My Dad, the Cat Hoarder Lady of the Collector Car World
|Written by Alex Martin-Banzer|
|Monday, 27 August 2012 14:00|
It is official -- my father, Publisher Keith Martin, needs an intervention. He is on his way to becoming the cat hoarder lady of the car world.
Two weeks ago he accidently bought an Alfetta, an unloved 1978 Alfa Romeo. One week ago a 1958 Sprint 750F Giulietta joined our garage. This weekend, he posted on Facebook that he was interested in purchasing a BMW Shark (6-series) to use as an everyday driver.
A typical daughter might worry that her father was going through a midlife crisis in this situation. But my dad isn’t out purchasing a C6 Corvette convertible and a gold chain; he just seems to keep happening upon kooky cars that are in his price range that he would like to drive (maybe incessant Craigslist, eBay and BaT searches have something to do with, plus business cards that say “sell me your car”. And because of my disturbed sense of reality, I’m used to this.
So how does his slightly off-beat fleet relate to last week's multi-million-dollar headliners in Monterey?
A 1936 Mercedes-Benz sold for $11.8m at Gooding, and a 1968 Ford GT40 brought $11m at RM – million-dollar sales are becoming almost commonplace. I’m not the first one to point out that people are starting to buy classic cars as part of their investment portfolios -- just like paintings. But unlike fine art, these cars weren’t designed just to sit on a pedestal and be looked at while you sip your cabernet. They have engines in them, steering wheels, gas pedals and shift levers. Cars were meant to be driven. That’s why they were invented in the first place.
So would I prefer the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder that sold for $8.6m at RM last week over our '64 Chevy Nova Wagon? Only if I were free to drive and enjoy it without feeling guilty. Otherwise, I say bring on the Nova wagon -- or even the Isetta.
Yes, I poke fun at my father when a car accidently follows him home, but at least my dad buys cars with the intention of using them. And I can speak from first-hand experience, they all get driven. And sometimes pushed. I’ll be glad to tell you about that part of my classic car experience when we meet at the next event.