My Car Quest

November 1, 2014

Something To Think About

by Mike –

A post on Ferrari Chat dated October 12, 2013 begins,

Many years ago my father bought a ’67 330 GTS and kept it in his garage ever since. He passed away several years ago and my mother doesn’t know what to do with it.

And so begins an interesting story about a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS that I wrote about yesterday. I saw this Ferrari Chat post after I published this article – A Ferrari Sleeping Beauty Has A Coating Of Grime, Spots Of Surface Rust…

Below I summarize the 110 messages from this Ferrari Chat thread.

A forty-one year old company executive (who lives in Texas), trying to help his elderly mother (who lives in the North East US) sell the 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS that her husband had bought about 45 years ago, posted on Ferrari Chat looking for advice.

In this Ferrari Chat thread the son is given a lot of advice from Ferrari Chat readers – after they beat him up at the beginning because they could not believe this was a real request for advice about such a rare Ferrari.

The son admits that he knows little about Ferraris and this car has been sitting covered in his mothers’s garage these many decades. His long deceased father never did get around to repairing the car since he bought it from the previous owner in 1969 after it suffered an unfortunate engine bay fire.

The father (owner) had started removing parts from the Ferrari like the headlights, badges, door handles, mirrors, red leather door covers, center console, etc…The son is not sure why his father did this but in my opinion it was likely the beginning of repairing the car, getting it ready for new paint maybe and getting it back on the road. But he was not able to complete this for reasons I do not know, maybe his death but even before that he did not make much progress.

Below is a photo of this Ferrari partially disassembled.

Ferrari 330 GTS

This photo is from the son before the car was sold – you can see the headlights and the nose badge have been removed.

The son says he does not remember the car being uncovered nor does he remember his father doing any work on this Ferrari. The son was considering getting the car running or having it restored and maybe having some fun with it and then sell it. But his mother had a different idea.

His mother sold the car for “about $1 million” to a dealer and maybe another dealer was involved – it’s not clear. This Ferrari 330 GTS is now scheduled to be auctioned at the Gooding auction in Arizona in a few days.

Some of the son’s comments,

Odometer and steering wheel may not be original. Father purchased it at auction in 1969 so he was not original owner.

It has been in our garage under cover since 1969!

Given the condition and completeness of the vehicle I think it was a good transaction (not great). For full disclosure, we found what we believe to be the original instruments in a box in the attic with other parts and the odometer had 36K kms (European model). I was counseling a little more patience, but my mother felt that she had a bird in the hand and wanted to be done. I certainly understand her decision given her circumstances.

Ferraro 330 GTS

It appears that when this Ferrari was put back together by the new owners (and now sellers) they were careful not to disturb that very important “dirt patina”. When I look at the photos on the Gooding web site I cannot tell that many of the parts had been removed and then replaced on this car. It is also interesting to see that they use a dirt field as the photo shoot location for this Ferrari. That is free dirt patina!

Money

The Gooding web site does not publish an estimated price range for this Ferrari but David Gooding was quoted in an article in the “New York Times” where he said he expected the car to sell “in the neighborhood of $2 million.”

The elderly widow of the owner of this Ferrari who had this car in her garage for 45 years gets “about $1 million” while the auction company and the dealers get another $1 million if Gooding’s estimate is correct.

If my math is right then the elderly widow is paying about a 50% commission to sell an investment that her deceased husband made in 1969!

That’s something to think about.

one million dollar bill

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Summary
Article Name
Something To Think About
Author
Description
"Many years ago my father bought a '67 330 GTS and kept it in his garage ever since. He passed away several years ago and my mother doesn't know what to do with it." Then the story begins.

Comments

  1. Francesco says:

    Must say that since 2008, in the USA, classic cars prices are growing madly, inflating the whole world prices. No earlier than five years ago a car like this was barely worth $200k. The 1000% increase in five years is way out of every commercial or logical reason.

  2. Paul Harvey says:

    Mike

    This story changes the game.
    it is one thing for a vendor to leave a car in ‘as found’ condition in order to jump on the ‘barn find’ bandwagon.
    It is another thing altogether to reconstruct the car and hide the truth in order to create the impression that it has never been touched. .

    • Same guys that took another Ferrari out of a garage last year that had been under a cotton cloth cover drove it down a dirt road for the photo shoot and then delivered it to Monterey with a fresh coat of patina.

  3. I don’t really have a problem with the buyers only paying $1m. They were the ones taking the risks, they had to re-assemble the car and try to make sense of it and for that gamble it appears they were well rewarded. That car sat dormant for 46 years and gradually went downhill. I actually think the buyers treated her very well.

  4. Georgeg20 says:

    Mike, I get your analysis of the sales proceeds. I do get annoyed a bit when we start looking at profits made by dealers and auction houses. I said it before and I’ll say it again – no one forces sellers and buyers to deal with auction houses or classic car dealers. I gathered from your article that the son went to the Ferrari site really in hopes of trying to sell the car. Instead he got the usual forum beating. I’m sure he discussed it with his mother and when Gooding came around it was a clear no-fuss solution. I come across the issue of forum members being riled up over classic car resellers driving up prices and gouging the market. Well, where are these good folks when a good deal literally falls into their laps? When the classic car dealers exist and prosper it means there’s a market to sustain that growth. Also, lets not forget the expense that goes into running those businesses. Sorry if I didn’t agree with you, but I’m about free enterprise and profit making…

  5. I have worked on enough old cars to know that it would be very difficult to put those parts back on and keep a fresh coat of patina on the car, no finger prints smudges, scrubs …… That means that “The Auction Company” had to go out and acquire some fresh patina. Buyers don’t understand what a gallon of fresh patina costs these days!

    As far as the million dollars profit, don’t forget the cost of the new patina and …… we all know a million dollars isn’t worth what it used to be.

  6. ken phillips says:

    All of us are supposed to keep some sense of decency and responsabality. For this dealer to pick off this elderly widow for $One Million is way too much. A responsable dealer could have installed those few parts at a reasonable shop rate and helped sell the car at the $2 Million price and earned a $200,000 fee for the small amount of time and effort he spent without stealing the 2nd Million from the widow.. It is dealers like this that create a “WAR” like distrust between all buyers and sellers and all dealers that harm the relationship and dealer industry for both the dealers and sellers and buyers. There is now another alternative. The web for all it’s difficulities is better than what this dealer did to this old lady. Or My Car Quest would have been a FAR better alternative..

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