One year on from launch, Kidston’s K500.com is now the established voice of authority on classic car values and market analysis.
The K500 Index, a figure calculated from some 30,000 auction results baselined to 1994 (when the Index was 100), stood at 474.1 today, up from 437.6 a year ago.
Speaking at an anniversary celebration evening at The Bluebird Club in London last night, founder Simon Kidston commented: “We’re delighted that in just 12 months K500 has proved such a success. We aim to give subscribers the inside track on the market, being the first to report auction results and provide insightful analysis without the usual sugar coating, revealing what’s truly hot – and what’s not.”
“We aim to give collectors the hard facts others either don’t know, or don’t want you to know,” he continued, “which is especially important in a currently volatile world.”
In a short presentation to a packed Bluebird Room at the motoring-themed members’ club in Chelsea, Simon Kidston offered an overview of the collectors’ car market in 2015. “It’s been a year of consolidation, at best, with some models suffering from ‘auction overload’ coming off the highs of mid-2014.”
“The K500 Index has increased steadily, by 9% over the year, broadly similar to the year before but not the 15% p.a. of the previous two. As ever, Ferraris lead the way, although the market’s enthusiasm has certainly diminished for cars that if missed at one sale can be bought at another only a few weeks later. What has boosted index figures this year has been the success of models that can be categorised ‘the best of the best’, those which collectors really only have one opportunity to buy, such as an ex-factory Aston Martin Ulster, ‘barn find’ Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, or an ex-Works Jaguar C-Type with Le Mans history.”
“We’ll be at the end-of-season auctions next week watching, networking and analysing carefully to share with subscribers what’s really happening.”
Joining Simon Kidston were FT columnist and watch guru Simon de Burton, and Philip Hoffman, founder of the Fine Art Fund, both of whom gave entertaining and informative talks on their respective collecting fields. Simon de Burton looked at the parallels between collecting watches and cars- and manufacturers’ efforts to link the two. Philip Hoffman revealed fascinating insights into the art market, explaining the mechanics of how auction houses often guarantee prices to consign top lots, and frankly and modestly discussing the hits and misses of his own art fund.
K500 Managing Editor, Steve Wakefield, outlined exciting developments for 2016, already online, including a new chassis-search function and the ability for K500 members to create up to four ‘collections’ of cars. He also welcomed Swiss luxury watchmaker Richard Mille as a site sponsor, who join long-term partners EFG International, the international private bank.
Closing the event, Simon Kidston commented: “Classic cars are often talked about as a new asset class. Whilst they can prove to be a good investment, it’s important buyers going into the market do so with their eyes wide open and all the facts at their disposal. We think that K500 has given them that edge.”