Ferrari fever? Basic automobiles roar into funding funds By Reuters


© Reuters. Andrea Modena, head of International Technical Help Service and Ferrari Classiche, poses for an image in a storage on the Ferrari manufacturing facility in Maranello, Italy, April 6, 2023. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo


By Valentina Za and Giulio Piovaccari

MILAN (Reuters) – In 1977, a Ferrari (NYSE:) proprietor offloaded his 1962 250 GTO as a result of his spouse complained it was too noisy, recounts Andrea Modena, head of Ferrari’s traditional automotive division. It was both her or the automotive.

“These days, I am unsure the spouse would have gained out.”

Instances have certainly modified. In 2018, the identical Ferrari mannequin turned the most costly automotive ever offered when it fetched $48 million at public sale. Final yr, that report was flattened by a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé that raced to 135 million euros ($149 million).

These type of megadeals are on the vanguard of billions of {dollars} of annual spending on traditional automobiles globally in a wave of funding on this various asset.

Classic automobiles have risen 185% in worth over the previous decade, outstripping the expansion of luxurious rivals wine, watches and artwork, and rating second solely to uncommon whiskies, in line with Knight Frank’s 2023 wealth report.

The market has expanded past a relatively small neighborhood of collectors to incorporate buyers drawn by the prospect of excessive returns plus a scarcity of correlation with mainstream portfolio property comparable to shares and bonds.

“We have been monitoring the market for a very long time,” mentioned Giorgio Medda, CEO and international head of asset administration at Italy’s Azimut. “The monitor report of the previous 30 years tells us traditional automobiles have turn out to be a monetary asset class we wish our shoppers to have of their portfolios.”

This yr, the asset supervisor is launching what it describes because the world’s first “evergreen” fund to put money into classic autos, and says it’s going to solely guess on automobiles value greater than 1 million euros every.

Suggested by Alberto Schon, head of Ferrari and Maserati seller Rossocorsa, the fund says it would decide autos with a novel historical past.

Whereas Azimut’s fund could have no finish date and might obtain new cash indefinitely, small Swiss asset supervisor Hetica Capital launched a 50 million euro ‘closed-end’ fund in 2021, which it additionally mentioned was the primary of its variety.

The Hetica fund, which is focusing on returns of 9%-15% after seven years, has purchased a dozen automobiles to date and goals to get to 30-35 automobiles by the fifth yr, leaving the final two years to promote the autos and pay buyers.

The plans are daring.

“We have seen greater than 100 makes an attempt at organising funds previously. No person managed to construct each a diversified investor base and a diversified automotive portfolio,” mentioned Dietrich Hatlapa, founding father of traditional automotive analysis home HAGI, which provides the sector information utilized by Knight Frank.

It is also not a sector for the financially faint-hearted.

Registered in Luxembourg, each the Azimut and Hetica funds have a minimal entry funding bar of 125,000 euros.

“We get a great deal of calls from individuals who’re seeking to make investments 1,000-2,000 euros and now we have to show them down,” mentioned Walter Panzeri who runs Hetica’s Klassik Fund.

Furthermore, a small scratch or dent, or a alternative half, can deal a heavy monetary blow. For instance, changing simply the bumper of a uncommon classic automotive can price $15,000, mentioned Modena.

Graphic: Investments of Ardour –


Operating prices for automotive collections, together with hefty storage and insurance coverage charges, may simply quantity yearly to 5-6% of the portfolio’s worth, in line with Florian Zimmermann, who began shopping for classic automobiles when he labored at Mercedes-Benz and has since constructed a group of 300 autos with a companion.

“It is getting tougher and tougher to seek out the right mechanics to maintain these automobiles alive. And you must spend fairly an amount of cash to maintain all these automobiles in operating situation,” he mentioned.

Certainly funding funds managing automotive portfolios could be a money-spinner for the traditional automotive divisions of automakers, which not solely present repairs and elements, but in addition certify the authenticity of autos to participate in exhibits and competitions.

The certification course of alone can price round 20,000 euros, in line with Peter Becker of Mercedes-Benz Basic who mentioned solely the carmaker’s consultants, with entry to its archives, may verify the originality of a traditional mannequin.

Nonetheless, the traditional automotive market is increasing because the variety of rich folks additionally rises; the worth of classic automobiles grew 25% in 2022, their strongest efficiency in 9 years and second solely to artwork’s 29% enhance, in line with Knight Frank.

Basic car insurer Hagerty estimates there are about $80 billion collector car transactions a yr globally, together with all auctions and personal gross sales.

Whereas North America stays the biggest marketplace for auctions, with Hagerty recording $3.4 billion in public sale gross sales in 2022 versus $774 million in 2007, Zimmermann mentioned a rising variety of consumers had emerged in recent times within the Center East, India and China.


The worldwide race to resign combustion engine automobiles will solely serve to intensify curiosity in these relics of a vanishing period, say some market gamers.

“Electrification will favour traditional automobiles,” mentioned Cristiano Bolzoni, head of Maserati’s classic automotive unit Maserati Classiche. “Over time they may turn out to be cult objects.”

Ferraris are essentially the most prized classic autos, in line with Adolfo Orsi, founding father of the Basic Automobile Public sale Yearbook which has been monitoring public sale gross sales information since 1990, who described them as “completely the blue-chips of this sector”.

Ferraris commanded a median worth at public sale of $589,000 in 2021-22, adopted by Mercedes-Benz automobiles on $378,000 and Porsches with $348,000.

“The traditional automotive neighborhood has modified tremendously over the previous 5 to 10 years,” Zimmermann mentioned. “As soon as it was solely individuals who knew the automobiles inside out. However over time others merely thought: I like these automobiles, I can afford one and I do not lose cash by shopping for it.”