I love buying classic cars. It is both my profession and my hobby, and is undoubtedly what I do best. The scenario surrounding each and every purchase is completely different from the next, and never the same as the last. I’ve bought and sold it all; everything from barn finds to yard art to concours-quality collection pieces. Don’t get me wrong, I too fancy a nicely polished classic with a fresh set of shiny tires, but the reality is that nothing hits me in the sweet spot quite like a car dressed in years and years of accumulated dust. The thicker the coat of dust, the better. Many people will argue that dusty cars are dangerous territory, claiming that dust masks major faults and blemishes that would otherwise be glaring. In some respects, they’d be right. But I’ve grown to look at it differently. A dust-covered car can only look better, while a car that’s nicely presented looks as good as it ever will. A shiny turd is still a turd. If you want to find a real diamond in the rough, you have to look in the rough. Read more
With a coachbuilding resume dating all the way back to 1919, Zagato has designed and produced many of the most striking and sought-after vehicles the world has ever seen. Ugo Zagato, as pictured above, established his coachbuilding business in Milan, Italy with the intent of applying sophisticated construction techniques from the aeronautical sector to automobiles. Read more
The classic car community has pivoted a bit in recent years; fully-restored cars were once the ones-to-have, now the respective values of these restored examples are being surpassed by “barn finds” and “survivor” examples that, while maybe not seemingly as nice at first glance, carry their value in the form of originality. While we’ve seen a number of “barn finds” fetch large sums of money at auction in recent years, there’s perhaps no better example of a car’s “survivor” nature feeding its value than the Aquamarine Blue ‘57 Porsche Speedster that sold at Auction America’s Hilton Head sale in late 2016. Fully restored Speedsters are trading hands in the $300k – $500k range; meanwhile, this completely original example, which needed some attention, having sat stationary in a Chicago storage unit for the last forty years, fetched $605,000, nearly triple the pre-auction estimate. But why? There’s a particular charm to unrestored “survivor” cars; whether due to nostalgia for a far-gone era or just the excitement of recognizing a car’s full potential underneath a thick layer of dust, the time-capsule feeling evoked by unrestored cars is something special. The woo of that intangible charm is a key component in what drives the value of many classic cars.
Six years ago my dad and I dragged an ’87 Porsche 924S out of a guy’s backyard who had left the car for dead following a host of successive engine failures. Over the past six years, the 924 has become a major part of my life. I’ve always been enthusiastic about the car but not until recently, when I got 55 hours of seat time in six days with no air conditioning or human companionship, did I truly come to appreciate not just how brilliantly practical and reliable of a car I have, but how significant of a lasting positive impact daily-driving a vintage sports car has had on my life. Read more
While alcohol and cigarette manufacturers’ advertisements were once plastered on the large majority of racing cars and circuits worldwide, times, and regulations, have changed. Read more
Many of the classic and collectible cars we all lust over today and routinely see go for exorbitant amounts of money at auction weren’t always looked at in this light; in fact, many of the cars that are now gaining traction in the classic and collectible market were once looked at as oddities, the features that once deterred buyers now adding massive value in the resale market. For example, take a look at the 1963 Corvette. The ‘63 model year was the only year to feature a “split” rear window, something that at the time was not all that well received. Some people even went so far as to cut the divider out of the rear hatch and retrofit a singular glass panel. Fifty years later, split window coupes are fetching nearly twice as much as their single-window counterparts. Oops!
With all the variation in the collector car market, how can I ensure I’m making a smart buy? Are there any tell-tale signs that a car is soon to increase in value? Read more
The 924 occupies an interesting space in Porsche history; as their first front-engined, water-cooled model, its introduction spelled a change of direction for Porsche, which caused a stir among the Porsche faithful. Read more
This past weekend we finally saw a break in Chiberia’s bitter, grey winter. The sun came out for the first time in weeks and the temperature ticked above freezing….alright! We took this opportunity to stretch the legs of two cars that have been taunting us from the showroom, our ‘88 M3 and ‘84 Euro 635csi. Read more
Though it’s now been thirty years since the tragic end of Group-B, the buzz that the series created within the motorsport community has yet to fade away. The fire-breathing, turbocharged monsters of Group-B are renowned as some of the most ferocious, difficult-to-tame racing cars in all of motorsport history. The drivers of these cars were not only celebrated for their phenomenal skill, but for their superhuman-like focus and fearlessness. It has been said that subconscious self-preservation instincts are what really separated the great drivers from the good ones, as drivers were truly living on the brink of death while behind the wheel at race speed. Read more
As classic car enthusiasts, we’re always on the hunt for interesting projects. We love all of the oddball water-cooled Porsches of the 1980s, so when we got word of an ‘81 928S sitting on blocks in a backyard garage in the Chicago suburbs we got properly excited, albeit a bit skeptical as we knew that 1983 was the first year the 928S had been sold in the United States. We got in touch with the owner, and requested the VIN. Low and behold, the car was truly an ‘81 928S Euro-market car. We immediately got our flatbed ready to go. When we arrived at the owner’s property, here’s what we saw: Read more