Sunday, 8 December 2013

Micro Level Trends – Classic Cars (Part 2 of 3)– The 'Californiacation' of Europe's Masterpieces.

In order to better contextualise this topic and provide more easily absorbed distinct sections of coverage, what was an overly lengthy Part 2 has itself been divided so as to create a further Part 3, to follow.

This allows for an informed and importantly separate, distinct coverage of both the summit of the classic car auction market, as well as latterly viewing the important issue of the wide 'cultural backdrop' such cars represent, and their critical role in forming the continued revival of all new European and American luxury automobiles that can form substantial corners for both regions' industrial renaissance.

Concours d'Elegance -

A highlight for many classic car collectors and general enthusiasts are those more cultured meetings which take place throughout the year, though most, and have formed a part of the social calender.

What were once small, purist meetings have, with the association of wealth, evolved into more socially orientated and indulgent events. Machines to be admired and examined, with often an informal or formal competition marking out the most original or best reconditioned. In the rarefied atmosphere of notable cars worth triple digit thousands and often multi-million figures, the process has long been termed Concours d'Elegance, quite apt given the level of quality expected, and the aura of exclusivity sought by promoters and attendees.

The term re-appropriated from the 17th and 18th century summer-weekend carriage parades – upmarket promenades – seen in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, the parks of Vienna and elsewhere. The typically exotic and 'high-cultural' French phrase itself adding to the perception of a modern-day event. All the more alluring in more conservative and Francophile areas, which sought and seek to maintain social separation from other wealthy yet typically more socially crass locales.

[NB given the associated prestige, both niche car producers and large manufacturers marketing niche vehicles have sought to showcase concept, prototype and new models at such events].

The most reputed are held at:
- Pebble Beach (Monterey, CA, USA since 1950)
- St Johns (Plymouth, previously Meadow Brook, Michigan, USA, since 1979)
- Louis Vuitton Classic 'at Bagatelle' (Paris, France, since 1988)
- Villa d'Este (Lake Como, Italy, [1929] since 1995)
- Amelia Island (Florida, USA, since 1996)

As can be seen, the USA endeavours to be the 'kingmaker' of the concours d'elegance, and as such a high degree inter-regional competitiveness to gain the American crown.

Other such premium meetings have of course been present, some with and without the 'concours' aspect. These include events such as:

- Retromobile (Paris, France)
- The Cavallino Classic (West Palm Beach, Florida, USA)
- The Quail (Monterey, California, USA)
- Goodwood FoS and Revival (W.Sussex, UK, since 1993)
- Salon Privé (Syon Park, previously Hurlingham Club, UK, since 2007)
- St James's Concours of Elegance (Central London, UK)
- Regent Street Show (prior to Brighton Run, Central London, UK)
- Chantilly Arts and Elegance Concours (Oise, NW France)

Given the present and potential 'wealth-effect' within India, China, Russia, Asia and S.America classic car events are being cultivated, no doubt leading to eventually what will become well established concours d'elegance gatherings.

This is recognised by Louis Vuitton since in 2006 it has offered an award for the 'best of the best' previous concours winners.

Marque Specific Clubs -

The above relies upon the ability for an owner to purchase a specific type of car, the enabling of historical comprehension regards the brand of a certain marque, and the ability to engage a knowledgeable eye when comparing showcased vehicles. This is invariably greatly assisted by long running brand relative owner's clubs.

Throughout the decades, from first appreciation of a vehicle type, owner's clubs have allowed for a snowball effect of enthusiasm, shared historical appreciation (often of the 'marque minutia') and so the collation of general automobilia: from cars themselves to spare parts to specialist crafts-people, to literature and beyond.

These clubs, assisted by specialist publishing efforts, book vendors, the connectivity of the internet and sales of associated paraphernalia, then tend to act as natural centre-points for enthusiasts or fom promotion efforts themselves.

Driving Events -

The motor tour or 'run' has long been the preserve of true enthusiasts, possibly enduring the general discomfort to either mark a historical anniversary or maintain a tradition. Such historic tours have become increasingly popular as older cars of all eras (Veteran, Vintage and Post WW2) are appreciated.

The most pertinent being the Veteran Car Club's London to Brighton drive in early November; accompanied by grey skies, cold winds and often rain; horrible to driver and passengers, but good conditions for engine cooling and combustion horse-power. This one amongst various VCC tours.

