Rarity and exceptional beauty fail to insulate the BMW from forces at the higher end of the market.
Of course, it was never intended to be quite so exclusive. Despite pitching its design and price at the Fifties elite, BMW had hoped to sell rather more than 252 cars.
Our latest Price Guide Movers On The Slide update reveals a 5.2% slide in values, bringing the price range in at £1.1m to £1.45m, depending on condition, specification differences and history. Cars like the 1959 example pictured, owned from new by double World Champion (on two wheels and four) John Surtees, and later CBE – it made £3.8m in 2018 – are an exception to overall value trends. It cost £3.2k new.
At the more affordable end of the market, the main driver of value is condition, even above orginality – widely accepted changes to drivability, performance and comfort, even cosmetics, might not erode prices. On some cars they can enhance them. Low numbers of owners and extensive maintenance history then add value on top.
But at the top collector end of the market, history and originality tend to be bigger drivers of value than condition – if the car is worth doing, you can restore it to whatever condition you desire. Conversely, if the car has had multiple owners, there's little meaningful history and original parts number-matching things like engines and transmissions are long since departed, short of making a miraculous discovery, there's nothing you can do in remedy.