Who are the world’s top 10 collectors of classic cars?

Finest classic cars belong to a small group of particularly well-off collectors (the “ultra high net worth collectors”). Until now, the main market data for these special collectors have come from auction houses, while a number of top car collections are known to the public. It is therefore a real gold mine provided in the publication “The Key – Top of the Classic Car World” by The Classic Car Trust, based on in-depth research on more than 200 major car collections. This resource has its own limits too, as not all collectors are always eager to make themselves known.

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The world's top 10 car collectors

On the basis of rigorous criteria (value of collection, historical importance of the vehicles, awards won at classic car events…), the ranking of the top 100 collectors was thus established. For the first time, it is a European, Evert Louwman, who tops the annual rankings by The Classic Car Trust. The latter owns more than 230 collector’s vehicles and the famous Louwman museum in the Netherlands. The other members of the top 10 are all Americans, confirming the interest for very beautiful cars across the Atlantic. Note the importance of pre-war and immediate post-war cars within these well-established collections.

World's top 10 car collectors​

Source: The Classic Car Trust
  • Evert Louwman ---> 1953 Lancia D23 Spider Pininfarina
  • Arturo Keller ---> 1930 Mercedes Benz SS Erdmann et Rossi
  • Ralph Lauren ---> 1930 Merceds Benz SSK Count Trossi
  • Fred Simeone ---> 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900A
  • Miles Collier ---> 1955 Jaguar type D Longnose
  • William "Chip" Connor ---> 1959 Ferrari 250 TR59 / 60 Fantuzzi Spyder
  • Samuel Robson Walton ---> Ferrari 250 GTO de 1962
  • Anne Brockinton Lee ---> 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta Lusso
  • Lawrence Auriana ---> 1929 Maserati V4 Sport 16 cylindres Zagato
  • Peter Mullin ---> 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantique
  •  

The main collections belong to ultra high net worth people. Not really a suprise.

According to the survey, the top 100 collectors have, on average, around $800 million in assets. About 41% of them have wealth of $250 million or more, with 13% being billionaires. They alone own around 3,500 of the world’s rarest classic cars, for a combined total value of some US $ 8 billion.

The age of these collectors is 72 on average. Over 60% are over 70 and about 20% of them are 80 or older. Only 12% are under 60 . Such a demographic situation also explains the dynamism of the vintage car market, with a regular renewal of collections.

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Where are the finest car collections located?

According to this study, more than half of the top 100 collectors (55%) are US citizens. 11% are citizens of the UK. Italy is third with 10% of total number of top car collectors, Switzerland comes next with 7%, followed by Germany with 5%.

In Europe, the main collector is undoubtedly Evert Louwman, who owns the world’s oldest private collection of automobiles open to the public. The family museum exhibits some 230 high-style cars, including a car that belonged to Winston Churchill, an Aston Martin DB5 used in the James Bond film Goldfinger, a Cadillac owned by Elvis Presley, and even a Daf 600 prototype from 1957. Louwman belongs to a passionate automotive family, and is himself the Dutch importer of Lexus, Toyota and Suzuki.

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Other major European collectors include, for example, the Italian architect Corrado Lopresto (24), the German entrepreneur Andreas Mohringer (33). In the top 100, we find European billionaires, such as the Italians Giorgio Perfetti (34) and Nicola Bulgari (81), the Germans Friedhelm Loh (42) and Martin Viessmann (79) and the Swiss Carlo Voegele (55). In this list, there are figures from the automotive industry. Bernie Ecclestone (36), former Formula 1 treasurer, is one of them. Roland D’Ieteren (55) recently deceased, was another. There are also some pilots, such as Christophe d’Ansembourg (93).

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