AU$350k BMW E30 M3 highlights rising online car auction prices

High-end and premium classics now selling for mad money on internet listings

1988 BMW E30 M3

Someone bought a 1988 BMW E30 M3 for AU$350,000… over the internet.

In the USA, where the car was sold, that’s a quarter of a million US dollars. Granted, the car only has 8000 miles showing, but it’s still a lot for a boxy ‘80s coupe, iconic as it is.

But in general, it seems that the COVID world of distancing and lockdowns has caused a shift in the premium and classic car market.

1986 BMW E30 M3: Legend Series

Porsche 911 Carrera Club Sport

A particularly telling example is the online auction site Bring a Trailer, which has always been an interesting market for oddball or affordable classics. But it’s never really been quite like it is now.

Where a highlight of the front page used to be something like a tidy, single-owner 911 or a time-capsule 1970s muscle car selling for six-figures, the list as we write is far more than that.

1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT

Just as a few examples: a 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT currently for US$235k; a ’72 BMW 3.0 CSL 3.5-litre asking $115k; a 2014 SLS AMG GT roadster for $110k; a 2019 Aston DBS Superleggera; a US-delivered ’88 Carrera Club Sport; a single-owner ’05 NSX; a 2006 Ford GT with 160 miles showing; a Testarossa with 18k miles… the list goes on.

If that’s not enough, we recently saw the sale of a Lamborghini Miura, one of the all-time great supercars and not one to purchase on a whim, for just shy of US$1 million. It sold for AU$1.38m in our money.

Lamborghini Miura P400

A quick query to some colleagues, including our classified-hunting friends at Unique Cars, suggests the rise in premium sales happening over the web has indeed kicked off significantly due to lockdowns globally and the subsequent lack of live auction events.

We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on future auctions to see what the market does next.

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