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Punta Gorda, Florida.

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  • LouRugani
    Lawrence wrote: thats my hometown. Can u send me the photos and details? Thanks mike ============================= Mike, he s referring
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 4, 2009
      "Lawrence" <lawrencemflynn@...> wrote:

      thats my hometown. Can u send me the photos and details? Thanks mike


      Mike, he's referring to a new muscle-car museum that opened last summer in Punta Gorda, but I agree with the sentiment in that essay. It reminded me of the late Mr. Wally Schreck, a veteran CCOC member in the Chicago area who drove his Crosleys everywhere. (In fact, he bought a new Chevette Scooter 2-door because of its resemblance to a Crosley.)

      Wally would muse over Crosley owners who rarely drove their cars, like a book collector who never actually read anything in his collection. I remember him saying "Don't these people think these cars were meant to GO anywhere?"

      Great guy, Wally.



      I got an email from a buddy of mine the other day about this amazing collection of classics in Punta Gorda, Florida. I looked through the pictures and it reminded me of a poster that I had in college. It was a poster of a 4 car garage where you can see a Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini and, I think, a Shelby Cobra. The caption read "He who dies with the most toys wins." I thought that was awesome. Then I read this article and thought: this guy took that saying way too far. I mean, when does it become an obsession vs. hobby vs. enjoyment? I read another article about a couple in Canada that collected every convertible that Chevy ever made, up to 1973. I thought again, where is the fun in that? Do they drive these cars? At times, I bet, they don't even remember buying some of those cars. Every car I had, I drove. Cars are meant to be driven, especially collectibles.

      Now if your argument is that these are investments, like fine art, Picasso and the like, then I would agree, the more the merrier. However, you would have to put the cars on display in your home somewhere, so when you walk by, you can look at it and enjoy the beauty. That I agree with, but I sincerely doubt my wife would allow me to park a 1969 Boss Mustang in our master bedroom. Although, I remember a story in the eighties where a guy in Italy bought a Ferrari F40, tore down a wall in his living room, moved that car into it and built the wall back up.

      Back to the two articles and my next question: quality or quantity? The collection in Florida has over 200 cars and if you compare that to the Ralph Lauren Collection where he has about 30 cars in which are some of the rarest Ferraris in the world, then who wins there? The combined value of those 200 Chevys might be worth one of Ralph's (we are on a first name basis) cars. So now what? Does quality win over quantity?

      I am going to shift gears here. Another story that caught my attention was on the show "Chasing Classic Cars" last week. A Connecticut couple bought a 1960 Chevy Impala convertible in 1981 and literally parked the car and never drove it. I think the car had 26,000 original miles. The wife asked the husband if they could take it out and drive and he said, "No it will diminish the value." Sure enough, the husband passed away earlier this year and the wife called Wayne Carini to help her sell the car. Wayne took the car, freshened it up, detailed it and put it up for sale at a Mecum auction. They wanted somewhere between $35k and $45k. The car sold for $33,250 dollars. I thought: what a shame. That great couple had that car for so long, didn't drive it and then only got $33,250. What a shame! I say drive them. Drive them, restore them, drive them again, and restore them again.

      Now I know many of you are saying to yourself "they are only original once." I then would ask what kind of original you want. Do you want the Connecticut couple's Impala that has no history because it was parked for 50 years, or do you want the original Shelby that Carroll Shelby himself raced and won all those championships with? I say drive them.

      The enjoyment of the cars should be the first reason you buy a car. Even if you are fortunate enough to have all kinds of cars in the stable or one of the rarest cars in the world: get out there and drive them. As for "the guy who dies with the most toys wins": no matter how rare your car is and no matter how perfect your car is, someone will have a car that is more rare and someone will have a newly restored car that is more perfect than yours. And in the end, you can't take them with you. So, drive them!
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