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Italian designed 1967 Ghia 450SS top sale at McCormick’s Palm Springs Classic Car Auction

The event featured 394 lots crossing the block with 267 finding new homes. Multiple bidding wars...
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May 2013 Collectable cars a moving investment

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Collectable cars, a moving investment.

When D. David France of Palm Springs retired as a financial advisor, it gave him more time to get his hands dirty working in his garage.

Parked on the left side of his pristine garage is a 1987 Ferrari Testa Rosa. On the far right is a 1990 Jaguar XJS V-12. In between is a fully restored 1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet convertible with a V-12 engine, one of 400 built.  A fourth stall in the garage serves as his shop.

France often drives one of the cars to a local restaurant or coffee shop. They have never visited a drive-thru, since food and beverages are not allowed inside the vehicles. His everyday driver is a 2007 Lincoln Town Car.

After spending five decades in banking and finance, France knows investments, which helped many of his clients avoid the recent financial bloodbath during the economic recession. Collectable cars are part of the picture.

Collecting cars, he said, “should be more of a personal choice than an investment strategy and can provide a reasonable hedge against inflation, especially if the cars are rare.” While the stock market lost a huge percent of its value during the recession, his cars decreased only about 10 percent. As the stock market recovered, his cars have also increased in value.

If and when inflation occurs-- and prices of goods and services goes up-- rare cars, art and other collectables will also go up in price, which France says offers investors some protection against inflation.

“If you buy a quality, collectible used car, you won’t lose as much as money as you will on a new car,” he said. “And, you’ll have some fun with it. I love driving my cars and taking them to car shows.” He has volunteered as a driver at McCormick’s auction the past 12 years, driving different cars from the parking lot to the auction tent, “a Maserati, a Rolls, a Model T, and all kinds of cars and trucks.”

Part of the cost of owning a collectible car is storing it, licensing and insuring it, and the time you spend finding parts and maintaining it. People don’t always consider those costs, since ownership is considered a hobby.

France, who holds a degree in business administration from San Francisco State University, grew up with cars. The youngest of six children, his father carted the family a 1930 Packard limousine. His first classic car was a 1948 Cadillac limousine, which he bought for $10,000 and later sold for $25,000.

His passion for cars includes 15 years of amateur racing. He built an open-wheel Indy Formula 500 and a ’76 Cheve Monza IMSA racecars. The racing days may be over, but the gallery of racecar photos and trophies from France’s many victories still lives on the walls at his home.

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Story by Bill Marchese 

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Featured Car: 1957 JAGUAR XK140 MC

This incredible car will be included in our November, 2013 Auction.

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