If you want to gauge how well the classic car markets are doing, look no further than the HAGI Top 50 benchmark Index.
Overall, it's good news. The "HAGI Top" index, which tracks performances of the top classic car marques at worldwide auctions, is up 8.53% this year.
Meanwhile, HAGI's P & F index - representing all the top marques minus Ferrari and Porsche - rose by 16.22% this year and 4.41% throughout August 2011.
Yet, at the same time, the Porsche and Ferrari sub-indices have declined; down -4.71 and -6.05 respectively in the same month. Overall, Ferrari is up 7.35% this year.
The reason behind this? According to HAGI's analysts, the trends suggest an "over-supply and a reluctance of market players to pay (at auction) the high prices recorded during the previous month [July 2011]."
That isn't to say that strong auction results haven't been recorded by Porsches or Ferraris during August, only that these individual car sales did not change the overall trend.
In fact, last month saw a spectacular new Word Record price set by the auctioning of a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype in the US.
The $16.39m World Record price set by this 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
Prototype shows that the world's rarest classic cars are resilient despite
wider economic trends
Chassis number 0666 TR was the model for all future Testa Rossas, making it invaluable to classic sports car collectors. The Testa Rossa Prototype sold for $16.39m (including premium) and is now the world's most valuable Ferrari.
Yet, examples like this aside, HAGI's analysts suggest that uncertainty among classic car buyers may have been created by a worldwide sell-off in stock markets at the beginning of the month.
Global equities, as measured by the S&P Global 1200 Index, fell by 7.44% during August.
In other words, investors who have diversified their portfolios into classic cars bought fewer Ferraris and Porsches at auction as their mainstream investments underperformed, according to HAGI.
However, examples like the $16.39m Testa Rossa Prototype demonstrate that the world's most exclusive classic cars are effectively immune to market trends.
As a result, classic cars are continuing to perform well at the world's top auctions, despite the ups and downs of the mainstream financial markets.
Watch this space for all the latest classic car news.
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