Investing in classic cars falls under the heading “passion investing’’, in which collectors invest in ownership of things about which they care and love deeply.
When it comes to collectibles, the most common stories about uncommon finds go something like this:
- A man in Defiance, Ohio discovers a cardboard box in his grandfather’s attic that contains 700 rare baseball cards worth several million dollars
- A man discovers that a painting he bought a decade ago for 50 cents at a yard sale could be worth up to $10,000.
- A man cleaning out his great aunt’s home after her death finds 345 comic books in a basement closet. The collection, which includes such prizes as the debuts of Superman and Batman, sells for $3.5 million.
But after what Antonio Brunet discovered, people are going to start scouting out Texas barns for collectible treasure troves. Brunet, the chairman and founder of Motostalgia Auctions in Austin, received a tip that a barn just seven miles from his business contained five pre-war cars worth upwards of a half million dollars.
The cars, covered in dust and untouched for 40 years, will be up for auction on June 12 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. They include:
- 1932 Cadillac V12 Victoria Convertible
- 1933 Cadillac Model 370C Town Coupe V-12.
- 1908 Reo Model G Boattail Roadster and Sedan Convertible
- 1923 Milburn Electric Model 27L
- 1938 Cadillac V-16 Series 90 Fleetwood Limousine
The 1932 Cadillac is the real prize of the litter with an estimated value of $285,000-$350,000
The cars’ original owner, Jack (he has not publicly given his last name), transported the cars to Texas from his home in Wisconsin in the 1970s. He reportedly did not have the time or money to maintain and restore the cars, and he only agreed to put the cars up for auction if Brunet would get them back in running condition.
Investing in classic cars falls under the heading “passion investing’’, in which collectors invest in ownership of things about which they care and love deeply. When it comes to collecting classic and vintage cars, three criteria drive the market: The car’s original value, the peer value to like-minded aficionados, and scarcity.
As alternative investments go, art and currency or coins are more in demand by Millionaire collectors, according to Spectrem Group research. Among those who collect automobiles as investments, the highest percentage (25 percent) are ages 35 and under.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.