5 classic cars that exceeded expectations at auction in 2021

In recent years, buying a classic car has been one of the soundest investments you can make.

Prices have skyrocketed, with even the experts left baffled by the final cost of some models.

The Hagerty Price Guide (HPG) is updated every three months, and gives an idea of the value of particular cars at the time of publication. The data is taken from the insured values of Hagerty, a specialist insurance provider, as well as tracked auction sales and the collective knowledge of experts across the classic car industry.

Now, the firm has released details of the cars that sold in 2021 for the highest percentage above their Price Guide estimates.

1965 Ford Mustang GT

1965 Ford Mustang GT Fastback
(Hagerty)

HPG value: £40,500
Sale price: £51,520, Historics
Hagerty Price Guide increase: +27 per cent

When it went up for sale at the Historics auction at Ascot Racecourse in May, this Mustang was considered ‘condition two excellent’, giving it a guide price of £40,500. It was a GT model with a manual transmission and air conditioning, being an ‘exceptionally rare car’ particularly in the UK.

This was reflected in the bidding, with the final price being £51,520 including costs, 27 per cent above its HPG value.

1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL
(Hagerty)

HPG value: £160,000
Sale price: £219,375, H&H
Hagerty Price Guide increase: +37 per cent

Hagerty says the Mercedes-Benz 190SL has been undervalued for some time, but it seems the market is catching up, with values ‘taking off’.

A sale at H&H in November demonstrated this. A ‘concours’ condition car had an HPG value of £160,000, but hit a massive £219,375, a 37 per cent increase. Hagerty says it believes this is not simply an outlier, but ‘marks a shift in values for top examples of the car’.

1961 Morris Minor 1000 saloon

1961 Morris Minor 1000 Saloon
(Hagerty)

HPG value: £10,600
Sale price: £14,938, SWVA
Hagerty Price Guide increase: +41 per cent

At the complete opposite end of the spectrum in terms of price is this Morris Minor. However, despite costing much less than anything else on this list, its percentage above the expected value makes it worthy of note.

Described by the auctioneer at SWVA as ‘without doubt the best Morris Minor I have ever seen’, this model smashed predictions to sell for 41 per cent above its HGA value at £14,938.

1966 Ford Lotus Cortina Mk I

1966 Ford Lotus Cortina MkI
(Hagerty)

HPG value: £41,500
Sold for: £63,000, Silverstone Auctions
Percentage Difference: +52 per cent

Fans of the Blue Oval will be delighted to see the classic Cortina placed so highly in this list. It was sold at Silverstone Auctions at the NEC in November and had been restored earlier with careful preservation in recent years.

Although its value has been slowly declining in recent months, this car massively bucked the trend, which could be down to TV personality Mike Brewer being a previous owner. Even so, its £55,000 sale price was 52 per cent above a regular car’s value.

1991 Audi Quattro RR 20V

1991 Audi Quattro RR 20V
(Hagerty)

Hagerty Price Guide Value: £101,000
Sale price: £163,125, Silverstone Auctions
Hagerty Price Guide increase: +61.5 per cent

Topping the list is a worthy car – not only did it become the first road-going Quattro to sell for six figures, it smashed through the barrier by selling for a whopping 61.5 per cent above expectation at £163,125.

Its sub 10,000 miles on the clock will have played a part, but Hagerty says nothing has even come close. Other than this, a 97,000-mile example went for over £71,000, but this six-figure Quattro will likely be ‘a high water mark and values will take a while to catch up’.