 163 percent, but in 2023, this rule-changing sports car saw a four percent decline. The aforementioned first-generation Honda S2000 lost ten percent in 2023, and the third-generation (FD) Mazda RX-7 dropped 16 percent.

Some Radwood cars work, some don’t

Greenwich Concours Radwood Cars
Matt Tierney

This segment has some overlap with the Japanese cars above, and Radwood-era cars (collector cars produced in the 1980s and 1990s) were another group that spent much of the pandemic boom only to slow down over the past 12 months.

During 2022, all vehicles from the 1980s and 1990s in Hagerty Price Guide there was an average appreciation of 14.5 percent. For 2023, the number is 4.5 percent. Fox-bodied Ford Mustangs maintain their multi-year growth spurt, with 5.0 convertibles gaining an average of 15 percent in 2023, while 1991-92 GMC Syclones are up 6.7 percent, and 1981- 83 were up a movie-friendly 18.8 percent. Conversely, 1986-92 BMW M3s dropped 12.9%, 1987 Buick GNXs dropped 5.6%, and 1987-91 Ford Broncos dropped 12%.

Ferrari had a good year

Ferrari 330LM 250 GTO front three quarters
The most expensive auction sale of the year was this $51.7 million GTO (RM Sotheby’s)

If we ignore Formula 1 for just a second, 2023 has been quite kind to Italy’s most famous car manufacturer. Ferrari won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the tenth time and the first time since 1965. Its third-quarter revenue rose 24 percent from a year earlier, while profit jumped 46 percent. The company has shipped more vehicles and its stock (ticker: RACE) is rising. There’s even a movie about the man himself coming out. As for older Ferraris, they also performed well in 2023. Through the third quarter, the Hagerty Ferrari Market Index posted higher year-over-year growth than any of the other six indexes in Hagerty Price Guide.

At the top of the Ferrari ladder, although some flagship cars fell short of auction estimates this year, several public and private sales confirmed that the market hasn’t dropped for Enzo-era Ferraris, especially those with pedigree. Five Ferraris sold for over $10 million this year. Although six brought in $10 million or more in 2014, most years don’t see more than one or two, and some years see none. And after the shocking sale of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe for $142 million, Ferrari took the top spot at auction in 2023 with the $51.7 million GTO, the most expensive Ferrari ever sold at auction.

With a wide range of features, vintages and price points, the overall Ferrari market is nuanced. Naturally, not all cars move together. Many gained value in 2023. Many did not. While the #2 (“Excellent”) averages for some models such as the 1968-73 Daytona (-4 percent), 1975-85 308 (-3 percent) and 2004-09 F430 (-12 percent) took significant steps back, the 1962- The 64 250 GT Lusso (+7%), the 1968-76 246 Dino (+6%) and the 1994-99 F355 (+11%) saw significant gains.

Modern exoticism was a mixed bag

A broad arrow

Exotic cars from the 1990s and 2000s, especially those with paddle shifters between the seats, were all the rage in 2022. We’ve seen record sales prices every few weeks. Monterey saw records for the Ferrari F40 and F50, while even underrated exotics like the Jaguar XJ 220 gained a following. This car has increased in price by 26 percent in the last year. In 2023, however, not everything with carbon fiber and a clutch pedal is guaranteed to go up in price.

Some continued their momentum. The Ferrari F50, which doubled in value from mid-2021 to the end of 2022, saw a 3.5 percent increase in 2023. Lamborghini Diablos, which jumped 26 percent in 2022, gained 18 percent in 2023 The Lotus Esprit V8s, which gained 18 percent last year, made an even bigger gain of 21 percent this year. At the same time, others have retreated but remain higher than those in 2021. Porsche Carrera GT values ​​jumped 25 percent from January 2022 to January 2023. Carrera GTs have declined seven percent since then. The rise and fall of Bugatti EB110s is even more vivid. Those cars climbed 54 percent in 2022, only to drop 15 percent in 2023. Ford GTs, meanwhile, had a modest two percent increase in 2022, and their current #2 average of $408,000 is actually up a few thousands lower than last January.

Taken as a whole, the supercar market is still growing in 2023, but slowing.

Modern F1 cars are appearing more often and for more money

2013-Mercedes-AMG-Petronas-F1 car cockpit
RM Sotheby’s/Alex Penfold

Although this is indeed a small, small part of the collector car market, we can’t help but notice the proliferation of modern (early 1980s to present day) F1 cars being offered for sale, as well as increasingly high and higher prices for the most significant cars. All this, even though these cutting-edge computers on wheels aren’t getting any easier to operate or maintain. Modern Formula 1 machines took the podium – landing among the top three auction sales of the year – in 2022 and 2023, something that had never happened before. In 2023, there were two Grand Prix-related collector car auctions. This has also never happened before.

It all makes sense. F1 has been the pinnacle of motorsport for a long time, but right now it’s more popular than ever. Owning a rare and drivable (albeit with great difficulty) piece of the series is very attractive to some collectors, and the market for the best modern F1 machines had a big showing in 2023. Highlights include Michael Schumacher’s 1991 Jordan for $1.63 million, Kimi Raikkonen’s 2006 McLaren-Mercedes-Benz MP4/21 for $2.76 million and Lewis Hamilton’s 2013 Mercedes-AMG W04 for $18.82 million, the new record for a modern car from Grand Prix.

Online auctions continue to grow and aren’t going anywhere

hagerty marketplace online car auction landing page
Hagerty

Online collector car auctions are something of a remote job. They existed before 2020, but flourished and matured during the pandemic and are now here to stay.

During 2020-22, it seemed like every week there was a new online auction company trying to cash in on the boom. This was no longer the case in 2023, and several of these new builds are gone, but the space has continued to grow as people no longer buy cars from the keyboard out of necessity, but out of convenience.

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