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Classic cars attracting the most attention based on logbook names or their film appearances

Two years of a global pandemic and the resulting economic hardship has proved incredibly difficult for many sectors. However, one industry that’s sailed through Covid and any fear of a recession is the classic and collectible car market.

Rare vehicle sales, especially at the higher end of the spectrum, have continued to buck all trends, with enthusiasts and collectors still willing to pay through the nose for the motors they really want.

And a new report has shone some light on which cars are attracting the attention of well-heeled buyers most based on the names in the logbooks or their past appearances on the big screen. It’s called the ‘Power List’ and has been formulated by classic car experts Hagerty.

The valuations company has investigated the impact celebrity ownership and movie association has on market value – from starring in cult films, to having musicians, Royals and even Adolf Hitler as a previous owner.

Hagerty trawls its huge back catalogue of sales of celebrity owned and feature film cars to have sold through the years, creating a list of 260 in total. It then compares the sold price (or estimated sale price) with the values for a standard car at that time, based on its extensive database of auction and private sales.

For unique, one-off creations – think the Popemobile or a Batmobile – values are compared to a non-movie equivalent of the motor it was based on. The end result is a list of famous people and films and their ‘delta’ – the difference between the value of their cars and a normal one.

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John Mayhead, UK Hagerty Price Guide editor, said: ‘Hagerty knows that the provenance of a car is all important, but the team wondered just which celebrities and movies were really influential when it comes to car values.

‘In typical Hagerty style, we crunched the numbers, with some fascinating results.’

An overall Power List for 2022 features individuals – some of them fictional – names the 10 with the biggest impact on car prices. James Bond took number one spot with an average 449% delta, ahead of Paul Walker and Elvis. However, this ranking is purely limited only to characters and A-listers with eight traceable vehicle sales to their name.

Therefore, to see where the most clout is across the board based on a smaller pool of vehicles, there are six separate categories: movies, movie stars; royals; musicians; racing drivers; and ‘notable and notorious’ individuals. Here’s the full breakdown for each…

Hagerty Overall Power List 2022

1. James Bond: 449% delta

2. Paul Walker: 331% delta

3. Elvis Presley: 229% delta

4. Steve McQueen: 160% delta

5. Elton John: 115% delta

6. Clark Gable: 76% delta

7. HM Queen: 40% delta

8. Rod Stewart: 19% delta

9. Nick Mason: 19% delta

10. Jay Kay: 11% delta

Note: The Top 10 only includes those with eight or more sales of cars associated to their name

Movies

The 1968 American neo-noir action thriller, Bullitt, tops the Power List for movies. It features a car chase with Steve McQueen at the wheel of a Highland Green Ford Mustang

There are plenty of strong contenders, including the Fast and Furious franchise, Batman and Herbie. But it is 1968 American neo-noir action thriller, Bullitt, that tops the Power List for movies.

It features arguably the greatest car chase scene of all time, with the King of Cool, Steve McQueen, at the wheel of the Highland Green Ford Mustang, careering through the streets of San Francisco in pursuit of a Dodge Charger. And it’s that very motor that has put Bullitt at the top of the rankings.

It sold in January 2020 for £2.8million, which was a delta of nearly 16,000% over a standard Mustang of the same era.

Movie Power List

1. Bullitt (1968)

2. Risky Business (1983)

3. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

4. Wayne’s World (1992)

5. Rain Man (1988)

6. Herbie Goes Bananas (1972)

7. The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

8. Ghostbusters (1984)

9. Batman (1966)

10. Fast and Furious (various)

Movie Stars

There aren’t many cooler claims than to owning something belonging to a star of the big screen – and that’s the case even more so with cars. The Hagerty Power List of the most influential actors on motor values includes the likes of Denzel Washington, Daniel Craig and Nicolas Cage.

But topping the list is Paul Newman, the American actor who famously starred in movies including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Towering Inferno (1974) and The Verdict (1982) – and also had a penchant for donning a helmet and taking to the race track.

