SCM Collector of the Week: Hoffman Hibbett

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SCMer Hoffman Hibbett sent in an email that shows what can happen when you follow your heart when it comes to a special car:

“At the end of 1999, during the middle of the “Dot Com” boom, I thought that I now had some money which would allow me to get my dream car.

I like most classic cars, but I have always been a lover of cars from the 1960s. Even though I like muscle cars, I had always been a big Ferrari fan. Consequently, I decided to research these cars to determine which one I would get. I set my budget at no more than $125K—and quickly found out that many of them were above that mark. However, in retrospect, there were still a reasonable number of options available at the time.

I looked through my buyers guide to figure out which one would work for me. I only knew that I wanted a 12-cylinder, two-seater car. There was a picture with each one, and, after looking over the features as well as the design, I decided that I would most likely end up with a 330 or 365 GTC.

I began my search.

On a trip to Southern California, I went into a car showroom which had quite a few classic Ferraris. I was looking around the showroom, when I saw a car that I thought was exceptionally beautiful and immediately thought it was one of those $500K-plus cars that I could not afford.

I must admit that I have always been more intrigued with the design of the classic cars more than their performance (otherwise I would have chosen to go with a newer Ferrari, such as the 512 TR). Out of curiosity, I asked the salesman what kind of car that it was. He said that it was a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso.

I was very surprised to hear that it was a Lusso, as the pictures in the buyer’s guide did not do it justice. I also knew from my buyer’s guide that it was in my price range. I instantly decided that the Lusso was now the car that I wanted to get!

The salesman told me how much they wanted for the car, and I thought that they were asking too much. He did not seem interested in negotiating, so I continued looking at the other cars before leaving. Perhaps he did not think I was a serious buyer.

I now began my new search.

Several weeks later, I received a mailer from RM Auctions. I looked through it, and they had a Lusso for sale at their upcoming auction. Surprisingly enough, it was the same car I had seen in the showroom.

I called RM and told them that I wanted to bid on the Lusso by phone when it came up for bid. I called them on the day of the event—as well as several times during the auction. I definitely did not want them to mistakenly forget to call me.

Before I knew it, they called me and said that the Lusso was two cars away from coming up for bid. I started to get butterflies as the bidding began. The price went up quickly, and I thought that it would go beyond my price. I made what I considered to be my final bid, and, surprisingly, the bidding stopped, and I got the car!

I have driven it for almost 11 years now, and I take it out whenever the weather allows. That really means that it is not raining or it is not over 80 degrees outside. The most fun about driving it is interacting with people who ask about it. It has great visibility with the many windows, and it plays my favorite music (Colombo V12).

My biggest complaint is that it has no power steering. For the most part, it does not really matter with the exception of parallel parking. Also, it does not have seat belts. Obviously, I hope I never need them, not only for my personal safety, but also emotionally.

In hindsight, I realize that the decision to sell my AOL stock to buy this car was one of the best financial moves I have made in the last decade. A few years after getting the car, my stock portfolio was down quite a bit. I realize that the only error I had made was not selling all of my stock and buying 1960 vintage cars with the money.”

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