Hagerty Tallies the Classic Car Market Trends of 2015

Better sell those BMW 2002s.

RM AuctionsphotographerConner Goldenwriter

It turns out 2015 was a good year for the classic car market. Not since the late 1980s have we seen such a meteoric rise in market values for collector cars, and it shows no real signs of slowing down for the next few years. Hagerty, one of the biggest names in classic car insurance and valuation, released a wrap-up of the market, detailing the biggest gainers and the biggest losers of 2015.

In the biggest winners category, which comprises classic vehicles which have seen the largest rise in average price from private and public auction sales, its no surprise at all that the list leader is the Porsche 911. The 911 has seen a monumental rise in both popularity and desirability, with prices tripling for certain models over the course of just a few years. Hagerty reports the 911 that gained the most market traction was the 1974-1977 model. The 911 from this era was often looked at as one of the most affordable vintage 911s before the arrival of the ubiquitous models of the 1980s, but now prices for this generation have risen an average of 154 percent, placing it beyond the means of the budding collector.

The list continues with rather predictable entries, including various Ferrari Testarossa models, alongside their smaller Ferrari 308 siblings. Lamborghini Diablo got a boost as well, with an average price bump of 65 percent.

The entries on the biggest loser list don't really come as a surprise, save for one car. The majority of the list is comprised of ungainly and awkward cars from brands that lack a major foothold in the blue-chip marketplace, including cars from Studebaker, American Motors, and Hudson. However, the BMW 2002 somehow makes the list as well, with a 33% decrease in sale price. This comes as a surprise, as the 2002 was a poster child for the rapid rise of 1970's and 1980's German cars.

At this point, Hagerty notes that the number of collectors with cars from the 1980s or newer rose 17 percent last year, showing the buying power of those with Lamborghini Countaches and Testarossas on their bedroom walls are now gaining more buying power in the market.

To round out the recap, Hagerty includes a list of the most expensive cars sold at auction in 2015. We previously covered the auction preview of the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM Spider, which took home a year-long high of just over $28 million at auction.

Take a look at Hagerty's year in review in the tables below.

Greatest increase in average sale price:
1. 1974 - 1977 Porsche 911 (+154%)
2. 2004 - 2009 Aston Martin DB9 (+141%)
3. 1984 - 1996 Ferrari Testarossa/512 TR/F512 M (+98%)
4. 1975 - 1985 Ferrari 308 GTS/GTB (+69%)
5. 1990 - 2001 Lamborghini Diablo (+65%)

Greatest decrease in average sale price:
1. 1946 - 1952 Hudson Commodore (-36%)
2. 1968 - 1975 BMW 2002 (-33%)
3. 1976 - 1986 American Motors CJ-7 (-32%)
4. 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk (-30%)
5. 1955 - 1957 Chevrolet 150 (-27%)

Top 10 2015 North American Auction Sales:

1. $28,050,000 - 1956 Ferrari 290 MM Spider - Sold by RM Sotheby's, New York, Dec. 10

2. $17,600,000 - 1964 Ferrari 250 LM - Sold by RM Sotheby's, Monterey, Aug. 13

3. $16,830,000 - 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spider - Sold by Gooding & Co., Monterey, Aug. 15

4. $16,830,000 - 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Speciale - Sold by Gooding & Co., Monterey, Aug. 15

5. $14,300,000 - 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Coupe - Sold by RM Sotheby's, New York, Dec. 10

6. $13,750,000 - 1998 McLaren F1 LM - Sold by RM Sotheby's, Monterey, Aug. 13

7. $13,200,000 - 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF - Sold by RM Sotheby's, Monterey, Aug. 13

8. $10,120,000 - 1982 Porsche 956 - Sold by Gooding & Co., Monterey, Aug. 15

9. $9,625,000 - 1965 Ferrari 250 LM - Sold by RM Sotheby's, Phoenix, Jan. 15

10. $9,405,000 - 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione - Sold by Bonhams, Scottsdale, Jan. 15

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