Genus: Car collector
Car collectors are in a category unto themselves. Wine, art, jewelry: these are things you collect and then just let be, enjoying them without effort whenever the mood strikes. But cars. People who collect cars tinker and research and refurbish and document. They live and breathe and, most importantly, drive their collections.
Within the genus Car collector, there are numerous distinct species. We have identified several textbook examples of two of the more common species of Car collector in our Luxury & Collector Vehicle Auction: the serial monogamist and the long hauler. Each species demonstrates its own particular set of behaviors in regards to their collections, which we will enumerate below.
Species: Serial Monogamist
Though the consignor of the 1983 Porsche 911SC Coupe Gulf Racing Heritage Edition in our Luxury & Collector Vehicle Auction describes his car collecting as a "possible medical affliction," he is actually part of a fairly common species of collector. Whereas the closely related more is more species will amass an extensive stable of collectible cars, the serial monogamist will have only one or two collector cars at a time, trading them out as a new project car on which to work is needed or the urge for something younger and faster overcomes them.

Being a member of the family porsche enthusiast, this particular consignor's collection has focused nearly exclusively on Porsches. The 911SC in our auction was the consignor's third in a series of five. His first was a 1982 911, in which car he learned to drive on a race track and, as his skills evolved, eventually began to teach performance driving. Next in his line of Porsches was a 1989 911 Carrera. As the '89 began to show signs of wear, he bought the 1983 911SC as a parts car with which to refurbish the '89. In the end, however, he decided to refurbish the '83 instead.
Over time, our consignor removed the '83's original leaky sunroof, rebuilt the engine, gave it a new paint job in the nostalgic GULF blue and orange livery, and reupholstered the interior. The car he meant to scrap for parts became his daily driver.
But as any good serial monogamist knows, there's always a time to move on. As the '83 became non-competitive with newer models, the collector moved on to a 2011 Porsche Cayman. He also purchased a 1992 Porsche 911C2 from a recent Leland Little car auction, which will be his next project. And so, with two other Porsches in the garage, it was time for the '83 to find a new home.
To our Porsche's consignor, these cars are tools, albeit very fast and sporty ones. He'll have as many cars as he can find a use for and a reason to drive. That reason can be as simple as a wind-dry after a wash, but even members of the Genus Car collector can only be behind the wheel of one car at a time.
Species: Long Hauler
Whereas the serial monogamist is always looking towards the next car in their collection, the long hauler instead commits to a car, and commits hard, for decades. Henry Horne, from whose collection come both the 1965 MG Midget and the One-Owner 1968 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S 340 in our auction, was an electrical engineer by trade, an SCCA driver by hobby, and a long hauler by nature.
Horne bought the Barracuda in 1968, new from the dealer. Quite possibly the most fastidious example of the long hauler species we've had the pleasure to encounter, Horne saved the Barracuda's original stickers, brochures, and all documentation of the purchase. And from then on, he never once broke his long hauler collector character.
Horne's cars come with 40 plus years of records about their condition and maintenance. After an "unfortunate encounter" in the parking lot of a race in Osceola, Florida, Horne saved not only his letter to the guilty party, but the receipts documenting the necessary repairs (coming to a grand total of $47.10). He kept notebooks filled with daily mileage totals and maintenance expenditures, and graphs that tracked things like the comparative spark advance curves of the '68 Barracuda and a '68 Dart. "Meticulous" doesn't quite capture it.
Necessary, of course, to the survival of a true long hauler is the support of an understanding partner. Mr. Horne was blessed with just such a one. Among Horne's car documents is a poem written for him by his wife, to accompany a monetary gift. Horne had recently re-purchased a 1965 MG Midget from the family to which he had sold it over a decade earlier, and the car was no longer in the condition that Horne considered acceptable. And so his wife, Jo, clearly knowing the devotion in the heart of her long hauler husband, gave him the means and permission to make the Midge right again. Which Horne did, with great style. The Midge, like the Barracuda, would never leave his possession again.
No matter the species of Car collector, all members of the genus are known to love loud engines, manual transmissions, and a good tailwind. And while their behavioral patterns are distinct, members of the different Car collector species are able to interact amicably in the wild - say, at the racetrack, or upon spying one another's collector cars in public parking lots. It is, after all, the biodiversity of the Car collector world that keeps it running in top shape.

Luxury & Collector Vehicles
Friday, July 23rd
12:00pm (EDT)