The Classic Car Auction Yearbook celebrates the launch of its special 25th edition and reports that the 2019-2020 season surprisingly achieved ‘a good 71% sales rate’

Total turnover from this past season was US $683 million, a 27% decrease from 2018-2019.

A 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster sold by Bonhams steals the Classic Car Auction Yearbook’s Top Sale Award for 2019-2020, representing an increasing importance for contemporary collectible cars.

PADUA, Italy (October 20, 2020) – Co-Authors Adolfo Orsi and Raffaele Gazzi, are proud to announce the 25thanniversary edition of the Classic Car Auction Yearbook reporting on the 2019-2020 auction season. This must-have, collectible reference book is the original auction data reporting publication with records dating back to their inaugural 1993-1994 season report when the authors had just begun collaborating with Bolaffi. Since years considered as the ‘bible’ of the collector car market, the Classic Car Auction Yearbook continues to be the only guide of its kind providing a reliable and profoundly analytical look at the most significant, international automotive auction sales. The new edition includes a special section featuring the most significant results and excerpts from each of the 24 publications to date. As every year, Adolfo and Raffaele will launch the new Yearbook from the ACI/ ACI Storico stand at the Auto e Moto d’Epoca Fiera in Padua, Italy. 

Despite negative figures across the board for the 2019-2020 season – due to Covid-19 implications – the classic car market surprisingly managed to remain healthy enough, according to the Yearbook authors, with a 71% sales rate thanks to the positive online auction results from the second half of the season. Full of statistics and graphs, 2019-2020 edition shows in depth what sold and why this season, noting the dramatic decrease effect of the average value of cars sold.  

“[However], COVID-19 was not only negative on the classic car market… it led everyone to reflect about his/her own priorities, their loved ones and real interests,” said Co-Author, historian and esteemed specialist Adolfo Orsi. “Classic cars represent a great passion for many of us, fill­ing our lives with purpose and emotion. Our opinion is that, while some collector-investors [have recently] lost their enthusiasm, the vast majority of true enthusiasts are focusing more so than ever before, if their pockets allow, on buying their dream cars.”

While online auctions certainly proved to be a success this year when people were forced to stay home, Orsi adds his sentiments in the new Yearbook’s Author’s Comments chapter about what online auctions and brokering lack over traditional auctions and in-person car inspections, emphasizing the excitement and energy that naturally fuels any event when enthusiasts gather together with their cars. He adds, “A classic car, for its specificity, cannot always be properly evaluated through photos or a video. You need to look at it while standing at a distance to see the straightness of the lines, to understand the quality of the paint and chroming. You need to touch it, open/close the doors to check if the fitting has been properly done, touch the upholstery to understand its qual­ity, smell the leather and hear the sound of the engine with your own ears. To understand and appreciate a classic car, you need more sensory information than just a photo or video may provide, regardless of how detailed.”

For the first time in history, a contemporary car achieved a higher sales price above all other classics offered on the market this season when Bonhams sold the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster for US $8.337 million in September 2019 in Geneva. Both the Geneva and Abu Dhabi auctions of a few limited production contemporary cars early in the season heavily influenced the increased average value of a few brands, underlining the growing influence and evolving tastes of younger collectors in the marketplace. This year, the Classic Car Auction Yearbook reports that 10 contemporary cars made it to the Top Twenty list and 36 sold for more than US $ 1 million. 

The 25th edition of the Classic Car Auction Yearbook reports on the results from 87 auctions held from the 1st of September 2019 to the 31st of August 2020, has 416 pages with 960 photographs and covers 5,066 cars listed among 335 different marques with indication by chassis number and auction results in three currencies (euro, US dollar and GB pound sterling).