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Book Review – Classic Car auction Yearbook 2015 2016

Classic Car auction Yearbook 2015 2016

Classic Car auction Yearbook 2015 2016


The latest edition of the Classic Car Auction Yearbook, sponsored by Credit Suisse for the eighth successive year, covering the period 01 September 2015 to 31 August 2016 was launched at the Auto e Moto d’Epoca show in Padova in late October. As with the previous edition, the end of August cut-off date allows for the inclusion of all the major auctions in Monterey, California, during that month, as they are widely considered as the most up to date indication of market trends and prices. The authors are renowned classic car historians Adolfo Orsi and Raffaele Gazzi, who for the past 23 years (this is the 21st edition of what started as the Catalogo Bolaffi) have produced this fascinating and informative overview of the classic car auction market worldwide. It features the results of sales by all the major auction houses, which seem to grow in number every year. Apart from a wealth of facts and figures, there are also market trend views from directors of four of the leading auction houses, Artcurial, Bonhams, Gooding & Company and RM Sotheby’s, although I will leave you to read the book to find out their views.

The book is a large format (240mm x 315mm) hardback edition, printed on good quality gloss paper. As a now regular feature, the cover depicts the most valuable car sold at auction during the period in question, and once again it is a Ferrari, this time the 1955 335 Sport Spider, chassis # 0674, which achieved US$35,930,639 at Artcurial’s Retromobile sale in Paris in February 2016. The 2015 - 2016 edition runs to 416 pages, crammed with a multitude of facts and figures in different forms, much of which has been expanded and simplified from previous editions. It also provides an alphabetical descriptive list of the cars offered at auction during the period that the book covers, with the sale price including buyer’s premium quoted in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling and Euros, obviously based on the exchange rate at the time of the relevant auction.

The book also features graphical analysis of trends, i.e. for specific manufacturing periods, or different marques, along with a plethora of other useful and fascinating information.

There is a “Top 10” table for the period covered, and within that number there are 5 Ferraris, down from 7 for the preceding period, although that is probably more an indication of what was available in the marketplace, rather than a waning of Ferrari popularity.

The “Top Twenty” from 01 August 1993 to 31 August 2016, shows that over the past 23 years 15 of the top 20 cars sold at auction have been Ferraris, still headed by the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis # 3851GT, which achieved a hammer price of US$38.115 million at the Bonhams auction in Monterey in August 2014.

The Yearbook is considered as “The Bible” by many associated with collecting, buying and selling classic cars, and even for the general classic car enthusiast it makes for compelling reading. It is available from major motoring booksellers, although if there is any difficulty in obtaining a copy, then visit the Classic Car Auction Yearbook website.


ISBN: 978-88-96232-08-8

Mainland Europe Retail Price €70 (Check for prices in other countries)

Keith Bluemel         

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