Market Commentary - which classics are selling, by whom and for how much
The Hagerty Power List investigates the impact celebrity ownership and association have on market value, from movie stars to religious leaders in six categories – Movies, the Movie Stars themselves, Musicians, Racing Drivers, Royalty, and Notable & Notorious. Apollo astronauts, Princess Diana, Paul Newman, his Bullitt movie, the Notorious and Carroll Shelby top their respective categories. Data crunchers analysed 260 vehicles with ‘Celeb Associations’ to deliver this definitive Hagerty Power List, which presents the difference - or ‘delta’ - between the value of famous ownership cars against a normal model of the same type.
HOW THE MARKET VALUES FAMOUS DRIVER HISTORY AND MOVIE EXPOSURE
Power List introduction-
The classic and collector car market has boomed in many recent years, albeit not currently, and collector vehicle insurance brokers Hagerty is at the forefront of monitoring the trends. By how much therefore will famous owner or association affect the value of a vehicle?
Can Rap Star ownership add thousands? Is one of Princess Diana’s former cars more sought-after than a vehicle driven by the Queen? Will a car be worth more if a movie star bought it? Would you pay more for a car once owned by The Pope? The Hagerty Valuation Team set out to answer these questions and more.
They searched their our own databases and third-party sources for cars with a famous pedigree, forming a list of over 260 vehicles owned by everyone from Adolf Hitler to Kris Jenner, and starring in movies from Herbie to Le Mans. They took the price they had achieved (or been estimated at) and then found the value of a ‘standard’ equivalent at the time.
For those cars sold in the last 14 years, this was relatively straightforward. For where they could, they matched the car with Hagerty Price Guide values for that year. But for older cars, it was more difficult; for these, they had to research period auction results and advertisements, insurance data and other information to construct a value as they would for a new car in the Price Guide.
Some cars were extremely difficult to value. When trying to work out the standard equivalent of a Popemobile or a Batmobile, things can get strange. If at all possible, they either valued a non-movie equivalent or the vehicle it was based on, such as the 2008 Mercedes ML500 Popemobile sold in Dublin in 2016. One-offs, like the Pagani Zonda LH, built to spec for Lewis Hamilton and sold in Riyadh in 2017, also challenged them, so they took the price originally paid and increased it at the same rate as a standard Zonda
Advertised prices of celebrity cars offered for sale were considered, but ‘pure’ racing cars, of which there is no road-going equivalent, could not be included as each would be valued according to the races it won (or didn’t). Also, racing cars tended to have more than one driver over a season or two.
The master list was then broken down from rank order to the six categories of the 2022 Hagerty Power List: Movies, Movie Stars, Musicians, Movie Stars, Musicians, Racing Drivers, Royalty, and the Notable & Notorious. The last category included some fascinating cars, including a wonderful 1964 Lincoln Continental limousine that not only carried Pope Paul VI, but also the Apollo astronauts during their ticker-tape parade on their return to Earth.
And the highest value Celebmobiles were -
So, who came out on top? Who are the most influential celebrities when it comes to car values? In straight percentage terms, The Notorious B.I.G. (American Rapper Biggie Smalls) has the biggest difference with an 18,650 per cent increase, followed by the Bullitt Mustang with 15,982 per cent and Tupac (another American Rapper Tupac Shakur) in third place with 8233 per cent.
But are these really the ones with the Power? Hagerty doesn’t think so. All of these ‘winners’ – and eight of the top 10 in pure percentage terms – were from one-off sales of individual cars. Some of them, like the Tupac car, are ‘reported sales’, too, rather than definite values. So, Hagerty decided to add another layer of analysis and take just those people or movies that have at least eight sales of cars or more associated with them.
Finally, they were left with a huge list of famous people and films and the difference or ‘delta’ between their cars and a normal equivalent model. Now we had to work out a way of comparing them, especially tricky as a number of them were linked to many different cars.
It wasn’t just the case of making an average of the deltas either, as 10 per cent of £1 million is a lot more than 90 per cent of £20,000. Fortunately, the analysts behind the scenes of the Price Guide were able to write the formulae and calculate the results.
The sold price (or estimated sale price) has been compared with the values for a standard car at that time. When faced with a ‘unique’ item, such as the Popemobile or a Batmobile, a non-movie equivalent of the vehicle it was based on was valued.