However, typical other events are less arduous given more robust machines and better weather, and though arguably less sophisticated, often more glamorous.

Perhaps the best known and publicised of these glamour runs is the present Mille Miglia in Italy. It originally lasted between 1927 to 1957, itself a longer distance spin-off race from the earlier Targa Floria. So, initially a true and often highly dangerous competition for factory teams and privateers. The modern era re-run named 'Mille Miglia Storica' (Historic) is undertaken as a tribute tour; using original and era specific collector's vehicles, with a degree of light competition, but with the central aim of completing the Brescia to Rome and return looped course.

Given the American (especially Californian) 'Europhilia', the 'MMS' inspired the 'Mille Miglia California' has existed since 1991. Its administrators select 65 interesting cars which pre-date 1957 for the occasion, which unlike the Italian run alters its route each year to take in alternative gastronomic 'refueling stops' and scenary.

One of the more exotic efforts is the Louis Vuitton Classic Run, which has variously held the event from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Dalian to Beijing, Budapest to Prague.

It is believed by investment-auto-motives that the more recent initiatives to create modern-day 'high octane' runs, such as the 'Gumball 3000' and 'Bull Run' are partly directed at younger, less wealthy but more excitable auto-fans, so as to create a synergistic bridge to the upper tier as their sensibilities mature and wealth increases; so morphing a new generation of 'owner-stewards'.

[NB in contrast with its somewhat narcissistic image, the Gumball 3000 operates a charitable Foundation for less privileged children].

The Sale of Automotive Icons -

Private Treaties:

Private treaties between different parties are the 'dark pools' of the classic car world, one collector seeking to obtain a venerable vehicle without the gaze of the world upon them, and by doing so hoping to limit the cost of the purchase.

It would be logical to assume that the trend for such private deals rises during lean economic times when certain collectors may be forced to let-go of their prized possessions, in doing so seeking a 'fair price' for the item, in the knowledge that the 'open' auction market is deflated.

Though note that the major auction houses tend to act as the intermediary agents to connect both parties and to provide advice on “fair value”.

Auction Events:

Likewise, during improving and boom times, sellers will seek to maximise sales value from an open sale, hoping to draw interest from a broader audience.

The well known auctioneers of the classic car world include:
- Sotheby's
- Christie's
- Bonhams
- Gooding and Co,
- RM
- H&H
- Barrett Jackson.

Sales take place both at an auction house's own facilities, and at the 'hallowed grounds' of Concours d'Elegance events and at other suitable up-market locations.

In order to comprise as many top-notch cars for sale as possible, and compete for sector standing, auctioneers are willing to join forces. To create strongly populated, so price elevating and so memorable auctions; as was the case with RM and Sotheby's.

Determinants of Valuation -

The primary drivers of valuation relate to: original production volumes, current rarity, level of pent-up demand, body-style (racer vs roadster vs coupe vs saloon...limousines retaining prestige), aesthetic consideration (relative to original context), condition (wholly original vs degrees of alteration and/or refurbishment; from basic conservation to complete 'ground-up' rebuild), associated documentation (relating to originality or refurbishment costs), “barn-finds” (whereby a precious car has been usually unwittingly removed from general circulation and re-discovered), peer review (whereby a vehicle has won concours d'elegance awards), event eligibility (so as to be able to run the car on renowned auto-runs, the 'nostalgia effect' (whereby older wealthier buyers seek out their youthful associations)

Lastly, of major influence regards price paid is the general health of regional and global economies, with critically any specific major strength of a certain country and its currency. As seen by the great strengthening of the Japanese Yen vs the US Dollar during the late 1980s, which drove Japanese collectors to pay all time high prices.

Comparative Sector Valuations -

Of these things, it is perhaps the car which has garnered the greatest public attention, especially over the last 25 years, given the seemingly sky-high auction prices paid for the best of breed.

The Economist publishes a 'valuables index' in which the 2012 edition highlighted the marked out-performance of classic cars versus guitars, violins, coins, stamps, art and wine. From a 2002 baseline cars rose 5.4x versus 3.4x for coins/stamps, violins and wine 2.8x, guitars 2.1x and general art 1.5x.