A 2002 Chevrolet Corvette – the last car he competed in at the age of 83 – sold in 2012 for £175,200 against a Hagerty value of £24,215, which is a 624% delta.

Paul Newman tops the Hagerty Power List of the most influential actors on motor values. A 2002 Chevrolet Corvette – the last car he competed in at the age of 83 – sold in 2012 for £175,200

Movie stars Power List

1. Paul Newman

2. Paul Walker

3. Patrick Dempsey

4. Steve McQueen

5. Don Johnson

6. Daniel Craig

7. James Coburn

8. Clark Gable

9. Denzel Washington

10. Nicolas Cage

Musicians

There are some real petrolheads in the list of musicians with the biggest car value clout, with 13 motors linked to Elvis, 13 to Elton John and 14 to Rod Stewart.

However, the peak of the order is a pretty gruesome place, with the cars in which rappers Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace – aka The Notorious B.I.G. – were shot dead in the 1990s holding the first two places.

Musicians Power List

1. The Notorious B.I.G.

2. Tupac Shakur

3. Elvis Presley

4. Keith Richards

5. Sonny Bono

6. Elton John

7. Cher

8. Frank Sinatra

9. Nick Mason

10. Rod Stewart

Racing drivers

There are plenty of British motorsport icons, past and present, featuring in this list. Sir Stirling Moss and John Surtees are notable inclusions from yesteryear, whose names on a car’s log book has seen them sell for values well above the usual. Moving into the current era, Jensen Button and multiple F1 champion Lewis Hamilton are other drivers who easily make the top 10 power list of racers.

But number one spot goes to Mr Carroll Shelby. Appropriately, it is a 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 owned by the racer turned car tuner that puts him at the peak of racing driver Power List. At a US auction in January 2021, the motor sold for £4.37million, which is a delta of 183%.

Racing drivers Power List

1. Carroll Shelby

2. John Surtees

3. Colin McRae

4. Jenson Button

5. Lewis Hamilton

6. Stirling Moss

7. Danica Patrick

8. Michael Andretti

9. Dario Franchitti

10. Mario Andretti

Royalty

Prince William comes in at fifth place on the Royals Power List

The Queen and Prince Phillip all make the cut in the Royals Power List – as you would imagine – along with Prince William and Princess Margaret. But it’s Princes Diana who is still the Royal icon whose former ownership has the biggest impact on car prices. This is based on the values of four motors that belonged to the People’s Princess, two of which sold recently at auction.

Last year, her 1981 Ford Escort Ghia, an engagement gift from Prince Charles, sold to a museum in South America for £52,640 – a 527% delta – while her beloved 1994 Audi Cabriolet blew the roof off at Silverstone’s NEC sale in 2016, fetching £54,000 – 2,473% more than an equivalent Audi at the time.

The four sales totalled almost £240,000, with an average value increase over standard cars of 813%.

Royalty Power List

1. Princess Diana

2. Lord Mountbatten

3. Queen Mary

4. Princess Margaret

5. Prince William

6. Prince Philip

7. King Baudouin of Belgium

8. Queen Elizabeth II

Notable and notorious

The final category ranked by Hagerty is by far the most eclectic mix of people – and throws up a few surprises along the way. Such as Adolf Hitler, ranked in sixth place in the Power List, with vehicles associated with one of history’s most notorious leaders achieving an average of 125% more than similar cars.

However, topping the list is Apollo astronauts, based on a single vehicle sale in 2011. This was a 1964 Lincoln Continental used to parade Pope Paul VI through Chicago and was then bought by NASA to transport astronauts for four Apollo missions.

When it went under the hammer at the Bonhams Quail Lodge auction it achieved a stratospheric £132,762. That was a 1,882% rise over a conventional Continental of the same era.

Notable & notorious Power List

1. Apollo astronauts

2. Muhammad Ali

3. Jay Leno

4. Pope Francis

5. Pope John Paul II

6. Adolf Hitler

7. Kris Jenner

8. Pope Benedict

9. Richard Pryor