Hagerty is best known as a classic vehicle insurer, but with a 600,000-member strong Drivers Club, an 800,000-circulation printed magazine and 1.4m subscribers on YouTube they are one of the world’s largest automotive lifestyle brands.
In the UK, Hagerty monitors the classic car market and provides insight to the community. Its latest report identifies 10 cars that outperformed the market at UK auctions throughout 2020, with some cars wildly outperforming not just their auction estimates but also the Hagerty Price Guide value – based on auction results, independent sales, insurance values and Hagerty analysts.
History, provenance, and specification, plus buyer enthusiasm, can push certain cars to unexpected heights, helping this year’s top outperformer, a 1972 Bentley Corniche which managed to exceed the HPG value by 155%. The 1989 Mercedes SL in second place shows more affordable models are also subject to significant values in the right conditions.
Hagerty has collated the last year’s 10 most exciting performers that challenged expectations.
1972 Bentley Corniche
- HPG value: £62,100
- Sale price: £158,625
- 155% over Hagerty Price Guide
It’s been a strong year for British cars, and reinforcing that point was a 1972 Bentley Corniche sold by Silverstone Auctions in July, which both exceeded its generous £80k-£90k estimate and ended up at more than two and a half times the £62,100 value in the Hagerty Price Guide.
Its rarity compared to its better-known Rolls-Royce equivalent helped, only 43 right-hand drive examples were built of 570 in total – little more than a tenth of equivalent Rolls-Royce.
1989 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
- HPG value: £28,500
- Sale price: £70,184
- 146% over Hagerty Price Guide
The 1989 example of the R107 that sold through Historics in September could be an indication that it’s time for this generation of Mercedes-Benz SL to shine.
This example was finished in Signal Red, with sixteen service book stamps over just 10,000 miles of use and only one owner. While the Hagerty Price Guide value of £28,500 fell right between the £25,000 – £30,000 estimate, the SL eventually sold for a £70,184 hammer price.
1988 Porsche 928 SE
- HPG value: £68,800
- Sale price: £129,375
- 88% over Hagerty Price Guide
Porsche 928s were once among the cheapest way into the brand. And while most are unlikely to hit the highs of the 1988 928 SE that sold with Silverstone Auctions in November, the £129,375 sale price, 88% over the Hagerty value, suggests the tide may be turning.
With 10,325 miles on the clock, and its one owner from new right up until 2015 was the Egyptian Embassy. As an SE – for Sport Equipment – it’s also a rare model, with just 42 produced for the UK market in right-hand drive.
1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale
- HPG value: £1,720,000
- Sale price: £3,207,000
- 86% over Hagerty Price Guide
A Miura? Perhaps not unexpected, and indeed the Hagerty Price Guide value of £1.7 million looks healthy, as did a £1.6m – £2m estimate when this Oro Metallizzato P400 SV Speciale was offered at Gooding & Company’s Passion of a Lifetime sale in September.
The 1971 car climbed to a spectacular £3.2 million, a full 86% over book value, and comfortably the highest hammer price of any vehicle on our list, if not quite the highest overall sale in 2020. Gooding & Co described it as “one of the most extraordinary Lamborghinis of all time”, and now it has an extraordinary price to match.
2005 Porsche 911 Turbo S
- HPG value: £60,800
- Sale price: £81,000
- 33% over Hagerty Price Guide
Porsche’s 996-generation 911 is coming of age, but the sale of a 2005 911 Turbo S at Silverstone Auctions in August shows that when it comes to any 911, the more unique examples will always command the most money. A sale price of £81,000 is a surprise even so, eclipsing an estimate of £45,000 – £55,000 and ending up 33% over the Hagerty Price Guide.
With little over 18,000 miles on the clock, a manual gearbox, a full aero kit and black-over-black colour combination it’s presented in enviable condition. A full history file made it the complete package for bidders.
1961 Jaguar Mk II 3.8
- HPG value: £69,800
- Sale price: £93,500
- 34% over Hagerty Price Guide
At a third over Hagerty Price Guide value, this particular 3.8-litre 1961 Mk II, sold with Silverstone Auctions in May, ticked all the boxes. A matching-numbers car with a comprehensive history, previous magazine features, a heritage certificate, and even a previous celebrity owner.
1987 E30 BMW M3 Competition Pack
- HPG value: £72,300
- Sale price: £92,950
- 29% over Hagerty Price Guide
This 1987 car didn’t start out as a rally model but was instead converted at a later date, and this competition preparation is at least part of the reason for a sale price 29% over the Hagerty Price Guide value.
Modified with the usual rally amenities plus a balanced and lightened 2.5-litre competition engine, it came from the collection of Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay.
1960 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Hardtop
- HPG value: £127,000
- Sale price: £155,250
- 22% over Hagerty Price Guide
Unlike the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL the W121-generation SLs have been valuable for a long time. As such a £155,250 sale price when sold with Bonhams at last year’s Goodwood Speedweek doesn’t seem all that unusual, but it was still enough to outpace both a £120k high estimate, and Hagerty’s own £127,000 price guide value.
1973 Dino 246 GTS
- HPG value: £278,800
- Sale price: £337,500
- 21% over Hagerty Price Guide
The Dino 246 is another car to have accelerated in value over the past few decades – in the early 2000s it wasn’t unusual to see them around the £60,000 mark. This 1973 GTS, the open-topped Spider variant with its removable roof panel, sold for £337,500 back in late July – adding a fifth to its Hagerty Price Guide value and falling neatly between its £300k-£350k estimates.
1972 Lamborghini Miura SV
- HPG value: £1,720,000
- Sale price: £1,912,500
- 11% over Hagerty Price Guide
Silverstone Auctions sold one of Lamborghini’s most celebrated models for £1.9 million, registering 11% over our price guide, even though it fell short of the £2.4 million upper estimate. One of only 11 right-hand drive models in Super Veloce specification, had spent most of its history in Australia and has been a Car magazine cover star too.