It should also be stated that the aforementioned comparative valuations table itself states that the underlying data for cars was not to be published, so inferring that only the most expensive examples were surveyed. Thus the chart itself arguably contributing to the 'culture commercialisation' and perhaps over-emphasising the real rate of high-end classic car price appreciation.

However, according to HAGI index (Historic Automotive Group International) which records transactions both on a brand basis and en mass, between 2005 and 2010 vintage cars saw valuations grow by an average of 21% annually. However, when the price of record-breaking 'star' lots have been extracted, and when viewed on a broad marque by marque basis the growth figures diminish.
HAGI points to its Mercedes Benz index as being more indicative given its broader model exposure, and states that this saw a 15.5% gain Year to November.

It is noted that with the use of tracked indices within this 'alternative asset class' that, like the trading data of stock, bond and other classes, sellers, intermediaries and buyers are trying to create greater visibility to the 'market'; presumably to even-out the previous volatility of wide-spread transaction prices and avoid the 'boom and bust' of the past.

The Need for Vigilance -

It seems then that fortunately, of all the collectable items available, the mechanised complexity of the car and its typically recorded provenance by manufacturers, dealers, owners and government agencies, makes it arguably harder an artefact to criminalise. So presumably harder to deal dishonestly.

Hence why the tracked authenticity, in conjunction with a car's innate being, plays such an important role for top-end cars. But, as with any artefact the supporting evidence that helps prop-up prices can and no doubt has been criminally created. Whilst to a lesser degree a vehicle's true condition – its wear and tear history - may be misrepresented.

This is less of a problem within the upper most echelons of classic cars, given their rarity connoisseurs will typically know of a specific car's past, through both official records, critically through marque club membership and through dedicated press/magazine coverage of this relatively small field.

However, very probably far greater occurrence is intentional misrepresentation amongst the mass of lesser classic cars; especially regards the ever more important topic of originality. The demand for originality from buyers has seemingly prompted a rash of vehicles over recent years claimed as wholly original: with low miles / kilometres, barely worn seats and carpet and supporting rare 'authentic' accessories.

As may be viewed on youtube etc, some of the claims made regards originality are clearly false. As with non-existent material degradation for cars that have supposedly stood in garages for decades, or non-existent wear and tear on even modicum mileage cars, or seen when a very low mileage car with pristine bodywork and interior trim has an engine bay that reflects real-world ageing and higher mileage seen by oil-engrained engine block and semi-rusty manifolds. Essentially, a mismatch of conditions so highlighting very likely refurbishment to one area or another.

When described as such, all very well, but cars are ultimately mechanical objects and can have dings and dents 'doctored' so as to be promoted as “original”.

Back to the rare breed vehicles.

Saleroom Benchmarks -

The following long list of auction sales provides a chronological overview of the prime cars sold since 1986 to date. Data is drawn from various sources, but much reliant upon Octane Magazine's very recent auction price update.