The end result was a list of famous people and films, and the difference or ‘delta’ between the value of their cars and a normal one. In six categories, Movies, Movie Stars, Musicians, Racing Drivers, Royalty, and the Notable & Notorious, were as follows -
Movies - It is unsurprising that Bullitt topped this list. The 1968 Highland Green Ford Mustang that Mecum sold in January 2020 for $3.74 million (£2.8m) had absolutely everything going for it. The difference between this value and Hagerty’s ‘standard’ price of £17,838 made a massive delta of nearly 16,000 per cent.
Movie Stars - Paul Newman is at the top of the list thanks to a single sale: a 2002 Chevrolet Corvette sold in 2012 for $275,000 (£175,200) against a Hagerty value of $38,000 (£24,215). Patrick Dempsey, Don Johnson, and Daniel Craig were also represented by single sales, but Hagerty tracked 20 cars associated with Paul Walker and 22 with Steve McQueen, showing the continual power of these stars.
Musicians - The top of the list is a pretty gruesome place, with the cars in which The Notorious and Tupac were shot dead holding the first two places. There are some real Petrolheads on the list with 13 cars linked to Elvis, 13 to Elton John, 14 to Rod Stewart and 10 to Jay Kay. The cars linked to Jay Z however were a job-lot of trucks that failed to light the public’s imagination and bombed.
Drivers - Carroll Shelby was always going to be a strong contender in this race, but John Surtees unexpectedly pulled out a second-place finish. Stirling Moss owned the most cars tracked in the category with six, and last in the top ten was legendary racer Mario Andretti, whose 1991 Lamborghini Diablo came nowhere near expectations at an RM Sotheby’s auction in 2020, selling for just $68,200 (£53,196).
Royalty - Princess Diana is still a royal icon even a quarter of a century after her death, but it was the unexceptional nature of two of the cars tracked - a 1981 Ford Escort Ghia and a 1994 Audi 80 cabriolet -- that really pushed her up the ranking. Her Majesty the Queen is down the list, meaning the added ‘value’ of the Queen’s link isn’t quite so high as Lady Di.
Notable & Notorious - Interestingly, two cars tracked that were associated with Hitler failed to sell at auction, with the only purchases known of taking place behind the scenes. The highlight was a 1964 Lincoln Continental limousine that not only housed a Pope on his visit to Chicago, but also took four Apollo crews through their ‘welcome home’ ticker-tape parades.
This, therefore, is the definitive Hagerty Power List 2022 Top 10, based on 8 sales or more of cars associated with the movies and celebrities who have a real, lasting influence over the values of collectable vehicles.
Hagerty Power List 2022 - Top 10
1. James Bond 449%
2. Paul Walker 331%
3. Elvis Presley 229%
4. Steve McQueen £160%
5. Elton John 115%
6. Clark Gable 76%
7. HM Queen 40%
8. Rod Stewart 19%
8. Nick Mason 19%
10. Jay Kay 11%
And once again, it’s our old friend James Bond, who once again triumphs over his rivals. Paul Walker is in a strong second place and Elvis an unexpected third in front of Steve McQueen. These are the people and figures with real power over the car world.
John Mayhead, UK Hagerty Price Guide Editor, said: “Hagerty knows that the provenance of a car is all important, but the team wondered just which celebrities and movies were really influential when it comes to car values. In typical Hagerty style, we crunched the numbers, with some fascinating results, and are already working on the 2023 Power List.’
Classic Auction Review surfers can access the definitive Guide to Prices via clicking onto the Hagerty logo among ‘The Really Useful Services’ on our Home Page. The resource actively tracks market values so owners, as well as buyers and sellers, have an accurate picture of their car's worth. RH-E
Top: 2001 Ford Focus WRC 'Y4 FMC' driven by Colin McRae to win Acropolis, multi-rolled by him Network Q Rally of GB, rebuilt by M-Sport, sold 5 March 2022 by Silverstone Auctions, RAF Museum Hendon, for £423,300
Below left: 1957 BMW 507 Roadster with Hardtop '22 GKN', owned from new by Motorcycle GP and F1 driver John Surtees, sold 13 July 2018 in Bonhams auction tent at Goodwood Festival of Speed for £3,809,500
Below centre: c1967/8 Meyers Manx CON-FERR Dune Buggy with 2.6 Flat Six in tail, famously driven by Steve McQueen in Thomas Crown Affair movie, sold 5 March 2020 at Bonhams Amelia Island Florida for $456,000 (£362,655)
Below right:1972 Lamborghini Miura SV by Bertone 'LUC 38K', one of only 7 in RHD, delivered new to pop star Rod Stewart, factory-restored, sold 14 September 2013 by Bonhams at Goodwood Revival for £919,900