The 1952 Ferrari Formula 2 was a rare beast. Only five examples were built, including the first Ferrari to win the Monaco Grand Prix.
Known for its exceptional chassis, it is the most sought after of the five ’52s and is about to be acquired by Tertre Rouge Assetsa new company dedicated to the vintage car market.
Tertre Rouge is unique in its kind. Named after a famous corner at the Le Mans circuit, the company was created to give ordinary investors access to a market traditionally reserved for old wealthy families and billionaire business owners.
Legend: The victorious Ferrari of the 1952 Monaco Grand Prix purchased by Tertre Rouge
The classic car market is valued at almost £35 billion and is growing at more than 8 per cent annually.
But not all classic cars are equal. At the top are extremely rare, technically brilliant and unmistakably authentic vehicles. These are the crown jewels of classic cars.
They rarely come on the market, are worth several million pounds each and are owned by the very rich, from Ralph Lauren to the Sultan of Brunei.
This section of the market is inaccessible to all but a select few – those with large sums of money or a deep understanding of the sector and its strengths. The board of directors of Tertre Rouge has both.
The directors include Formula One champion Mika Hakkinen, described by motor racing legend Michael Schumacher as the man he respected most on the circuit.
Hakkinen retired from racing more than 20 years ago but has since become an avid investor in high-end engines. Former British drivers David Coulthard and Allan McNish are also on the board, while chief executive and co-founder Andre Ahrle drove for Porsche in the 1990s.
Ahrle is also a successful entrepreneur, with a significant securities industry under his belt, working for stars such as Madonna, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones. A classic car enthusiast, Ahrle has spent the last two decades building up a collection, from 1960s Ferraris to old Ducatis.
He gained a reputation for successful investing, unearthing rare engines, acquiring them off-market and knowing exactly who might be willing to pay for them later.
Hakkinen, Coulthard, McNish and Ahrle share a passion for racing vehicles combined with a flair for cold hard cash.
Chairman and co-founder Steven Shapera doesn’t even own a car, but he knows how to make money, having amassed several hundred million pounds from starting and selling beauty businesses.
While looking for ways to invest his fortune, he met Ahrle. The two men started collecting, came up with the idea for Tertre Rouge and acquired a shell in cash in 2022, since then looking for blue-chip assets that will deliver strong returns to shareholders.
Now, Tertre Rouge is ready to roll. Six top cars are offered for purchase, three Ferraris, a Jaguar E-Type, a Lamborghini and a Mercedes-Benz. All date from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and cost between £1 million and £10 million each.
At prices like these, mistakes can be catastrophic, so Ahrle has done a lot of due diligence, down to individually checking the nuts and bolts of each vehicle. Nearly 60 cars failed the test, but six passed and exclusive contracts were signed for each of them.
Star quality: Mika Hakkinen, pictured with his wife Marketa, is a director
While Ahrle was looking at automobiles, Shapera was looking for complementary businesses that could generate cash from day one.
He founded Run To, which offers wealthy classic car owners the opportunity to drive from cities across Europe to the Monaco Grand Prix, staying in luxurious locations along the way.
The trips are in high demand, the business is very profitable, and Shapera already has ideas on how to double Run To’s sales and profits in the short term.
Tertre Rouge hopes to raise £50 million by offering shares to investors at £1.05 each. Around £30 million will be spent on the six-car collection, £5 million on Run To and the rest will be used to buy new vehicles, acquire other motor businesses and keep the business running.
Shapera also intends to offer special benefits to investors, via Ecurie TRA, a shareholders’ club offering discounts and priority access to key events.
Shares in Tertre Rouge are suspended for the duration of the fundraising and listing rules mean large investors must subscribe for almost £30m worth of shares before individuals can apply for shares. But then they will be available through brokers and all major platforms.
The same price will be offered to applicants large and small, and investors will also be able to buy shares on the market as soon as trading resumes.
Midas Verdict: Luxury goods have fallen on hard times of late, with demand losing steam as inflation and high interest rates take a toll on consumers’ pockets.
Ultra-exclusive classic cars seem to be a different breed. Tertre Rouge offers access to this rarefied market and also allows you to rub shoulders with Formula 1 champions. At £1.05, this action offering is worth a closer look.
Exchanged on: Main market Teleprinter: BETWEEN Contact: tertrerougeassets.com or Buchanan on 020 7466 5000
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on it, we may earn a small commission. This helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationships to affect our editorial independence.