From being a hobby for enthusiasts and knowledgeable people, classic cars have now become a commodity that investors are interested in because of its ability to generate “huge” profits.

Andrea Modena, head of Ferrari’s classic car department, once shared an interesting story. It was in 1977 that a man had to sell his 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO because his wife complained that it was too noisy. Either the car or the wife, he can’t have both at the same time.

“Today, I’m not sure the wife will be chosen,” Mr. Modena commented wryly. That’s because times have changed. In 2018, that same 1962 250 GTO became the most expensive car in history when it was auctioned for $48 million. By 2022, that record was broken by the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé priced at 135 million euros.

The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was auctioned for $48 million in 2018.

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé was sold for $149 million in 2022.
The above deals are just a few typical cases among countless “super transactions” worth billions of dollars in the global classic car market. This investment wave shows that classic cars are becoming a popular alternative asset, not just a simple means of transportation.

According to real estate consulting firm Knight Frank’s 2023 prosperity report, the value of classic cars has increased 185% over the past decade, outpacing the growth rate of other luxury items such as wine. , watches and art, and is second only to rare whiskeys.

Previously, the classic car market was mostly limited to a small group of passionate collectors. However, now this market has expanded a lot after attracting the attention of investors with ambitions to make “huge” profits. The lack of connection to mainstream assets such as stocks and bonds also makes classic cars less vulnerable to stock fluctuations, thereby becoming even more attractive.

“We have been watching this market for a long time. The past 30 years of history show that classic cars have qualified to become an asset that our customers should own in their investment portfolios,” said Mr. Giorgio Medda, CEO of Azimut Fund (Italy). said.

In 2023, Azimut will officially provide the first evergreen investment fund for classic cars worldwide. The characteristic of this type of fund is that it has no end date and can receive new money indefinitely. Azimut said they received advice from Alberto Schon, head of the Rossocorsa dealership specializing in selling Ferrari and Maserati cars, that they should only target cars worth 1 million euros (25.7 billion VND) or more, especially vehicles with unique histories.

A classic car belonging to the “genuine used car” Ferrari Classiche program is being cared for at Atelier Fiorano, a service workshop authorized by Rossocorsa dealer in the Assago area near Milan, Italy.
Previously, another asset management company, Hetica Capital (Switzerland), also introduced a classic car investment fund in 2021 but in a “closed” form, worth 50 million euros (54.7 million USD). and is also the first fund of its kind.

Hetica’s fund targets returns of 9-15% after 7 years. To date, this company has purchased dozens of classic cars and hopes to reach the number of 30-35 cars in the 5th year, so there will only be the last 2 years left to sell all these cars and return the money to investors. private.

According to experts with many years of experience in the industry, the plans proposed by these investment funds are extremely bold.

Dietrich Hatlapa, founder of the HAGI company specializing in researching classic cars, said, “Over the years we have seen more than 100 attempts to establish a fund. However, no one has yet created a fund with enough scale. rich in both the number of investors as well as the classic car portfolio.” HAGI is the unit that provides industry data for Knight Frank’s report.

Andrea Modena, head of Ferrari Classiche and Ferrari’s global technical care services​
This is also not a field for “noobs”, with not really abundant financial capabilities.

Although they originate from different countries, both Azimut and Hetica register their classic car funds in Luxembourg, and both require a minimum investment of 125,000 euros.
“We received a lot of calls from people wanting to invest 1,000-2,000 euros and we had to turn them all down,” said Walter Panzeri, who runs Hetica’s Klassik fund.

Furthermore, even a small scratch or dent, or a part that needs to be replaced, can be a serious financial blow. Mr. Modena gave the example that just replacing the bumper of a rare classic car costs $15,000.
Florian Zimmermann, a classic car collector in Germany, said the cost of operating a car collection, including fees such as storage and insurance, can account for 5-6% of the total value of the car. annual investment. Mr. Zimmermann started buying classic cars while working at Mercedes-Benz and has since built a collection of more than 300 vehicles with a partner.

Car collector Florian Zimmermann with a collection of more than 300 cars in Lindau, Germany​
“It’s getting harder and harder to find the right mechanics to keep these cars alive. If you want them to always be in good working condition, you’ll have to spend even more money,” he said. Zimmermann shared.

On the other hand, investment funds that manage car portfolios can absolutely provide a source of income for the classic car care department of car companies. These are not only units that provide repair and replacement parts services but are also responsible for authenticating the origin of the vehicle when the vehicle owner needs to participate in exhibitions and competitions.

A corner of Florian Zimmermann’s collection of more than 300 classic cars in Germany
According to Peter Becker of Mercedes-Benz Classic, the certification process alone can cost about 20,000 euros (513 million VND). Because outsiders do not have access to the genuine archive, only experts working within the car company can confirm the originality of a classic car model.

This market is also expanding proportionally to the increasing number of rich people. According to Knight Frank, the value of classic cars has increased by 25% in 2022. This is the strongest growth in the luxury goods industry in the past 9 years and is second only to the 29% increase in works of art.

Classic car insurance company Hagerty estimates there are about $80 billion in collectible vehicle transactions globally each year, including all auctions and private sales.

Cars from the Ferrari Classiche program in a garage at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy
North America remains the largest classic car auction market, with Hagerty recording $3.4 billion in auction revenue in 2022 compared to $774 million in 2007. However, Zimmermann said the number of buyers is increasing. increases have appeared in recent years in the Middle East, India and China.

Some investors said that their motivation to participate in the classic car market comes from the fact that countries are racing to eliminate internal combustion engine cars and replace them with electric vehicles.

“Over time, classic gasoline cars will become increasingly rare and gradually worshiped,” said Mr. Cristiano Bolzoni, Director of Classic Cars at Maserati. They are likened to remaining relics. of the past, evidence of a historical era.

Cars from the Ferrari Classiche program in a garage at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy
According to Adolfo Orsi, author of the Classic Car Auction Yearbook, a yearbook that has tracked auction sales data since 1990, Ferrari is the most highly valued classic car brand. He describes them as “the blue-chip stocks that represent the sector”.

During the period 2021-2022, classic Ferrari cars earned an average of 589,000 USD (13.8 billion VND) in auctions. Followed by classic Mercedes-Benz cars (378,000 USD – 8.9 billion VND) and classic Porsche cars (348,000 USD – 8.2 billion VND).

Mr. Zimmermann commented: “The classic car community has changed a lot in the past 5-10 years. Previously there were only people who deeply understood cars inside and out. But over time, there have been many more people.” Others participate with a simple mindset: ‘I like these cars, I can afford to buy them and they themselves do not lose value, they even increase’. They are investors, not people. collect cars.”

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