1986: (1931) Bugatti Type 41 Royal (Berlin de Voyage) - $6.5m
1987: (1931) Bugatti Type 41 Royal (Kellner Coupe) - $8.7m
1989: (1957) Aston Martin DBR2 - $4m
1989: (1962) Ferrari Dino 196 SP - $4.55m
1991: (1962) Ferrari 250 GTO - $5.5m
1999: (1937) Alfa Romeo 8C-2900B (Pinin Farina) - $4m
2000: (1964) Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe - $4.4m
2000: (1966) Ferrari 330 P3 - $5.6m
2001: (1956) Ferrari 410 Sport Spider - $3.8m
2002: (1962) Ferrari 330 TR1/LM Testa Rossa - $6.49m
2004: (1935) Duesenberg SJ Speedster- $4.45m
2004: (1930) Bentley Speed Six (“No2 team car) - $5m
2004: (1929) Mercedes Benz SSK Roadster - $7.4m
2005: (1966) Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART - $3.9m
2006: (1938) Talbot-Lago T150C-SS - $3.9m
2006: (1958) Ferrari 412 S - $5.61m
2007: (1959) Ferrari 250 GT LWB California - $4.45m
2007: (1933) Delage D8S by de Villars - $3.74m
2007: (1935) Duesenberg SJ - $4.4m
2007: (1931) Bentley 4.5L Supercharged - $4.51m
2007: (1959) Ferrari 250 GT LWB Spider Comp - $4.95m
2007: (1953) Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinatta Comp - $5.8m
2007: (1904) Rolls-Royce 10hp 2 seater - $7.25m
2007: (1937) Mercedes Benz 540K Roadster - $8.05m
2007: (1962) Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Spider - $9.4m
2008: (1997) McLaren F1 - $4m
2008: (1961) Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta - $4.51m
2008: (1939) Talbot-Lago T150C-SS ('Portout') - $4.87m
2008: (1960) Jaguar E-Type Protoype E2A (“McLaren-Brabham”) - $4.95m
2008: (1938) Bugatti Type 57 SC Atalante - $7.92m
2008: (1964) Ferrari 250 LM (“Rindt”) - $6.98m
2008: (1961) Ferrari 250 GT SWB California - $10.9m
2009: (1933) Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 (Long Chassis) - $4.18m
2009: (1937) Bugatti Type 57 S Atalante - $4.37m
2009: (1960) Ferrari 250 GT SWB California - $4.95m
2009: (1962) Ferrari 250 GT SWB California - $5.1m
2009: (1965) Shelby Daytona Cobra (“Bondurant”) - $7.7m
2009: (1957) Ferrari Test Rossa - $12.4m
2010: (1955) Jaguar D-Type (“Unser”) - £3.74m
2010: (1972) Porsche 917 Spyder - $4m
2010: (1964) Aston Martin DB5 (original Bond film car) - $4.6m
2010: (1954) Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta - $4.6m
2010: (1938) Talbot-Lago T150C 'Tear-Drop Coupe' - $4.62m
2010: (1961) Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta SEFAC - $6.1m
2010: (1933) Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Monza - $6.71m
2010: (1959) Ferrari 250 GT LWB California - £7.26m
2011: (1958) Ferrari 250 GT LWB - $2.24m
2011: (1952) Ferrari 340 Mexico Vignale Coupe - $4.29m
2011: (1938) Talbot-Lago T150C-SS('Tear-Drop Coupe') - $4.47m
2011: (1927) Mercedes Benz S-Type - $5m
2011: (1960) Ferrari 250 GT SWB Comp - $5.28m
2011: (1935) Mercedes Benz 500K Roadster - $3.76m
2011: (1939) Mercedes Benz 540K Roadster - $4.6m
2011: (1937) Mercedes Benz 540K Roadster - $9.7m
2011: (1931): Duesenberg J - $10.34m
2011: (1957) Ferrari Testa Rossa Prototype - $16.4m
2012: (1959) Ferrari 250 GT LWB California - $3.9m
2012: (1932) Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Spider Lungo - $4.2m
2012: (1973) Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder - $4.4m
2012: (1957) Ferrari 500 TRC by Scaglietti - $4.51
2012: (1955) Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing (alloy) - $4.6m
2012: (1964) Ford GT40 Prototype - $5m
2012: (1972) Porsche 917/10 Spyder (“Follmer”)- $5.83m
2012: (1928) Bentley 4.5L 'Bobtail' Le Mans - $6m
2012: (1955) Ferrari 857 Sport by Scaglietti - $6.27m
2012: (1957) Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Prototype - $6.6m
2012: (1956) Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta 'TdF' - $6.7m
2012: (1912) Rolls Royce 40/50 Pullman Limousine - $7.38m
2012: (1929) Bentley 4.5L Supercharged - $7.9m
2012: (1955) Ferrari 410S Berlinetta by Scaglietti - $8.25m
2012: (1957) Ferrari 250 SWB GT California - $8.6m
2012: (1968) Ford GT40 (Gulf Oil colours) - $11m
2012: (1960) Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Comp - $11.27m
2012: (1936) Mercedes Benz 540K Roadster - $11.77m
2013: (1955) Jaguar D-Type - $3.9m
2013: (1935) Duesenberg SJ (Convertible Coupe) - $4.51m
2013: (1928) Mercedes Benz S-Type - $4.55m
2013: (1931) Bentley 4.5L Supercharged Le Mans - $4.64m
2013: (1948) Alfa Romeo 6C-2500 Comp - $4.85m
2013: (1960) Aston Martin DB4GT 'Bertone Jet' - $4.92m
2013: (1955) Maserati 300S (“Spear-Johnston”) - $5.1m
2013: (1955) Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Comp - $7.15m
2013: (1960) Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Comp - $8.14m
2013: (1928) Mercedes Benz 680S Roadster (Torpedo) - $8.25m
2013: (1958) Ferrari 250 GT LWB California - $8.25m
2013: (1997) McLaren F1 (road car) - $8.47m
2013: (1937) Bugatti Type 57 SC Atalante - $8.74m
2013: (1953) Ferrari 375 MM Spider (“Kimberley”) - $9.07m
2013: (1957) Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta (“14”) - $9.46m
2013: (1935) Alfa Romeo 8C-35 (“Nuvolari”) - $9.42m
2013: (1953) Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta Comp - $12.74m
2013: (1967) Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider - $27.5m
2013: (1954) Mercedes W196R 'Silver Arrows'- $29.6m
2013: Rumoured private sale of Ferrari GTO - $52m


