The burgeoning demand for classic cars is making its way to the Middle East, with an increasing number of investors seeking out timeless treasures from all over the world.
Fiennes Restoration, a classic car restorer based in the UK, reported sales to clients in the Middle East increased by 20 percent year-on-year over the last five years.
One such example is the story behind a classic Rolls-Royce which was originally owned by Arab Royalty and which they help restore to its former glory.
According to Fiennes, the car sunk to the bottom of Lake Geneva, was burnt to a crisp in the US and even had a close encounter with a bear in California.
After its $300,000 restoration, it became the only small-horse powered Rolls-Royce to win at Pebble Beach, one of the world’s most prestigious car competitions. As a result, its value is close to seven figures and is currently looking for a buyer to give it a permanent home.
Cars such as these are increasingly becoming pet projects for wealthy motor aficionados and collectors in the region.
“The key to choosing a classic car restorer is trust. You are not only investing a great deal of money but you’re also entrusting your restorer to care for what is often an asset with a tremendous amount of sentimental value,” said Will Fiennes, MD Fiennes Restoration.
“We are privileged to have a large and loyal group of customers from across the world, and demand from the Middle East is growing daily.
The prestige of these beautiful motorcars, their unparalleled engineering and their sublime beauty is not lost on the discriminating tastes of the wealthy in the Middle East.”
Vintage cars are increasingly seen as an investment opportunity and values are often dramatically inflating. Gold has been the only commodity to see a higher increase in value, and in 2011 the value of the top 20 cars sold at auction during the first eight months of the year was $20 million, while this rose to $35 million in the same period last year.
Not only is the value of these cars increasing, but lucrative returns on investments are possible when restoration projects are undertaken.
Many people are attracted by not only the exceptional engineering of such classic pieces, but also by the sublime design of the beautiful cars.
“We’re seeing many more extremely wealthy people funding pet projects having found a wonderful car, neglected by time and in need of a full restoration to bring it back to its former glory,” stated a Fiennes Restoration spokesperson. “The surging demand in vintage motoring is mainly coming from a younger generation of dapper and stylish men interested in only the very best, with many coming from Arabian countries.”