May 24, 2010

As Go Collector Cars, So Goes the Economy

Sports Car Market an Alberto Giacometti sculpture that sold in February for just over $104.3 million, the highest price ever paid for an artwork at auction.

"Historically, the collectibles market has rebounded before the economy in general," Martin says. "They tank first, and they rebound faster."

Collector cars are a secondary investment, unlike stocks, Martin says. So, when the money gets tight, fewer car enthusiasts are looking to add to their collections. Martin says certain vehicles, like the Ferrari GTO, will always command attention when they are on the auction block.

His advice to car enthusiast looking to start or build a collection: Buy the best example you can within your budget. In other words, you are better off paying $50,000 for a nearly flawless example of a collectible car than paying the same amount for a car that needs restoration work but might sell for, say, $100,000 if it was in perfect condition.

The cost of maintaining and restoring cars will continue to rise, Martin warns. "There's always more wrong than you imagined, and everything costs twice as much."

Andrew McElwee is EVP of Chubb & Son and COO of Chubb Personal Insurance.

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