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The Luxury Of Choice: Matching Your Car With Your Socks

Top tips for starting your dream car collection

Cars from the Harold Coker collection sold at Hershey sale | RM Sotheby’s photos by Darin Schnabel (2015)

It’s the ultimate ambition of more than a few people to start a car collection of their own. Having a small fleet of cars is one of the ultimate status symbols, and the luxury of choice is a wonderful thing – matching your car with your socks, or your mood, or the day of the week is something which surely brings an enormous sense of satisfaction. However, getting started can be a little tricky, and like with any new hobby or collection, it’s always useful to get a few pointers to put you on the right track. Here’s our top 5 tips for starting a collection of your own.

Do you dream of one day owning a garage full of glistening chrome and powerful engines?

Get Focused

Quality always trumps quantity, no matter if you’re collecting stamps, taxidermy, hats or luxury vehicles. There’s no point in buying indiscriminately just to bulk out your numbers – so, take your time, think about what it is you really love about cars, and start your collection from a point of passion. Maybe focus your collection on a country of origin, or a particular time period, a body style or a specific manufacturer. This is the pathway to connoisseurship, a far more rewarding experience, and a collection of cars which truly reflects your personality and individual taste.

Richard Roy’s collection old at Hershey sale | RM Sotheby’s photos by Darin Schnabel
Richard Roy’s collection old at Hershey sale | RM Sotheby’s photos by Darin Schnabel

Get in the Loop

You don’t have to be a massive car nerd to get ahead, but other passionate collectors are an invaluable source of information and tip-offs. Go to car shows, join clubs, get active on forums. Let people know what your collection is all about, and maybe you’ll get some great advice on how you can take it further, or when and where a secret auction is being held. Not only will you be able to get some great bargains out of it, but you will learn more, meet more people, and be able to get into the lifestyle of the car collector. Altogether, it can make the hobby a far more rewarding one!

Treat your paperwork with the same reverence and respect you do your motors.

Get Your Paperwork Together

If you’re collecting cars for investment purposes, or want to sell them on one day at a profit, make sure everything is kept in writing and filed away properly. This is also especially important when you’re buying a classic car – you really do need to know everything there is to know about it. Mileage, restoration details, where it has been stored… it all can make a huge difference. Treat your paperwork with the same reverence and respect as you do your motors; buy a filing cabinet, make sure everything is neatly stored, alphabetized and dated. It might sound a little dull (especially when you want to get out on the open road!) but you’ll thank us for this advice in the future.

Start a Maintenance Fund

Make sure you’re setting aside a bit of money for maintenance. You want these cars to be your pride and joy, and actually, getting them done up and maintained to perfect working order is a lovely way of getting involved in your collection. No luxury car worth having is going to cost less than a couple of thousand per year (at least) in maintenance costs – so make sure you’re prepared for when cash needs to be splashed.

Richard Roy’s 1929 Chrysler ‘Blossom’, photos by Darin Schnabel
Richard Roy’s 1929 Chrysler ‘Blossom’, photos by Darin Schnabel

What Type of Collector Will You Be?

This is a vital question to ask yourself before you begin. Do you want to keep your toys in pristine condition, left in the box and rarely – if ever – taken out on the road? Do you want to be getting out there, testing the engines, pushing the limits and burning rubber? Do you want to be getting your hands dirty and doing some of the maintenance yourself, or would you prefer to see it all done from afar? By answering these questions in advance, you can decide how you want your collection to take shape. Of course, you’re more than welcome to change your mind once you get going, but it’s important to approach your new passion, hobby, and lifestyle as a car collector with the right attitude and realistic expectations.

So, what do you think? Are you a car collector yourself with some pearls of wisdom to share? Do you dream of one day owning a garage full of glistening chrome and powerful engines? Let us know in the comments below!

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