Investment | 9 May, 2018

Investing in Classic Cars (II): Six Milestones in the History of Automotive Manufacturing

Javier Rubio Business Development Director

The world of collectible investing continues to boom, with classic cars in particular enjoying an excellent moment because of their international appeal and  cumulative returns (+362% in the last decade according to figures published by the consulting firm HAGI, which specialises in vintage collector cars, and the latest Wealth Report from Knight Frank).

Searching for and collecting classic cars is a never-ending phenomenon. For some people, it’s linked to emotional factors, memories or personal experiences, while for others it’s simply a matter of investing in a tangible asset that history and society appreciate as much as a Picasso or Matisse.

Without going into why the value of collector cars is increasing so fast, which I’ll discuss in another article soon, I’d like to share with readers a  particular characteristic  found in all  good investors, which is none other than a good “eye”, the ability to visualise, understand and learn about the history of automotive manufacturing.

In this article, we’ll look at six fascinating milestones in the history of automotive manufacturing in Europe:

  1. Mercedes Museum(Stuttgart, Germany): The origins of the automobile with an internal combustion engine and the Mercedes Benz factory are inextricably linked to the history of automotive manufacturing and the social development of the 20th and 21st centuries. Located in a futurist building, this extremely well organised and structured museum offers visitors an insight into the origins of the car and how it has evolved to the present day in terms of its uses as a personal, commercial, sports and competition vehicle.
  2. Fritz Schlumpf Collection – Cité de L’Automobile(Mulhouse, France): Created by a family of textile industrialists and now owned by the French government, this magnificent museum is less than one hour from the city of Basel and houses more than 520 collector cars, including the world’s largest collection of Bugatti vehicles – no less than 123!
  3. Ferrari Museum(Maranello, Italy: For lovers of the prancing horse, this museum lets visitors into the secrets of the origins, present and future of the legendary sports car. As well as admiring the winning F1 models, visitors can test drive a simulator and tour the Maranello workshops.
  4. Porsche Museum(Stuttgart, Germany): For fans of a classic among classics, this avant-garde building houses an exhibition on the history of the legendary 911 and all the other models by the German manufacturer.
  5. BMW Museum(Munich, Germany): The Bavarian brand that started out as a manufacturer of aircraft engines then switched to cars and motorbikes is undoubtedly one of the inventors of the “Series” concept that led to the launch on the market of models associated with new design and technology.  The past, present and future of the Bavarian brand come alive in this museum.
  6. Miguel de la Vía Collection(Vizcaya, Spain): Just 30 minutes from Bilbao, this fortress museum stands in the middle of a fantastic forest. The magnificent collection amassed by this local businessman comprises 75 vintage vehicles, including one of the largest private collections of Rolls Royce in the world.

Whatever your interest in the automotive world, a visit to any of these museums is well worth a stop. After all, the car is synonymous with innovation and technology in one of the modes of transport that best exemplifies how humanity has evolved over the last three centuries.

For more information on classic car investing, contact our automotive industry experts.