Classic cars 'HAGI' index outperforms gold and beats global equities

The Historic Auto Group Index (HAGI Top 50 benchmark) is the go-to barometer if you want to find out how the classic cars markets are doing in 2011.

And it's good news: the Index, the overall market measure for exceptional historic automobiles, recently rose for the first time since July.

According to the figures, it went up by 7.02 points (or 5.36%) to 138.05. This is an new all-time high for the Index.

The climb was largely down to stronger prices for quality cars - especially marques other than Porsche and Ferrari.

In fact, HAGI has its own special index for these marques: the  "ex. P&F Index". It has strongly risen 13.68 points or 10.13% to 148.70.


Figures from the HAGI: the overall market measure for classic automobiles

Meanwhile, the P and F sub-indices for rare Porsche and Ferrari cars rose 4.45% and 0.47% respectively. 

Overall the HAGI Top 50 Index rose by 13.94% in 2011 through October.

All very impressive, but how do these figures compare to 'traditional asset classes'?

In comparison, global equities, as measured by the S&P Global 1200 Index, rose by 10.41% during October. They are down 5.21% year-to-date.

That classic cars are outperforming tradition asset classes is nothing new.

Earlier this year, an unrestored barn-found 289 Cobra - the fifth one produced - appeared for sale in March of this year.

It was purchased by its second private owner in 1981 for $30,000 of gold coins.

1963 Shelby Cobra

This 'barn find' 1963 Shelby Cobra proved itself better than gold at
a classic cars auction, earlier this year

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.

Yet the 1963 Shelby eventually sold for $467,500.

That not only meant that the car had increased in value by 15 times, but it had outperformed the gold market by five times.

The 'proof is in the pudding,' as they say - and also suggests that 2012 could be an exciting year if you're  collector with a passion for classic cars.

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