Behind the Curtain

Now that auction week is over, here is a buyer advisory based on something that actually happened.

True story:  It's January 2010. I’m at the dashboard place getting a cover for my dash.  This guy with a British accent speeds up in a Jaguar Series III XJ.  He’s there to pick up a black dash cover for a Ferrari Testarossa being auctioned later in the month at one of the local auctions. The guy named the auction house.

Coincidentally, here is a Testarossa with a black dashboard that was auctioned locally in January 1990.

Why did the guy with the British accent from the auction house want to give a Testarossa a dash cover? Because (as his story went) it had a crack in the dash at the base of the windshield.  The cover would make it pretty for the sale. Again according to the guy,  Ferrari would charge around $5,000 to pull the windshield and fix it.

Hammer price was $60,000. I haven't seen any auction listing or photo disclosing/showing a cracked Testarossa dash. Maybe the buyer looked and didn't care. Maybe it was an unwelcome surprise.

The moral of the story: auctions are fun and euphoric and the cars are the stuff of dreams. Still, don't be afraid to look behind the curtain (or under the dash cover as the case may be). Don't let the hype blind you to the substance. Do your diligence.