Many collectors, dealers, and enthusiasts watch classic and collector car auction results like the proverbial hawk, believing that they truly represent real time pricing in the marketplace; noting every high and low, and tracking the trends and curves in an effort to understand “the market,” figure out what a given machine is worth, and what’s the next car to heat up or cool down — buy, sell, hold. Other folks feel this information is jaded at best, overhyped, and not representative of the “real” market, whatever that is.
If you like to track and crystal ball this information, you’re not alone. There is a marvelous book, put together by two very knowledgeable guys, who have done a lot of the number gathering and curve crunching for you. They are Italians Adolfo Orsi and Raffaele Gazzi. I don’t know Raffaele Gazzi, but I know Mr. Orsi well, and besides having a bigger heart (and passion for automotive history) that just about anyone I know, he’s also one of the very most “switched on” guys in the car business. The name Orsi may ring a bell to you, yes, he’s from the same Orsi family that at one time owned Maserati, although this Adolfo never had an active management role in the business at the time, he has since become the marque’s foremost historian (the original Adolfo Orsi was his grandfather). He’s a judge, chief class judge, or chief judge at the world’s most significant concours events, a pioneer in the automotive preservation and historical significance movements, and one helluva nice man. I like him, and I respect him.
He and his Historica Selecta publications have been putting out the Classic Car Auction Yearbook for several years now, and they list, lot by lot, line by line, every auction result they can get their hands on and verify. Each entry includes year/make/model, serial number, date of sale, location, auction house and price, along with photos of many of the cars. This 400-plus page, hardbound, well laid out volume is organized by marque, and also includes a considerable amount of trend analysis. So these gents have done the information gathering and a considerable amount of the number crunching for you.
This is a massive piece of work (nearly 10″x12″), and with a year’s worth of Googling you couldn’t assemble the information this neatly and comprehensively, not to mention all the analysis that goes with it.
This large format piece weighs several pounds, and costs $79 on Amazon. This new edition covers sales and results from September 2015 through August 2016 so you get a full year’s worth of data and analysis spread over two years, for no particular reason other than it suits the book’s production cycle. Its a marvelous piece of work, and if you relish this sort of information, then you must have it.
Buy it on Amazon or learn more at classiccarauctionyearbook.com.