VDA’s German Classic Car Index
The average value of Germany’s historic motor vehicles climbed again last year, although the rise was less pronounced than in the year before. In 2014 the German Classic Car Index published by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) increased by 4.5 per cent. This took the index from 2,186 to 2,285 points. In 2013 it grew by over 8 per cent. This is repeating the pattern seen during recent years: periods of keen value growth are generally followed by less dynamic phases. In the long term the German Classic Car Index shows a clear upward trend.
First place in vehicles’ ranking by value growth over the last year goes to the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing sports car (up from second place in 2013). It is followed by a well-known car from the US, the Chevrolet Camaro built from 1978 to 1981, which already scored second best value growth in 2012. Third place is taken by the Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC Coupé (W 126), which was produced from 1985 to 1991. Next in line is the Volvo PV 544 (built from 1961 to 1965). Two Opel models come in fifth and sixth: the Opel Commodore, a saloon in the upper medium segment (1969 to 1971) with a six cylinder in-line engine, followed by the somewhat less powerful Opel Rekord C 1700 (1968 to 1971). The Opel Ascona B (1975 to 1981) manages tenth place. This means that historic Opel models took the most places among the top ten in 2014.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (Gullwing) shows the best growth not only in relation to the previous year: this car also tops the ranking of vehicles with the greatest increase in value since the index was launched in 1999. Second place is shared by two legendary automobiles from the volume segment: the Citroën 2CV 6 and the VW Type 2 T2 bus. In both cases the high value growth over the last 15 years is due to the relatively low starting point in the year 1999. The places following them are filled by everyday vehicles dating from the 1970s: the Ford Escort 1100 S (1968 to 1970) and the Renault R4 (1972 to 1974).
The market for classic vehicles exhibits two increasingly separate segments. On the one hand at public auctions the rare vehicles, one-off items or racing cars, which not uncommonly have had famous owners, sold for record prices last year. However, this is not very representative of the classic car market as a whole, because people frequently buy these unusual cars as an investment. On the other hand, the genuine historic vehicle enthusiasts love their vehicles independent of their rarity value or potential increase in price. On average they pay far less than 20,000 euro for a classic car. As a rule the increasing the value of these vehicles does not compensate for the continual costs of servicing and maintenance. These are the vehicles that form the main body of the German Classic Car Index, which does not include any one-off vehicles, but only those that were produced in a certain quantity and are still traded today. It is based on data from the specialist valuers “classic-analytics” in Bochum. The index is calculated on the basis of 88 vehicles selected for their specifications, country of origin, and rate of occurrence, which taken together are representative of the German historic vehicle market. The current registration figures are taken into account in the calculation.
Index development since 1999
Vehicle ranking by change in value 1999 – 2014
Vehicle ranking by change in value compared to previous year