Did you know about the “bible” of the classic car world?

AuctionYearbook (1 of 19)Being in and around the classic car market, one is constantly in need to expand the knowledge, keep track with auctions, events and private sells and of course widen ones network. One contributed to another and only in composition you can move within this market, this small niche of the automotive industry. In order to keep up with sales, especially when it’s not possible to visit and take place in every auction and event these day, there has been something around known as the „bible“ of the classic car world – this „holy grail“ is what this article will be about.


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In the words of the publisher, Adolfo Orsi, President of Historica Selecta, the new edition of this in-depth analysis of the historic automobile market is the most comprehensive yet. When the authors, Orsi and Gazzi, first explored the classic and historic automobile market back in the early ‘90s, they correctly identified that an informed and in-depth analysis of the cars changing hands in the market, was needed. This publication today, is the result of many years of improving and fine-tuning of the original product that was first published almost a quarter of a century ago.

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As stated on the website: „Since 1994, the Classic Car Auction Yearbook has been the ‘bible’ of the collector car market offering readers an unparalleled, in-depth analysis of top international auction sales data, following how important cars, marques and models have performed among a variety of scopes. The entire book is written in English.“

And who provides the collected information and market analysis? Historica Selecta: As leading specialists in the international collector car market and champions for historical preservation, Historica Selecta advises many of the world’s most prestigious manufacturers, museums and collectors. It has curated, among others, the “Maserati 100” exhibition at the MEF in Modena, 2014-2015; the permanent exhibition “History of the automobile in Modena 1895-1970” at the MEF; “Quando Scatta Nuvolari” at Palazzo Te in Mantova, 2009-2010; “Mitomacchina” at MART in Rovereto, 2006- 2007; “Cuando el hombre es mas que el mito: Fangio” in Modena, 2005. Historica Selecta has also contributed to the Ferrari 70 Concorso (2017), Ferrari 60 (2007), Maserati Centennial Gathering (2014), Lamborghini 50 Years (2013), XI World Forum for Motor Museums (Emilia-Romagna, 2009)

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Adolfo Orsi: „Always buy only what you like, and make absolutely certain you’re getting the best quality. A person who buys a classic car that he enjoys, whether driving it or just looking at it, will always find satisfaction. And if the purchase price also turns out to be a good investment, you can feel even greater satisfaction.”

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And if you thought that a car that you might be wanting to research was too insignificant or unworthy of a listing, think again, because you may just be surprised. You will find cars listed that include just about everything from A-Z, and from the late 19th century onwards, with sales data from auctions across the globe.

More importantly, the steady growth in cars offered without reserve is a strong indication that consignors, bidders, and auction companies are confident in a sound and predictable marketplace. The Yearbook’s identification of the trend is an example of how each edition gets better and that there is value in reading through its analysis and deciphering its dense graphics.

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For the past 26 years (this is the 23rd edition of what started as the Catalogo Bolaffi) they have produced this fascinating in-depth and informative overview of the international classic car auction market, featuring the results of sales by all the major auction houses. Apart from a plethora of facts and figures, there are also market comments and trend views from directors of four of the leading auction houses, Artcurial, Bonhams, Gooding & Company and RM Sotheby’s.

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The introductions (“Market analysis of the 2107–2018 season”) are really the high point, with observations, comments, and analysis by the authors and representatives of Artcurial, Bonhams, Gooding, and RM Sotheby’s. The lead-off analysis by Artcurial’s Matthieu Lamoure is particularly insightful.

Orsi: “It’s not just the Porsches. That also goes for Lamborghinis, Maseratis, and Aston Martins. There have been significant upward price corrections. But Ferraris are the “blue chips” and remain the best market indicators.”

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The 23th edition of the Classic Car Auction Yearbook, the most extensive edition to date, covers 25th consecutive seasons of the most important international auctions, from the 1st of September 2017 until the 31st of August 2018.

The 2017-2018 edition covers 5,628 cars listed among 308 difference makes, indicated by chassis number, auction result in three currencies (euro, dollar and sterling), a concise history of the car and, if the same car was offered at a previous auction, an indication of the price achieved. Enhanced with market commentary provided by the department heads of the world’s leading collector car auction houses, this Yearbook is complete with numerous graphs and statistics that allow for an in-depth and overall analysis of the market’s performance, looking at the most prestigious makes and most significant models. In the final part, there are photographs of the Top 5 cars from the last 25 seasons, in addition to the Top 5 listed of the 12 most prestigious makes and Top 20 pre- and post-war of all time.

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The most coveted award in the classic car world is, by far, The Classic Car Auction Yearbook Trophy, the Oscar of the business, given to the auction house that sold the most expensive car of the season. The trophy, which last year was won by RM Sotheby‘s, was this year assigned again to an even happier Augustin Sebatié-Garat of RM Sotheby’s, in recognition of the sale of a Ferrari 250 GTO for a remarkable USD 48,405,000 during the August Monterey sale. Accordingly, this is the car that graces the cover of the 2017–2018 Yearbook.

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In conclusion, if you are in the market to acquire a classic road car or an historic race car, you cannot make an informed choice without having this book at your disposal. Besides which, it would make an excellent addition to your bookshelf, should you have occasion to prove yourself right in a discussion with friends.

Deemed the “bible” by English press since many years of publication as an international reference for the sector, the Classic Car Auction Yearbook is an indispensable tool for every professional, collector and enthusiast.

If you want to get hold of a copy follow this link: https://www.classiccarauctionyearbook.com/en/where-to-buy/



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