Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 

$200K for an E39 M5!?

The annual Monterey Car Week occurred a few weeks back, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on the absurd prices people are paying at the car auctions. A remarkably not so good looking Ferrari 250 GTO got the final gavel at over $48 million dollars, a new world record. If I had that level of spending power, the Ferrari 250 to buy is the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, a car I consider as the most beautiful Ferrari V12 grand tourer.

Automobiles within the stratosphere of 250 GTO will never lose its value no matter how many miles are put on them, so at least the owner can enjoy it for what it truly is instead of locking it in a climate-controlled box. Should the car be so unfortunate to be wrecked, a hefty personal check to Ferrari Classiche Department and a boat ride to Maranello ought to mend it back to perfection in short order, and not a penny of value would be loss. Rowan Atkinson’s McLaren F1 is still worth the many millions even after suffering a crash costing $1.4 million to fix.

Mr. Bean is absolutely kind of ‘car collector’: someone that drives the cars, potential diminishment of value of damned.

The well-heeled bloke who purchased this pristine 2002 BMW M5 during Monterey Car Week probably isn’t that type of enthusiast. With less than 500 miles on the odometer, the cleanest example of an E39 M5 this side of a BMW museum sold for a head-shaking $176,000 dollars. What an astronomical premium for having delivery miles, especially for a car that isn’t exactly the most limited of productions. Someone out there is for sure keeping a Porsche GT car hermetically sealed in hopes of a superb profit (997.2 GT3 R3 is good bet).

I surmise the buyer of that particular M5 isn’t likely to put substantial miles on it because there’s plenty of solid running E39 M5s for exponentially less money. Even rich people aren’t so cavalier with their money so in paying nearly $200K (after taxes and fees), the buyer is more than likely looking hold as an investment. An M5 is simply not in the same class of cars as the 250 GTO or McLaren F1, so the value plummets as each addition mile is ticked on.

With obviously zero skin in any of these games, I’m merely a casual observer of the peculiarities in the collector’s car market. On principle I’ve got immensely more respect for the collectors that drive their cars, rather than treat them as museum pieces or bonds in the securities market.

Precious metal indeed.