My interest in cars these days is pretty basic: they have to hold children and dogs and they can’t be a minivan.
Clearly, I’m not a car guy. Nonetheless, there I was last weekend at the Greenwich Concours d’Élégance in Connecticut, struggling to resist the siren call of the beautiful roadsters, muscle cars and concept cars. I wasn’t there to buy. I wanted to know whether they had real value. Or, to put it another way, could they be considered an investment or a collectible like art, or were they money pits like a yacht?
“People turn me off when the first thing they say is ‘What is this worth?’ ” said Ralph Marano, a car dealer and collector from Westfield, N.J. “It’s not about the price. It’s about, I love the cars.”
That love has driven him to buy 85 classic cars — 70 of which, he said, are one of a kind, or at least the only one left. I had no doubt that his collection was valuable, but it was also idiosyncratic: 48 of the cars are Packards, from the first fiberglass model to a station wagon.
Like anything else, rare cars like the 1954 Packard Panther that Mr. Marano entered into the Greenwich Concours will hold their value: he said it was one of only four made. But there are plenty of other classic cars that are just old.Page 1 of 6 | Next Page