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Top of the Classic Car World

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Wealth-X’s Custom Research Team executed a luxury marketing project with The Classic Car Trust to provide insights into the world of classic car collectors and the wealth that they hold.

The world of classic cars represents a multi-billion dollar market. Passionate collectors and aficionados do business with major manufacturers, auction houses, dealers, restorers, and promotors of races and events. Up until now, however, the only available market data came from auction houses, but this is only a small part of the business.

“The Key – Top of the Classic Car World” is the first publication that systematically analyzes the classic car market. Supported with luxury marketing acumen from Wealth-X, The Classic Car Trust provides insights based on research of publicly available data from more than 200 top collectors.

According to this research, more than half of the top 100 collectors (55%) are American citizens. UK is second with 11%, while Italy is third with 10%. Switzerland comes after with 7% and then Germany with 5%.

Top Car Collections: Rich Heritage Meets Exceptional Wealth

The average UHNW car collector is significantly wealthier than the average UHNW individual. A typical UHNW car collector has, on average, about $800 million in wealth compared to only $120 million for the general UHNW individual. While almost half of the global UHNW population have wealth between $30 and $50 million, only 19% of UHNW car collectors are in that wealth bracket. Furthermore, about 41% of UHNW car collectors have wealth of $250 million or more (with 13% being billionaires) compared to only 7% of the global UHNW population.

The top 100 collectors are, on average, relatively old. More than 60% are above 70 years old. 26% are between 60-70, while 12% are below 60 (split in equal percentage between 50-60 and 40-50). This reflects the fact that classic car collecting is, as expected, a phenomenon related to older generations.

 To learn more about the interests of the ultra wealthy read: UHNW Interests, Passions and Hobbies: A Study from the Wealth-X Institute

Succession is a Major Issue

The top 100 collectors alone own around 3,500 of the most important classic cars in the world, worth an overall total of some 8 billion US dollars. The average age of these collectors is 72, and around 20% of them are 80 or older. This raises the question of succession: some of the most important automotive gems in the world, worth billions of dollars, will soon pass on to the next generation.

The ranking of the top 100 collectors is based on luxury marketing research data, merging several different parameters. In addition to the economic value, they include parameters important for the community of classic car collectors. This includes participation in events, awards received, and the contribution that the collection has on the image and cultural role of the sector.

The top 10 are:

  • Miles Collier (US)
  • Fred Simeone (US)
  • Evert Louwman (NL)
  • Peter Mullin (US)
  • Ralph Lauren (US)
  • Arturo Keller (US)
  • Larry Auriana (US)
  • Samuel Robson Walton (US)
  • Albert Spiess (CH)
  • Anthony Wang (US)

For more information on the top 10, please visit the The Classic Car Trust website.

Expert Views on the Classic Car Industry

In addition to the market intelligence, Chief Editor Antonio Ghini has collected a wealth of qualified opinions from within the classic car community. This includes acknowledged market specialists like Donald Osborne and Dr. Adolfo Orsi and thought leaders Jean Todt (FIA), Sandra Button (Concours Pebble Beach), Lorenzo Ramaciotti (Concorso d’Eleganza die Villa d’Este), and the first public appearance of Swiss top collector Albert Spiess. The subject of preservation and restoration is highlighted by looking into the preservation of the UNESCO awarded prototype of the Alfa Romeo SZ “Coda Tronca” and visiting master restorer Dino Cognolato in his Italian workshop. For more information, please visit the website of “The Key – Top of the Classic Car World.”

Related Case Study content: Case Study: Wealth-X Professional for the Luxury Automotive Industry


Reprinted with Wealth-X’s permission.

Wealth-X’s Custom Research Team is experienced in creating personalized reports that inform development strategy. If your company is interested in utilizing our services, consult our Custom Research page and contact us at contact@wealthx.com.

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