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.
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.