Each vehicle is very specific even amongst its siblings, and collectors tend to keep their cars for long periods. So very little direct 'apples for apples' comparison exists in what is overall a relatively illiquid market; itself broadened and narrowed by external economic and financial forces and the personal fortunes of the collectors.

Nonetheless, to gain a very, very rudimentary understanding of the aforementioned barrage of valuations, similar model variants based upon the same 'model chassis' (whether ladder chassis, space-frame sub-structure or unibody) may be viewed over a time-line.

But to reiterate, given such a lack of even approximate product consistency – given the variables involved and weightings each may be allotted - no true and consistent guideline can exist for 'the bast of the best'.

To state otherwise would be a drastically over-simplification the notional 'market', with no doubt an endeavour to replicate the far greater consistency seen with the more prolific classics, eg 1960s coupe and convertible Porsches, Jaguars, Mercedes-Benz; though these can still vary widely depending upon condition and sales location. (see Quentin Willson's auction round-up in Classic Car magazine to help decode that sphere).

No doubt some have thought that the use of market modelling would help to formalise valuation levels. But real-world inputs might range from the validation of an original gearbox, through to heightened public profile in a popular film, through to the likelihood of an oligarch wishing to redistribute his/her domestic wealth; a very broad and complex input base].

A few examples demonstrate the dilemma:

The 1920's Mercedes Benz S series Roadster variants reached in 2004: $7.4m, 2011: $5m (so showing a notional -30% drop), in 2013: $4.55m (re-approaching 2011 valuation) and in 2013: $8.25m (showing a massive statistical growth trajectory)

The 1930's Mercedes Benz K series Roadster variants struck 2007: $8m, and three years later even within the same year of 2011: $3.76m also $4.6m and $9.7m (highlighting a major difference), then in 2012: $11.8m (demonstrating another big heave upwards).

The 1930s icon of the Bugatti Type 57 S(C) Atalante hit in 2008: $7.92m and in 2009: $4.37m, and in 2013: $8.74m

The 1960's Ferrari 250 GT California is perhaps one of the more traded cars, but is differentiated by LWB vs SWB chassis. The LWB model in 2007: $4.45m, in 2010: $7.26m, in 2012: $3.9m and $6.6m (for the prototype) and $11.27m (for a competition car) and in 2013: $8.25m. The SWB versions (excluding the eternally prized GTO) saw in 2008: $10.9m, and a year later in 2009 both $4.9m and $5.1m.

As an extreme, the 1960s Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART struck in 2005: $3.9m, but only eight years later in 2013: $27.5m, (demonstrating an enormous 700% leap).

The 1970's Porsche 917 variants struck in 2010: $4m, 2012: $4.4m (so showing a 10% increase over the period) and also in 2012: $5.8m, (so showing nominal 40% gain over 2 years).

These examples then demonstrate the lack of a consistency which must underpin what may be termed as true investor rationality. That mindset seeks out fundamentally sound recognisable value via price rise and decline trends.

Aswell as perhaps value-driven arbitrage opportunities across different geographical markets. Yet the innate market centrism of such top-echelon vehicles means that little pricing arbitrage may exist, with wealthy collectors typically kept informed of global sales opportunities by the intermediary agents.

Instead, perhaps the greatest opportunities of recent years lay in vehicle reconditioning, refurbishment or complete rebuild. As with the the purchase of a poor or mid condition vehicle returned to an 'as new' state, or even beyond into concours condition. This all the more attractive if undertaken to match or better a previous examplar benchmark price.

