We humans collect all sorts of things: cars, certainly- memorabilia, friends, information, knowledge, experiences, sometimes even dreams. Since the days of ancient Egypt, when the Ptolemaic dynasty collected books from all over the known world for the great Library of Alexandria, to the Renaissance, when the Medici family collected art by private patronage in Florence, we have collected things our heart’s desire, and for all sort of reasons, too – not the least of which is the intellectual, aesthetic and emotional satisfaction we derive from it.
The joy, a bit of magic … for a collector, the objects of his affection need to be seen and experienced. Assembled over time, with a passion for feasting the eyes on something marvelous as the greatest measure of worth. A worthy collection usually has a theme running through it, whether it be age or grace or history, the association with the people who owned them, or simply the collector’s passion behind the selections. The pleasure of seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, maintaining and surrounding oneself with beautiful things is also part of collecting. That gut feeling about a piece that everyone else has overlooked usually leads to the best of buys.
In turn, the passion of collecting is inspired by a genuine interest in the things collected and what they represent, such as a love of rock music and a guitar collection, respect for military service and a collection of metals, or appreciating wine and a classic car collection. What? Wait a minute, run that last one by us again?!
Vintage Wine & Classic Cars
For instance, the “Red Rocker” Sammy Hagar collects Ferraris and he also collects rare, vintage wine, accumulating upwards of 10,000 bottles in his private wine cellar in Mill Valley CA – worth at least $300,000. In 1996, racing legend Mario Andretti opens Andretti Winery, dedicated to celebrating the Italian lifestyle with wines “that are second to none – like Mario Andretti himself.” Bruce Cohn, former manager of the Doobie Brothers, decides to combine three of his loves into his B.R. Cohn Winery: fine wines, fantastic music and his favorite classic cars. “The winery is not just a hot rodder’s paradise,” writes Ron Adams in his book, Via Corsa Car Lover’s Guide to Northern California, “but really a must-see for any gearhead.” (The winery was recently bought by Vintage Wine Estates).
Preserving A Lifestyle
Bouza Bodega in Uruguay’s coastal city of Montevideo is a family business known for producing exquisite red wines made from Tennat, of French origin, as well as others. The buildings were built in 1942 by Numa Pesquera, lovingly restored in 2002 for modern wine production and to house the family’s collection of more than 30 cars and motorcycles from the 1920’s that preserve the lifestyle in Uruguay at the time. Some of the family’s treasured classic cars remain in operation today.
Cars Improve with Age
With an original stone winery that dates back to 1885, the Far Niente Winery in Oakville, CA is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The name means, “without a care,” yet the attention to detail, style and design is reflected in Gil Nickel’s collection of classic cars displayed on the grounds. An avid collector and race driver, Nickel not only revived Far Niente’s winemaking in 1979, he has collected cars from Italy, Britain and America, one of two best collections of rare antique and racing cars in Napa. Like their wines, they say- the classic car collection improves with age.
No Car Before Its Time
Some wineries are best known for their car collections. From the carriages of the 1800's to the muscle cars of the 1970's, Deer Park Winery & Auto Museum in Escondido, CA features several car collections and memorabilia throughout the winery such as the "Orphan Cars" – the Studebakers, Packards, Pierce Arrows and countless others; the 3-wheeled Messershmitz auto, the "Mad Man Muntz" mobile, the ill-fated "toilet seat" Edsel and the unsafe-at-any-speed Corvair; the Parnelli Jones Indy race car; and production cars as you would have seen them driving down Routes 66 and 101, a major showcase of American convertibles in the world. Why does Deer Park display this amazing collection? To tell the distinctly American story of automobile production that changed our nation.
Eat, Drink & Be Merry
The folks at Sumner Crest Winery in Portland, TN point out theirs is more than a winery, “it’s about all the great memories of the past and enjoying the present to its fullest.” The antique gallery features the owners’ lifelong collections that take visitors back to their childhoods. Whether you were born in the 1920's or in the 1950's, you can appreciate the two '57 Bel Air Convertibles, a stunning '57 Corvette and the regal 1930 Model T Cabaret Coupe.
Memories for the Whole Family
In Western Australia, people not only have a passion for car collecting, they also enjoy wine, artistic and architectural design and the simple pleasures of life, with the entire family. Such is the vision of Steve Tobin for his Aravina Estate. In 1986, the property is established as a winery and now, with Tobin’s passion, visitors enjoy wine and gourmet food, beautiful flowers and a kitchen garden, a European-designed playground for kids … and a sports car gallery that features a 1965 Aston Martin DB5, a 1969 Lamborghini Miura S “Twiggy’s Miura”, a 1972 Valiant E49 6 Pack Charger, a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona “Competition”, a 1973 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase III, a 1974 Holden L34 Torana, a 1974 Ford XA GT Falcon Fastback RP083, a 1977 Holden A9X Torana, a 1984 AC Cobra Mark IV, a 1984 Porsche 924 Carrera GT, a 2011 Holden HSV W427, a 2013 Ferrari 458 Spider and a 1965 Ferrari 330 GT. What’s more, Aravina participates in car club cruises and national tours through the Motor Museum of Western Australia and the York Motor Museum.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
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