David Gooding knows a little something about the value of collectible cars. Having grown up among Las Vegas's famed Harrah Collection as a boy – his father was the curator of that automotive treasure trove – Gooding learned about classic vehicles not from slavering over photos, but from touching, cleaning, and driving actual Duesenbergs, Rolls-Royces and, Pierce-Arrows.
Now, as president and founder of the automotive auction house that bears his name, Gooding & Co, he creates and oversees a series of annual auctions at which the most beautiful and – in the case of a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype, which sold in 2011 for $16.39 million – the most expensive cars in the world trade hands.
With the cars of the contemporary era – the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s – officially becoming eligible to be considered "classics," a whole new generation of vehicles has begun appearing on his auction stands. In 2013, high-profile modern vehicles such as a 1990 Ferrari F40, a 1995 Ferrari F50, and a 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS crossed the block and achieved astounding prices.
But beautiful and potent as they are, Ferraris are an obvious choice for future collectibles. And as intrigued as we are by the rise of formerly shunned Italians like the delicate Dino – one of which Gooding just sold for $363,000 – not everyone has Ferrari money. So when we ran into Gooding at the recent classic car Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, we took a stroll around the show field and asked him to use the vehicles displayed there as a jumping-off point for a discussion of the next generation of rising collectibles. Here are six in particular to watch for.
Volkswagen Type 2 (1950-1967)
We doubt anyone ever predicted that the heavy, slow, globular, and pedestrian Volkswagen Bus would one day be considered a collectible. But then one sold at a 2011 Barrett-Jackson auction for over $200,000 and the market took off – perhaps a bit irrationally. "Given the proper condition and originality," Gooding says, "these cars can be very collectible." (He sold one this summer for $120,000.) "People buy them on a whim," he says, "because they see them, and are nostalgic." But don't expect this model to go into the stratosphere. "Nostalgic whims can work with a five-figure car," Gooding cautions, "but not with an eight-figure one." Regardless, he imagines that we're likely to see more of them in future sales – though not too many. "We have to be selective," he says. "We can't have an auction full of them."
Credit: Courtesy Gooding & Co.