Why This Premium Morgan Did NOT Sell?

The Daily Vroom

Good morning, Vroomers!

Yesterday was a bit slow, with just over $5 million in sales. But looking ahead, there are some fantastic auctions on the horizon that could bring in some big bucks—let's wait and see.

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💰 The figures shared below don’t count any other sales such as car seats, memorabilia etc… All online auction sites are analyzed to put this leaderboard together.

The reserve sell-through rate is just for cars that are listed with a reserve. The full sell-through rate includes all auctions, reserve and no-reserve.

I only include websites that have sold 5+ cars in the chart below.


Click on the cars to check out each listing!

2023 BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe The 8 X Jeff Koons $349,999

1999 | Ferrari 550 Maranello $250,000

2024 Tesla Cybertruck Founders Edition Cyberbeast $170,000

2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 $166,000

1995 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 $117,000

Premium Morgan Misfires on BaT

Well, well, it looks like that ultra-rare 1963 Morgan Plus 4 Plus failed to find a new home on Bring a Trailer's yesterday. The high bid stalled out at just $75,000 when the digital gavel dropped – a number that clearly didn't meet the seller's reserve price expectations for entering six-figure territory.

Looking through the comments section, there's definitely some heated debate over whether that sobering result actually "speaks for the market" on this special Morgan's value. User gh356 firmly believes that in today's global auction era, every potential buyer was undoubtedly aware of this listing and had their chance. If the "right" fat-walleted enthusiasts were truly motivated, the reasoning goes, the bids would have climbed much higher.

But I have to agree more with voices like mcorrallo who argue that just because it was on a big platform like BaT doesn't mean every prospective buyer tuned in.

As someone who has been in this hobby and traveled the world, I'm constantly surprised by how many "real" car folks have never even heard of Bring a Trailer. (that’s one reason why I think there is HUGE potential for growth in this market) We automotive website diehards live in a bit of a bubble assuming awareness is universal.

The simple fact is, there are still tons of collectors, enthusiasts and potential whales who operate completely outside the online auction realm. I've encountered it time and time again – people with silly money and awesome cars who do business the traditional way through physical auction houses, dealers, clubs and old-school word-of-mouth connections. These are the buyers who couldn't care less about checking BaT.

So while market data is useful for identifying trends, the "value" today is really dependent on having highly motivated buyers engaged right then and there when the particular car crosses the virtual auction block. Maybe the right Morgan fanatics were out playing golf or watching Buster Keaton films. Or maybe they're just completely disconnected from websites like this one. Who knows?

The market can completely shift again tomorrow if those elusive whales surface for whatever reason. That's why I always take these individual no-sale results with a grain of salt – they provide timely data points, but don't necessarily equate to any broader universal truth on a car's desirability and worth.

I've seen too many of these BaT "no sales" get quickly forgotten when the perfect buyer emerges shortly after and jumps at the chance to cut a deal, whether returning to BaT a few months later or taking it to another auction platform entirely. Hell, we've witnessed plenty of cars go from a no-sale here to a successful six-figure sale at another auction site shortly thereafter.

Or conversely, I've seen white-hot auction catalysts that send wildly overpriced, frothy trade numbers plummeting back to reality just weeks later once the hype fades. It can be an incredibly fickle game.

Either way, it will be fascinating to see where this car ultimately lands…or if it even trades hands at all. The legend and lore surrounding these ultra-limited, coach-built British classics seems to grow by the year. My hunch is this seller may have a number in mind that recent market trends can't quite support, at least not yet. But they could easily take another swing in a few months, or shop it to a different auction company that may intersect better with the whales.

Or heck, maybe a well-heeled Morgan aficionado (there are plenty) who wasn't even aware of this BaT auction will suddenly read about it, experience instant regret at missing out, and make the seller a lofty offer to secure it immediately through local connections. I've seen crazier things happen!

From my conversations across the country and around the world, I've found that many people have never heard of auction sites like BaT.

Can ‘Bargains’ be found online?

One question that keeps popping up in my inbox is whether there are still legitimate bargains to be found amongst the neverending flood of online automotive auctions these days.

The short answer? You're damn right there are! While the cream of the crop tends to rise to the top price-wise, there are still absolute steals happening every single day if you're willing to put in the work.

Case in point, check out this bone-stock 2001 Porsche 911 Carrera coupe that just sold yesterday for a measly $19,000! A 996-generation 911 for under $20k? In this inflated collector car market? That's an absolute steal in my book.

Sure, it's a higher mileage example and those unloved 996s have had their struggles holding value. But at that price point, who cares? You're getting a thrilling, reasonably modern Porsche driving experience for the cost of some plain jane econobox. For brand snobs and performance enthusiasts on a budget, it's a total bargain.

On the totally opposite end of the spectrum, check out this pair of gorgeous 17-inch RUF Speedline wheels that just traded hands for a mere $2,800!

But at a no-reserve online auction filled with more casual participants? Some serious money was left on the table there. I'd be willing to bet we see those wheels get refurbed and re-listed for $9k or more in short order for the inevitable flip. That's just the risk/reward you take with so much inventory flying around.

These are just two quick examples, but trust me, there are tons of similar bargains struck every day across all the online auction platforms, big and small. For folks willing to dig and do their homework, it's an amazing time to be a buyer.

Now does that mean there's an entire arbitage business to be had, scooping up deals and re-listing elsewhere? Absolutely, and I know more than a few people making an incredibly tidy living that way. But if I'm being totally honest, that whole collector/flipper game has never really been for me.

Call me old-fashioned, but I've always been more about simply enjoying the hunt, doing the metalwork myself when needed, and then actually driving and using the cars I buy. Sure, there's nothing wrong with playing the angles and working all the angles to turn a profit. But personally, I just get way more satisfaction from wrenching on an cool project I undervalued versus stashing it away as stock. To each their own though!