My Car Quest

March 29, 2023

My Questions About Classic Car Prices And Market Trends

by Mike –

Why questions about classic cars prices? They are going up and everyone is happy – right?

Yeah, but what if I wanted a Ferrari 250 GTO and only had $20 million to spend? Nope, that won’t do it. It now takes upwards of $30 million to be in the GTO club with the last sale, maybe the highest price ever paid for a car, at $35 million.

Ferrari 250 GTO - $35 million

The $35 million Ferrari 250 GTO

What if I wanted a Ferrari Testa Rossa with race history and only had $5 million to invest? Depending on the cars history this may not be enough with the record Testa Rossa selling at auction last year for $16.4 million.

Ferrari Testa Rossa

The $16.4 million Ferrari Testa Rossa

What if I wanted a special Ford GT40 with race history that once was in the presence of Steve McQueen and only had $4 million laying around? Too late, a car like this was sold this year for $11 million the highest price ever paid for an American car as far as anyone knows.

Ford GT40 sold for $11 million

The $11 million Ford GT40

But what about the future? Will the record prices paid for the models mentioned return a profit to the new owners? How many people will pay more than $35 million for a Ferrari 250 GTO? And even if a new buyer pays more than $35 million for a GTO who will pay more than that in the future? Do the current owners of these ultra-expensive classics care?

I follow the Bizzarrini and Iso Grifo markets closely for personal reasons and because I love these cars. I see a lot of interest from would be buyers, some reported on My Car Quest and some not. I know that demand for the Bizzarrini and Iso Grifo are both increasing. This means the prices are going up.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Iso Grifo

Iso Grifo 7 Liter

I just picked up the latest issue of Octane Magazine and opened it randomly (no kidding) to the article by Dave Kinney titled “On the growing appeal of auction-house sales”.

In this excellent article Dave Kinney (Publisher of The Hagerty Price Guide) says: “…rumors persist of private sales of Iso, Bizzarrini and Italia cars selling well above expected amounts. Yet to be replicated in an auction sale, these rumors remain just that until verified, but with Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati prices on an incline, this is not only possible, but likely.”

And continuing he says the Jensen Interceptor, “the once-forgotten marque has found a new lease on life. One of the better recycling stories we’ve heard in a while”.

Jensen Interceptor

Jensen Interceptor

I know Dave Kinney is right about all of the marques he mentioned. Plus the auction companies are setting new records every few months lately, not just in the prices of specific models but in their total sales volume. I wonder if this is hurting the sales of the traditional classic car dealer? I believe it must be.

So, what does all this mean for the classic car collector on the other end of the price spectrum from the $35 million Ferrari?

Like the enthusiasts who would buy my latest book “Twenty-Five Affordable Classic Cars” and are interested in a classic car at a much lower price point like the Jensen Interceptor or Intermeccanica Italia?

Maybe it means some of these cars are unobtainable for some collectors, either today or in the near future.

But will it be so forever?

Do the prices of $10 million plus Ferraris and Ford GT40s and other classics in this price range really effect the prices of cars that sell for $150,000 or less?

I have more thoughts and questions so there will be more on this subject of classic car prices soon.


  1. I am not sure where Dave Kinny’s gets his information from or if he updates it. His price guide for a series one Grifo using the average of condition 1-4 is 158K . The car in Monterey 028 was a condition 4 and it sold for north of 150K!

    Series one condition one he shows at 280K Purple Grifo sells Jan of 2012 Gooding at 320 K

    He only lists big block cars as series two cars?

    IMO exotic cars will remain high as long as investors don’t trust the real estate or stock market or the fear of inflation.

  2. I know the Hagerty guide does not list a 7 Liter series 1 Grifo. They list a series 2, 7 Liter condition 1 Grifo at $320,000 and we know the purple series 1, 7 Liter sold this past January for $352,000.

    However they have made a huge adjustment to their guide for the Grifo from edition 17 (Jan-Apr 2012) to edition 18 (May-Aug 2012). More on this is a later Post.

    BTW, I also notice Hagerty and the SCM guide do not even list the Apollo GT! I point this out in my new book “Twenty-Five Affordable Classic Cars”.

    As far as Grifo no. 028 that we saw in Monterey it is generous to call it a condition 4 car based on the Hagerty definition and the Hagerty guide lists this car at $110,000 for a condition 4 and the asking price was $169,000. I suspect it did not go for less than $145,000. This is a big difference from the price guide especially when the car was worse than condition 4.

    Despite this I consider the Hagerty Guide to be probably the best price guide their is.

  3. I could go on like their listings for Fidia and lele but it would get old, Strange as it may sound I am not sure there is anyone out there that has a good list . I think this is because all these lists are based only on auctions numbers and don’t include dealers or club members input.

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