Current market report: HAGI Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) in July 2013

Current market report: HAGI Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) in July 2013
August 2013
Numerous exclusive Mercedes-Benz classics are among the world’s most valuable vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) by Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI) records market developments. Here are the latest comments on value performance in the MBCI as of July 2013.
In July 2013 the MBCI rose by 6.68 points (5.05 percent) to an index price of 138.84. Since the beginning of 2013 the index has therefore shown an increase of 24.36 percent, which is considerably more than the long-term annual average measured by HAGI. In July the MBCI increased slightly more than the HAGI Top Index for rare classics of all brands, which rose by 4.71 percent and has recorded an increase of 27.05 percent since the beginning of the year. The MBCI increased by 19.19 percent in the last 12 months, however, as an intermediate peak was likewise reached in July 2012.
The sale of the Mercedes-Benz W 196 R Silver Arrow for 20.9 million pounds sterling (including fees and taxes) did not have a direct effect on the index. Such rare vehicles are not included in the index, as they are too different from each other and only rarely enter the market. Nonetheless, an auction record as in the case of the Silver Arrow auctioned in July has a beneficial effect on the image of a brand in the overall market, as it draws attention to the other models of the manufacturer. The global response by the media, with historical details of the vehicle, its technology and racing successes, contributes to this. In the long term, this also has a positive impact on the brand’s price positioning.
Increased restoration costs for classics are having a marked effect on prices in the valuation category around € 200,000. The costs for perfect restoration of e.g. a 190 SL (W 121) by a reputable specialist company now exceed € 100,000. This financial investment for a restoration is also necessary for many other Mercedes-Benz models in order to achieve a very good visual and technical condition. The upper limit in market value is therefore determined by the purchase price of the basic vehicle plus restoration costs.
Looking at the upper limit of € 200,000 cited above, the following perfectly restored models lie just below this value threshold: 190 SL (W 121), 230/250/280 SL (W 113), 220 Cabriolet (W 187, 180, W 128) and the carburettor-engined Type 300 (W 186/W 189) “Adenauer” Cabriolet. The Cabriolet version of the 280 SE 3.5 (W 111) and the 300 d Cabriolet D now exceed this figure.
A “premium” such as is currently being paid for e.g. a 300 SL (W 198) even when in need of restoration is not (yet) being paid for these models, however.
Vehicles still in completely original condition form an exception here. In many cases collectors are prepared to pay phenomenally high prices for these, as vehicles in completely original condition are rarities whose prices are determined by a very low supply and high demand as the only identifiable reason (in the absence of e.g. restoration costs).
Other key indicators and index graphs may be found in the HAGI MBCI Factsheet, which is available for downloading from the HAGI website (registration and login required).
Background to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI)
The HAGI indices were first presented in January 2009. They are available for various car brands, and have established themselves worldwide as a value indicator in the classic vehicle market. They work on the same basis as the indices for stocks and shares, but take their reference from high-value classic vehicles as capital investments. The Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) was launched in 2012, and initialised on 31 December 2011 with a value of 100. It now records the value performance for 29 Mercedes-Benz classics. 23 of these models are among the historically most important classic cars of all.
All the HAGI indices are weighted according to surviving vehicles rather than using only production figures as a basis, as the latter are not very meaningful for vehicles aged 30 years or more. The MBCI covers more than 30,000 surviving Mercedes-Benz vehicles with a capital value of over 4 billion pounds sterling (as of 2012: equating to over € 4.9 billion). These vehicles come from the period 1926 to 1995. The index also takes other parameters into account to produce as accurate an overall picture as possible.
Background: Historic Automobile Group International
Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI), founded in 2007, is an independent research institute for investments and specialises in rare classic automobiles. The HAGI Top Index is published monthly on the websites of the Financial Times and Handelsblatt. The aim is to create market transparency and enable buyers and sellers to make well-founded decisions on the basis of indicative data. HAGI operates a database containing more than 100,000 actual transactions. The entries begin with the production date of the vehicle and are updated on a daily basis. The data mainly come from four sources: private contacts, brand specialists, dealers and auction prices.


  • 1998M394
    Stylish and safe: Mercedes star at the front end of an S Class Saloon from the 140 model series, 1991.