Classic cars: Forget the speed, Elton’s Ferrari can do 0-395%, tax-free

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Classic car values leave other investments trailing – just don’t be tempted to drive one

Trying to execute a three-point turn on a narrow London street with a lorry in front of you and a queue of traffic forming behind can be a sweaty situation at best of times, but when you’re behind the wheel of a 430 brake horse power Ferrari Testarossa that used to belong to Sir Elton John, it is even worse.

The rare 512 TR has only 2,100 miles on the clock and is expected to top £110,000 when it is sold by auction house Coys on Tuesday.

If, that is, I can manage to get it around the block and back to the auction hall in west London in one piece.

In Ferrari’s famous Rosso Corsa red, the 512 TR is a beautiful looking machine from an era when supercars where designed for their looks, not their performance in an aerodynamic wind tunnel. Its current owner Philip Oram, a property developer from Bournemouth and long-time Ferrari owner, seems incredibly relaxed about me taking it for a spin. “Just mind the kerbs,” he says calmly as I strap myself into its beige leather interior. It feels as good as new, but Oram, who bought it last year, has never driven it. That’s not unusual: the value of classic cars is soaring in the UK and beyond, partly because they are highly-prized objects, but also because they are a great way to beat the taxman.

However, adding miles to clock is the easiest way to slash their value. “Ferraris are the only car I’ve never lost money on,” Oram says. “The hope is I can walk away money back and perhaps a little more to play the game again at the auction on Tuesday.”

Sir Elton’s former “prancing horse” is just the tip of an incredible boom in sales of classic cars which have seen returns outstrip most other types of investments in the last decade.

Chris Routledge, managing director of Coys, said: “Old cars have been a hedge against the recession and interest is growing significantly quickly around the world. Prices have rocketed and in some cases, such as the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, the average global auction price since 2000 has increased by 300 per cent.

“Similarly, the Aston Martin DB4’s average global auction price before the recession was £135,000, but after the recession it went up to £207,000.”

A recent wealth report by property firm Knight Frank found that classic car prices have soared 395 per cent in 10 years. The FTSE 100 has risen around 94 per cent over that time. And the bonus for collectors is that unlike shares and most traditional assets, classics don’t attract Capital Gains Tax.

The savings are considerable. Tax is charged on any profits on assets above £10,600 in a year. Selling a £100,000 asset – or share portfolio – would normally therefore mean CGT of almost £25,000. It’s not surprising then that this particular 1991 Ferrari has spent most the past 10 years or so in a heated garage and under protective dustcovers.

Sir Elton John obviously wasn’t worried about dust though; he was responsible for 1,800 of the miles on the clock and reportedly drove it regularly after it was given to him as a gift by his record label.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
voicesBy the man who has
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
newsFloyd 'Creeky' Creekmore still performed regularly to raise money for local hospitals
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Real Estate Solicitor 2+PQE - City

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGH VALUE REAL ESTATE / RESID...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?