Hagerty, a collectible-car insurance company, said this year's auction featured fewer top-tier cars than last year, when a prized group of vehicles from the Ron Pratte collection boosted sales totals. What's more, competing auctions in other parts of the country in the first half of the year may have diverted sales from Scottsdale. Sales at the recent Mecum auction in Kissimmee Florida, for instance, were strong, according to Hagerty.
Still, overall collectible-car sales in January were down this year, offering the latest sign that weakness in the stock market and global economy may be weighing on the collectibles boom.
Falling oil prices may also have dragged down results. Collectible-car experts say many of the buyers in Scottsdale in recent years were oil and gas workers who had extra spending money and were willing to plunk down tens of thousands of dollars for a 1960s Impala or 1970s Dodge Charger. With oil prices trading just above $30 a barrel, the sector has seen job cuts and downsizing, and many of those buyers weren't spending this year.