This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

2013's Highest-Priced Auction Cars

BOSTON (MainStreet) -- Forget the Dow Industrials' 26.5% gain last year. Collectible-car prices rose more than 40% -- and rare Ferraris saw their value shoot up more than twice as much as the Dow.

"There's a global realization that the automobile as a collectible is very exciting and rewarding," says David Gooding of Gooding & Co., a California auction house that sold $192.6 million worth of collector cars last year.

Experts say collector-car auctions have shifted into high gear since shortly after 2008's global financial collapse, when bank deposits began paying terrible interest and seemed anything but low risk.

"Even if you're satisfied with your bank account's security, it's not earning much money for you," says James Knight of auction house Bonhams, which last year sold one car for nearly $30 million -- believed to be an all-time industry high.

Market tracker Historic Auto Group estimates that prices gained 46.8% worldwide, with rare Ferraris rising 62.1% on average -- the steepest percentage gains for the Ferrari brand and the industry as a whole in about a quarter-century.

Gooding, whose firm auctioned off one of 2013's costliest Ferraris, said the Italian-made cars "are sought after by everyone [in the collecting world]. Globally, Ferrari is a brand that has huge strength."

Even the famous "Ferris Bueller Ferrari," one of three replica 1963 Ferrari California Spyders used in filming the 1986 Matthew Broderick comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off, sold at auction for $235,000 last summer. (Filmmakers used replicas of the costly Spyder because Bueller's buddy Cameron famously destroys the car near the movie's end.)

Read on to check out the five cars that garnered 2013's highest auction prices, according to interviews with industry experts.

Rankings exclude private, non-auction sales (which are typically confidential), while all dollar figures are rounded off to the nearest $100,000. Winning bids from overseas auctions reflect exchange rates prevalent at the time a vehicle went under the gavel.

2013's fifth-costliest auction car: 1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta
Price:
$9.5 million

"Cars like this certainly made the Ferrari a legend," says Gooding, whose firm auctioned off the 14-Louver Berlinetta last August in California. "It has everything that makes a Ferrari exciting. It looks great, it sounds great, it's fun to drive and it's a rarity."

The car attracted the highest auction price ever for its vehicle type, of which only nine were built and eight survive.

Designed for both racing and "regular" driving, the 14-Louver Berlinetta placed fourth in Italy's 1957 Coppa Inter-Europa race and ninth in the 1957 Mille Miglia competition there.

The vehicle, which recently underwent a two-year restoration, features a 240-horsepower V-12 engine, four-wheel finned-alloy drum brakes and three Weber 36 DCL/3 carburetors.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,067.56 -30.89 -0.18%
S&P 500 2,002.28 -1.09 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,598.1880 +17.9170 0.39%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs