Sunday, August 3, 2008

$30K Collection The Old Money

Do you own a crumbling pile in the Moors or Maine? Does the phrase ‘the Hinkley’s rigging needs a polish’ have deep relevance for you? When you speak about trust, do you mean a financial holding? If so, congratulations. You are part of the Old Money. And as such, you need a collection of cars that befits your ennobled station. Old Money doesn’t scream, it whispers. Old Money does not rush; it ambles because everyone waits for the Old Money. And Old Money, never ever washed their cars. That is too flash and cad like. Leave that behavior to the modern pinstripe and braces set. You’ve got an 18th century oil painting auction to attend.

1989 Bentley Eight $12K
Many of these Bentleys have suffered like the one pictured above as taxis for self-important brides and grooms. A Bentley was never designed for such a purpose. Really, does Daniel Boulud go about making hamburgers? Oh, wait. He does. Never mind. The amazing bit is after near $90,000 of depreciation anyone can pick up one of these 5,100lbs sedans. Count on around 9MPH, from the Rolls Royce sourced V8. That is if your chauffeur can keep his foot out of it. The finest interiors around. Nicer than most homes, a remarkable place to spend some time gazing out the rear window at the countryside. Or downtown traffic.

1953 MG TD $15K
With a wood-framed steel body on a box section ladder frame the MG is simplicity itself. Being old money, you drove this car while at University. It’s top speed of around 80MPH feels much faster than that. With 26,000 TDs made in three years you can find a runner for your $15K. And to be old money you never put money into restoring the cosmetics, just in taking it to your trusty mechanic for a lube and welding when needed. Bonus points if you have a relative who was seriously hurt while driving the TD in a trial or hill climb event.

Rusty Pile $3K, probably got in trade for a gelding.
This is the most important car in your collection. As such, you keep it in a falling down woodshed that was constructed from timbers of an old shanty that once housed ‘the help’. Jaguars are prime candidates. Allards are great. Hispano Suiza. An Hispano Suiza with six wheels? Very nice. But the rarer, the better. Best yet is if it is a one off coach-built model no one has ever heard of. And it must have a story, “Mummy got pranged back in ‘49 I think when she ran out to pick up a breakfast set by that lovely girl Clarice Cliff. Hasn’t run since.” And leave the story at that. The most important thing with the rusty pile is to never, ever sell it. No matter if your fortunes decline to the point that you have to take up residence in it, to quote Chris Farley, “Down by the river.”

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