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Classic cars: On a road to 400% returns

The Ferrari Classiche department

Classic cars have bypassed the clutch of austerity and are on a fast track to providing bumper returns.

Figures suggest values have increased by almost 400% over the last decade, as wealthy motor enthusiasts look for physical assets that they can also enjoy.

The most sought after models are from Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes and Bentley, according to Historic Automobile Group International, which monitors the sales of certain models.

A Ferrari 250 GTO, which had a price-tag of £6,000 when it was new in 1962, sold for £22.7 million last year.

While a 1966 Ferrari 275 was sold by the auction house Gooding and Co at the weekend for £1.6 million - twice as much as the owner paid last year.

John Collins, who runs classic Ferrari specialist Talacrest, said: "The Ferrari market is red hot and I am finding it hard to get stock.

"People with lots of money are looking for another investment but people don’t want to sell, so they’re having to pay top prices.

"In 1989 it was similar but that was driven by greed and speculation, this time it is by people who want to enjoy the cars.

"I recently offered £32.1m for one of top ten Ferrari 250 GTOs and the owner turned me down.

"Since April last year I’ve sold £75 million of stock and I wish I could buy it back at the same price."

Only gold as an asset has risen in value more than classic cars during the past 10 years, increasing by 434%.

Rare coins increased by 248%, Hong Kong property shot up by 221% and stamps rose 216%.

The high end property market in London, meanwhile, has increased by 103% during the same period Chris Evans, the radio DJ, is one of the sharpest collectors around and his purchases have paid off handsomely.

In 2010 he paid £11.5 million for a Ferrari 250 GTO before selling it last year for a rumoured £6.5 million profit.

The top ‘passion’ investments and value increase since 2002:

1. Classic cars – 395%
2. Rare coins – 248%
3. Stamps – 216%
4. Fine art – 199%
5. Fine wine – 166%
6. Jewellery – 140%
7. Watches – 76%

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