Cars v Gold - $467,500 Shelby triumphs to show the power of alternative investments

As we reported earlier this week, the 1995 Batmobile from 'Batman Forever' realised $165,000 at Auctions America's Fort Lauderdale classic car sale.  However, the Dark Knight's ride was not the highlight; that accolade went to a Shelby Cobra - and its sale provides a perfect example of why alternative investments like classic cars are well worth considering.

The unrestored, barn-found 289 Cobra - the fifth one produced - was manufactured by British company AC Cars in 1963.  It was purchased by its second private owner in 1981 for $30,000 of gold coins - and the fact they were gold is important.

It's well-known that over the last 30 years gold prices have fluctuated but have generally experienced a gradual rise, recently peaking at record levels.  In today's market, the $30,000 of gold coins would now be worth $93,730 - triple their original value.


1963 Shelby Cobra
This 1963 Shelby Cobra has put gold in the shade

But the good news for car collectors and investors is that the classic car market has outperformed gold.  The 1963 Shelby eventually sold for $467,500; that not only means that the car has increased in value by 15 times, but has outperformed the gold market by five times.  A quite incredible feat.

This demonstrates that, with the right investment, a classic car collector can make more money from their assets than owners of traditional commodities like gold.  This is a fact appreciated by high profile collectors like Tammy Kerrigan - née Allen - who has spent hundreds of thousands on rare and classic cars over the last year.

Other strong performers in the sale included a 1932 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton, which sold for $440,000, an $187,000 1957 Desoto Adventurer and, of course, the Batmobile.  But it's the Shelby that teaches the most important lesson - classic cars can be a great investment, and it doesn't necessarily have to be a super-rare Ferrari to appreciate over the years.


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