It was wheels up early today as Keith moderated the 15th Annual Monterey Insider’s Seminar. Held at the Gooding auction site, the panelists included Miles Collier, Mark Hyman, Keith Martin, Donald Osborne and Steve Serio. Topics covered included the following:
- Is $100,000 for a BMW tii way too much or just an early buy?
- How can a fiberglass 308 GTB be worth $250,000?
- Will MGBs and Triumphs be cheap forever or should you buy one now?
- How long will late-model-Ferrari 6-speed mania last?
- Is the Barn Find Craze over?Day 2 Monterey:
- Big difference between good and great!
For me the key take away was the sage advice to always buy the best. Buying in the middle of the collector car market is dangerous. If you can’t go to the top then buy the cheapest example you can find and perform a full and correct restoration. There is no safety in occupying the middle the middle of the market. On any day, good is not good enough. A car needs to be excellent to stand up to an up or down market. As an example, the 300SL probably represents the closest thing to a financial instrument in the collector car world. However, values in certain cases are going down. All but the very best examples are vulnerable to a significant correction. Unlike a stock certificate these cars are all unique and have differentiating circumstances behind their history, provenance, and condition. There are many SL’s out there but only a handful that are truly extraordinary concours collector-grade cars. Real collector money will still pay up for the absolute best even in a softer market.
The panel also stressed the importance of provenance, paperwork and extensive documentation. Knowing what has been done to a car is more important than ever! Questions to consider:include who owned the car in the past, who restored the car and if all the receipts and records are all present and accounted for.
Most of all, the panelists all agreed that successful collecting is based upon a bedrock of owning what you identify with and buying what you love. Buying a collector car should not always be a financial decision. However, you should still always buy the best and put yourself in a position of strength. If your car does not turn out to be a great investment at least it has significant meaning and brings enjoyment to you.
After the Insider’s Seminar we headed over to Concorso Italiano where Keith was the Master of Ceremonies for the 23rd year. This 1,000 car event is the world’s largest Italian automotive gathering and is a must attend during Monterey Car Week. It is truly an Italian celebration of fashion, food, music and style. Put this event on your bucket list!
Marques on display included Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Pagani, MVAgusta and many more. There were literally dozens of examples of ultra-rare cars on display. Even Horatio Pagani himself made an appearance.
For me personally Concorso was an epiphany. I now understand and respect the love and passion behind Italian cars. It’s infectious. I specifically gained an appreciation for Alfa Romeo. Concorso attracted hundreds of Alfa-Holics and I spent a lot of time with several owners learning about the various models. From the rare Zagato cars to the Duetto, Alfa Romeo has something for every taste and budget.
We finished off the day with a brief visit to the Gooding auction where we saw Paul Newman’s race car fetch $4.5 million.
Its time to head to bed and get some rest as tomorrow is the big finale here on the Peninsula.
Some Great Plates in Monterey: