Mulled Wine, Mittens and Market analysis

December 12th 2018

Mulled Wine, Mittens and Market analysis

While many are busy Christmas shopping and getting the classic car tucked away for the winter. We at E-Type UK have held off on the mince pies and pigged out on some data. In-house data from auctions to be specific, we have built a database of achieved sales in the market.

In order to ensure we are tracking only prices paid, we only track auction results and do not skew the data in any way with our own sales. Auctions are a good barometer for the general health of the market as they bring together active buyers and sellers often looking to get a deal done.

So, what does the auction record in 2018 show us against previous years?

2017 was a high-water mark in recent years for E-Types appearing in the auction room. From our tracking, there were 205 E-Types offered, against 79 in 2016 by comparison 2018 looks like it will finish at roughly half the 2017 numbers.

When we trend out results from the beginning of 2016 to now the auction world tells us that the E-Type market is down roughly 11% but not all is as it seems.

So while 2017 was certainly an exceptional year on the number of cars offered, Bonhams snagged two very special lots, accounting for 16% of all lightweights. In 2017 and taking lightweights into account the combined value including premium of E-Types sold at Bonhams was over £12,000,000. Contrast this to 2018, the highest price paid for an E-Type was achieved by RM Sotheby’s in Monterey at just over £560,000 (Chassis 885010).

If you remove the two lightweights (regarded as anomalies) from 2017, there is still the sale of Chassis 875807 in 2017 for RM Sotheby’s which achieved over £500,000. So removing outliers and using like for like data shows that since late 2015 in the auction room the achieved price of a typical E-Type is in-fact trending up 6%, better than money in the bank. The E-Type is firmly off Christmas tree delivery duties.

So where is 2018’s strong performance coming from?

In the classic car market, the market generally gravitates towards the earliest of a particular model, as such these command a price premium. In the case of the E-Type this has never rung truer than now when the market is uncertain the Series 1 E-Type (excluding the 2 Lightweights) is up by some 13%, almost exclusively driven by the 3.8 model. The 4.2 has also grown although the rate is slower.

Looking for something at a lower price premium than the Series 1, then you could do worse than the Series 2. Auction data shows a strong upward trend in 2018 indeed a very original 1969 E-Type crossed the price boundary into the Series 1 bracket selling at £114,068 including premium

Why is the E-Type bucking the overall market trend?

There is no single reason and to be honest any reason is purely speculation, but speculate we do. E-Types have a cult following, how often does that Enzo Ferrari quote hit the auction catalogue? This said, the E-Type wasn’t only a looker, they were great driving cars and pioneering for their time, the independent rear suspension and discs brakes meant the car drove better than many of its contemporises.

The E-Type is one of the few truly iconic cars that benefit from a high achievable sales price, a cult following and truly stunning stance, so why aren’t they worth more? The E-Type has one major caveat, there were too many for an E-Type to achieve the dizzy heights of let’s say a D-Type. Where stylistically the D-Type wasn’t as desirable as an E-Type, the limited numbers and the race history associated with the D-Type has driven the prices north.

Numbers are a key area to focus on, the E-Type in various iterations has a total production number of over 70,000. Against the just over 70 Jaguar D-Types and 16 Jaguar XKSS, truly investment category cars need to be no more than 1,000, ideally, no more than 500 ever made. This means that E-Types won’t often feature in a list of the highest collectable cars and as such less volatile in price than the asset class or investment class of cars.

The E-Type remains a highly desirable classic car and even in an uncertain market, price over the last 12 months has shown remarkable resilience. Ultimately, buying a car should be driven by desire and want rather than financial reward, but its always nice to know the old girl isn’t losing money while tucked away for the winter.

Should you be looking to sell your car or looking for advice on how best to move your car on, why not call us on 01732 852 762.

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