#169, Hagerty expert talks strong new 2021 auctions

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Auto auctions are back! Live, that is. Online auctions have continued during the pandemic, but January sales are a key indicator for collector car sales. And what a January it was.

Brian Rabold, Vice President of Valuation Services at Hagerty, is our guest on this episode of The Weekly Driver Podcast.

Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia talk with Rabold about the new year, the return of live auctions and some of the surprising prices paid for vehicles.

Hagerty reports a 1957 Chrysler New Yorker station wagon helped launch a resurgence is station wago prices.
Hagerty reports a 1957 Chrysler New Yorker helped launch a resurgence in station wagon prices as the 2021 auction season began strongly in January with $181.9 million in sales.

According to Hagerty, January 2021 auto auctions generated $181.9 million. The impressive tally doesn’t include sales from the launch of the Barrett-Jackson campaign. It’s been postponed until March.

“For us at Hagerty and others in the collector car market, January is a huge month. It always has been,” said Rabold. “Barrett Jackson is one the anchor events that happens every January and over the years nearly a dozen events have sprung up around it.

“A lot of people look around and see whats’s going on at those auctions, read the tea leaves and see where the market is headed. Of course, this year is very, very different.”

Hagerty: New Auction Season Strong

Hagerty compiled a list of the top sellers about January and it’s an impressive, diverse collection.

The month kicked off with Mecum’s best-ever Kissimmee, Florida sale. Mecum offered 24 percent fewer lots than in 2020, but total sales were 27 percent higher thanks to a sell-through rate that jumped from 64 percent in 2020 to 83 percent in 2021.

Average sale prices increased by 31 percent. This performance likely gave confidence to bidders at RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams sales, which respectively recorded 102 and 112-percent increases in average selling price. Gooding & Company’s average price fell 2 percent, from $293,501 to $287,100.

The usual Ferrari, Corvette, Cobras and other popular collector vehicles all sold well. But, for something different, here two unique sales from January.

A 1957 Chrysler Town & Country wagon sold for $67,200. The upscale machine has air conditioning and power everything—amenities a modern driver should greatly appreciate. It “straddles the line between family commuter and rip-snorting tire smoker,” wrote Hagerty, “with fantastic 1950s jet-age styling and good performance from its 325-horsepower 392 engine.”

Mecum Auctions also sold a 1972 Chevrolet C10 CST for $88,000. The surprising price more than doubled the average condition value. The C10 short-bed pickup is equipped with a 400-cubic inch big block engine. It also has some cool features: bucket seats with houndstooth upholstery, a center console and faux wood-grain trim.

Please join us as Rabold details what January meant to the collector industry.

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Hagerty reports a 1972 Chevrolet C10 CST sold for $88,000 in January.
Hagerty reports a 1972 Chevrolet C10 CST sold for $88,000 in January.

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The podcast is in its third year, and we’ve had a diverse collection of guests — famous athletes, vintage car collectors, manufacturer CEOs, automotive book authors, industry analysts, a movie stuntman and episodes from auto shows and car auctions.

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