Yet this process is hard to truly quantify when assessing a “fixer upper”, given the the need to source very specific locatable and extractable parts and skills, so even this notionally rational 'value-addition' approach is far from an exact science.

Whilst such undertakings undoubtedly require substantial sums, the phrase “it is not about throwing money at it” is well understood amongst enthusiasts circles.

The Rare 'Blue Moon' Find -

Previously mentioned was the 'barn find' Bugatti Atalante in 2009, for many years a reclusive doctor's car (by the name of Carr) in NE England. But perhaps the most intriguing case to date has been that of the 'lake find' Bugatti: a 1925 Type 22 Brescia Roadster, salvaged in 2009.

The story told has it that the car was won by a playboy whilst gambling in Paris, who apparently departed for his Switzerland home, but without the money to pay the car's importation tax when arriving at the Swiss border. It was garaged for a period in limbo then supposedly sought by the authorities to be destroyed. Instead of being hacked apart it was pushed into Lake Maggior, conveniently with a long length of chain attached should there be a need to retrieve the car. The chains eventually broke and the car sank further down to 173 feet.

Re-discovered in 1967 the car was 42 years later salvaged as part of an anti-youth violence charity effort; many volunteers and lifting aids bringing the car back to the surface. The rusted hulk of the car was sold for E265,500, with the monies given to the Swiss charity foundation.

The vehicle was so degraded that it was seen as unrestorable as a complete machine it its own right, then more an historical relic to be admired. Yet the purchaser (individual or consortium) either saw it as a petrified rust-laden piece of historic sculpture, but far more likely, recognised the high value innate to the originality of identity.

So presumably able to refurbish key components (engine, gearbox, axles and perhaps sections of chassis) as the 'original proprietary parts' of ostensibly a partly recreated new car – but critically with ex-factory matching VIN data.

The end result vehicle would be worth many millions, so providing profit leeway even after a time consuming costly rebuild.

Ironically, in an arena where the existence of true 'fundamentals based' investor rationality is hard to grapple, the overall rationale behind this rust-laden Bugatti drawn from the gloomy depths is one of the more obviously transparent propositions.

“Stop Press” Update -

As a final point to this valuations section, there have been press reports through specialist classic car press of one Ferrari 250 GTO being sold privately for $52m. If true, it would be a near tenfold appreciation of the car since the 1991 sale for $5.5m.

Undoubtedly with the use of such instruments as the HAGI market indices, a better market interpretation is being created, yet for the 'best of the best', the very fact that there is such per vehicle variability means that the high-end of the classic car market should not be directly compared to mainstream trading markets with more visible and direct micro and macro 'winds'.

Summary -

So far we have seen how those vehicles which are ascribe as being 'the best of the best' are indeed some of the most prominent artistic concoctions of metal, rubber, glass etc seen across the 130 years or so of the automotive age

To the true enthusiast with the means such examples may be of price worth for their position in history alone, especially when continually enjoyed as a car and not investment product or sculpture; undoubtedly the attitude of collectors such as Nick Mason.

Yet such pedigree cars have also invariably become massively symbolic as seemingly the growing band of those who purchase them,with greater top-tier liquidity amongst more international HNW people, create ever steeper auction prices and so valuations. That process then is not simply about the innate aesthetic value of the car, but a function of the greater levels of international HNW liquidity; though still heavily US related.

Thus, exempting the anonymous, the ability to purchase such a rare vehicle is not only a demonstration of wealth, but also a desire to be seen to join a rarefied cultured 'club' atmosphere, which stretches across the world, but in which California acts as the centripetal force.

The massive price/valuation rises of the Ferrari 275 NART series cars embodies the fervency of this liquidity led reality.

In an ordinary market whatever dramatically rises typically at a later date falls as the supply/demand function alters.

But as to be explained in Part 3, investment-auto-motives believes that the uber-wealthy of California are purposefully creating a rarefied classic car micro-climate for the 'best of the best'.

So that in the years to come they can take advantage of a rebalancing between the US Dollar and Chinese RMB and so gain from China's immense future (US like) wealth, and indeed deploy the vehicles as cultural 'bargaining chips' on the table of international finance; having created a virtuous circle of trans-Pacific tourism which embodies the display of European (and American) Automotive Masterpieces, set within a broader Californian auto-cultural dimension.