Does racing history make a car more or less valuable? | Column

Tim
By Tim Suddard
Sep 9, 2022 | race car, Classic Cars, Buying and Selling, Column, Value, Vintage Race Car | Posted in Columns | From the Nov. 2022 issue | Never miss an article

Areader recently sent me a stack of DVDs containing a bunch of sports car racing movies from the mid- to late ’50s. As I watched one, I caught a glimpse of a red Morgan at the 1953 Pebble Beach Road Race. 

Was this the 1952 Morgan I’d just bought? I knew it ran Laguna Seca a few years later, but I …

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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 11:47 a.m.

Counterpoint: having a pedigree based on history is limiting to your ownership. The more important that pedigree, the more limiting it is - to the point where even washing the car can decrease its value. You start moving your functioning vehicle away from a vehicle and more towards an investment, where your efforts are spent preserving and enhancing that pedigree instead of making the car better and driving it. Now that CM knows that Elva is possibly worth $100k instead of being a $5k basket case, they're constrained in what they can do. If you enjoy cars as an investment, great. But to me, it would almost be disappointing to learn that I had a significant car on my hands if I had purchased it for other reasons, because those reasons probably didn't include a carefully curated restoration so someone else could purchase it.

kevinatfms
kevinatfms GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/9/22 1:34 p.m.

Taking bids on this 2022 VIR 12 Hour South Course Class B winner. Bids starting at $1,000,000 for a race winning piece of history.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 1:39 p.m.

Depends, are we talking a famous and prestigious event from the '50s-'70s or the winner of the local demo derby? cheeky

On the lower-end side of things, a friend of mine once won a local drag series championship with a supercharged Toyota RunX and got an offer from a Caribbean zillionaire car collector to name his price for the car. With that money he was able to import a spec BMW 3-series liftback and enter it into stage rally and rallycross.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
9/9/22 4:59 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Counterpoint: having a pedigree based on history is limiting to your ownership. The more important that pedigree, the more limiting it is - to the point where even washing the car can decrease its value. You start moving your functioning vehicle away from a vehicle and more towards an investment, where your efforts are spent preserving and enhancing that pedigree instead of making the car better and driving it. Now that CM knows that Elva is possibly worth $100k instead of being a $5k basket case, they're constrained in what they can do. If you enjoy cars as an investment, great. But to me, it would almost be disappointing to learn that I had a significant car on my hands if I had purchased it for other reasons, because those reasons probably didn't include a carefully curated restoration so someone else could purchase it.

I pretty much feel the same way; if I had some car with great provenance I'd end up selling it because A. the temptation of a huge profit would be to much and B. I know I'd constantly worry that something would happen to it.

I too like the freedom of being able to modify a car how I see fit.

My Formula 500 has some minor provenance; I'm hoping it's just enough to get it a entry into Monterey some day...........if  some day it turns out to be more than minor it will likely get sold. 

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
9/9/22 5:09 p.m.

Some historical car's history is that it went through a number of changes (class-wise, engine-wise, etc.) so it's value may depend on which version of that car you are getting.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/9/22 7:26 p.m.

I dig knowing the history of a car but wouldn't want to be burdened by the idea that it was a collector's item. 

If you're not careful the things you own end up owning you.

DaleCarter
DaleCarter GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/10/22 2:00 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

It's only limiting if your reason for owning the car is as an investment, rather than as a car. :-)

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/22 2:35 p.m.

Yes.  Had to dig up a 14 year old thread on rx7club and reply to it.

 

Most of the reason I have the car now is because it was a friend's car with provenance.  That is what made the car valuable to me, and worth spending a few years doing the parts hunt to do a mechanical restoration to bring it back to competition ready status.

 

Don't get me wrong, it is MY car now, and I am tweaking it as I see fit, but part of the charm is its history.

Somehow I do not think that former SCCA rallycross champions will bring the big bucks at Barrett-Jackson, but the point isn't to make other people ooh and ahh, the point is to make me smile.  If I am not enjoying owning and driving a car, why own or drive it?

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