VDA’s German Classic Car Index
The prices of historic motor vehicles have again shown a strong rise over the past year. In 2013 the German Classic Car Index published by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) increased by 8.1 per cent (cf. 4.2 per cent rise in 2012). A clear upward trend was seen on the historic vehicle market, most particularly in the second half of 2013. It pushed the German Classic Car Index up from 2,023 points to 2,186 in 2013.
In the vehicle rankings by value growth the BMW 520i comes top, the first ever BMW model to do so. The first 5-Series BMW (E12 model series) was built from 1972 to 1981. Second place goes to the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, the Gullwing sports car legend, which fetched record prices in recent months. Third place is taken by the BMW 501 (8-cylinder model). This car was produced from 1955 to 1958 and equipped with a V8 engine that was built from scratch by BMW after the war. These luxury vehicles then gave rise to not only saloon cars but also a few convertibles and coupés. Fourth was another BMW: the LS coupé, which is one of the BMW 700-Series, built in 1964 and 1965. This small car had a kerb weight of only 690 kilograms and was powered by an air-cooled two-cylinder boxer engine based on a motorcycle engine. Fifth place went to the Alfa Romeo Spider “Veloce Cabriolet.”
First place in the rankings of vehicles with the greatest value growth since the Index was launched in 1999 is shared by two volume vehicles: the Citroen 2CV 6 and the VW bus Type 2 T2. In both cases the high value growth over the last 15 years can be explained by the relatively low starting point in the year 1999. Third place goes to the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing.
During recent years, the market for historic vehicles has undergone two separate developments. Firstly, at public auctions for rare vehicles, one-off items, racing cars and vehicles that have been owned by famous people have fetched very high prices. This is apparently rooted in a trend to invest in kind instead of in financial products. Secondly, there are genuine classic car enthusiasts who on average spend less than 20,000 euro on a vehicle. As a rule, the value growth of these vehicles does not compensate for the continual costs of service and maintenance. Such vehicles also form the main body for the German Classic Car Index, which is calculated from market observation data from the specialist valuers “Classic-car-tax” in Bochum. The index is published by the VDA – only once a year, due to seasonal fluctuations resulting in high prices in summer and lower in winter. It is based on information about 88 vehicle types selected for their specifications, country of origin, and rate of occurrence, which taken together are representative of the German historic vehicle market. Current registration figures are taken into account in the calculation.
Graphics illustrating the German Classic Car Index can be downloaded from the Internet at: