Are the Wealthy Creating a Vintage Car Bubble?

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Pebble Beach car auction

Aug. 18, 201403:12

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Wealthy car collectors shelled out more than $400 million for collectible cars at the Pebble Beach auctions over the weekend, shattering the previous record and raising new questions about a vintage-car bubble. According to Hagerty, the collectible car insurance firm, the sales totals for auctions at Gooding & Co., RM Auctions, Mecum Auctions and others hit $399 million by late Sunday, when the official event wrapped up. When all the deals are done, including side deals not officially tied to the auctions, the total will surpass $400 million, Hagerty said. Last year's record total was $312 million.

The spending spree rages on, as newly rich collectors from around the world chase a small number of top, vintage cars. Wealthy collectors say there simply are very few places to put their excess money now. "You buy what you like and if it goes down in value, at least you like it," said Jay Leno, the comedian and car collector who was at Pebble Beach. Some market watchers say the market is due for a correction. "The market is out of control," said Winston Goodfellow, a collectible car expert and author of The Goodfellow Perspective blog.


-- CNBC's Wealth Reporter Robert Frank