My Car Quest

October 30, 2014

What Drives Classic Car Values?

by Mike –

Classic Ferrari models have led the classic car value world for sometime and today more than ever. In 2011 in Monterey, California a Ferrari set the world record for a car sold at public auction.

Ferraris may lead the way but other classic cars are important too. After all we all cannot own a classic Ferrari. There are not enough to go around.

The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato is one of the most sought after classic cars today.

Aston Martin DB 4 Zagato

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

So is the Bizzarrini GT 5300 yet these two cars have increased in value at significantly different rates over the past 40 years.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

Bizzarrini GT 5300

I recently ran across the classified advertisements below from the August 1974 issue of Road & Track. Since I have a strong admiration for both cars these advertisements caught my interest.

Aston Martin DB 4 Zagato

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Advertisement

There were only 19 of this special Aston Martin made between 1960 and 1963. Many consider it to be one of the most beautiful designs from Zagato (Ercole Spada), or from anyone.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Advertisement

The Bizzarrini is also a design masterpiece from Bertone (Giorgetto Giugiaro) with approximately 115 made. The Bizzarrini was designed in 1963 and produced between 1965 and 1968.

They both are race cars with handmade alloy bodies. I suspect that the Bizzarrini would out run the Aston Martin in a road race or a drag race.

Bizzarrini GT 5300, Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

The Aston Martin weighs 2700 pounds and has a 3.7-litre, aluminum straight 6-cylinder engine that produces 314 hp. The Bizzarrini weighs 2550 pounds with a 5-liter Chevrolet Corvette V8 engine producing 400 hp. The weight to hp ratio goes to the Bizzarrini.

But do these technical specifications really matter when the desirability, and the value, are determined? I think to some degree, yes it does matter as does the race history of the model.

Bizzarrini GT 5300, Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

In August 1974 the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato in the advertisement was for sale for 4,750 pounds sterling, equivalent to approximately $12,000 in 1974. The Bizzarrini GT 5300 was for sale for $8,000.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

The value ratio of the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato to Bizzarrini GT 5300 was 1.5 in 1974 based on these advertisements. Today this ratio is much higher as the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato has appreciated much faster than the Bizzarrini GT 5300.

The Bizzarrini has appreciated at a healthy rate from $8,000 in 1974 to $610,000* today.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

The Aston Martin has appreciated from $12,000 in 1974 to $7 million* today. The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato to Bizzarrini GT 5300 value ratio today is 11.5.

While both cars would have been an excellent investment in 1974 the Aston Martin would have been a stellar investment.

Bizzarrini GT 5300, Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Today, however, it may be that the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato is at the top of its value curve while the Bizzarrini GT 5300 still has a way to go.

*These values are taken from the Hagerty Price Guide.


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Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Bizzarrini GT 5300

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