Last week was Monterey Car Week which combines The Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, new car debuts, and collectible car auctions. Auction sales totaled $469 million, up 18% over 2015’s previous record. The average sales price was $583,211, up 31% from last year’s level, and a total of 113 cars sold for more than $1 million. The most successful auction house was RM Sotheby’s with sales of $221.7 million and a 90% sell-through rate.
These incredible totals are consistent with sales of art, high-end mechanical watches, yachts, large homes, jets, luxury travel, and a variety of other premium goods and services. It is not clear whether this is a function of the massive wealth created in recent years, a flight to “hard assets” due to inflation fears, a sense of carpe diem brought on by the pandemic, or some other phenomenon. In any case, recession talk does not seem to be having any noticeable impact on the premium end of consumer markets.
For a little eye candy, check out the winner of the Concours d’ Elegance, a 1932 Duesenberg.