Many of our collections have grown over time, (or outgrown) the space allotted to them. Collecting cars is much different than collecting items like coins, stamps, guns, etc. Cars take up a lot of real estate. If they are not properly stored, exercised and maintained, they can quickly become a diminishing asset.
Many times, you are the only person that knows exactly what you have. Depending on the size of the collection, it is very easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed when trying figure out what to do to bring some order to the collection or just to determine what you actually have. It is not unusual for a collection to have taken on a life of its own.
Obtaining an objective opinion from an outside source, someone knowledgeable about collector cars, marketing and the like, can bring some perspective to your collection. That person can also help you to bring order to disorder and to help you focus on what makes you happy. Conversely, consulting with someone that understands how a collector thinks, can help you to make a plan to eliminate things that don’t make you happy. Sometimes this is as simple as showing your collection to someone that is knowledgeable about collections, then sitting down afterwards and having a conversation. From there, a plan is much easier to put together.
There is one fact that is inescapable. That is the fact that no one gets out of this life alive.No matter the size of your collection, at some point, it would not hurt to talk with someone that is knowledgeable about collections that could assess the situation and offer some advice.
What do you want to see happen to your collection when you are gone or no longer able to care for it yourself? What have you done in the furtherance of that plan? Having the attitude of “Who cares, I won’t be around to deal with it” is a pretty mean thing to do to your loved ones when you are gone. Especially when there are alternatives.
When someone with a collection of automobiles, petroliana, widgets or whatever passes away with no plan in place, survivors are left with a huge puzzle to solve. The bigger the collection, the bigger the puzzle.
Actions that can be taken ahead of time could possibly include “thinning the herd” to bring large collections down to a more manageable size if that is the client’s wish. This is not a simple process for the client to deal with. Building a collection is the culmination of the collector’s dream. But facts are facts and something will eventually have to be done with the collection when collector is no longer here or able to make those decisions.
The kindest thing someone can do for your loved ones and heirs is to identify what you have and make a plan ahead of time for how you would like to see the eventual disposition of the collection handled.
For any number of reasons you might need some advice or a new perspective when it comes to one of your cars or your collection as a whole. Sometimes we just need a second opinion or validation of what you are already thinking.
The most important part is taking an inventory of the collection, this would include cars, memorabilia, parts and other automobilia. Being able to provide information and history about special items adds value. Knowing the provenance of car, a part or other items adds value. Most importantly, if a collection includes parts, the difference between selling the part for what it is worth and scrap value is knowing what it is. Many rare parts have sold at the end of auctions for scrap because no one knew what they were.
Inventorying is a big job, but if families know exactly what they are dealing with, the burden is greatly lessened since they will know what they are dealing with. Otherwise, the family will be burdened with a huge mess to untangle.