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BangShift Question Of The Day: Why Do People Bother Squirreling Cars Away?

BangShift Question Of The Day: Why Do People Bother Squirreling Cars Away?

It’s been driven exactly twice, both on private property, into and out of storage. It has never been dealer prepared, nevermind sold…it hasn’t even been titled, just the delivery paperwork as if the car was being dropped off to the nearest Buick lot in 1987.The stickers are still on the windows, as is the plastic on just about every square acre of the interior. It’s a fully loaded example with the analog gauges and the T-top roof, the power seats and all. A 1987 Buick Grand National is a score and a half…it was second fiddle only to it’s evil-twin GNX in the 1980s horsepower ramp-up and was top of it’s class for a mass-production version of the GM G-body. (With only 547 examples of the GNX, it doesn’t exactly qualify as “mass-production”, now does it?) 

If this was 1987, there would be a buyer waiting, foaming at the moutn, ready to blow about nineteen grand on purchasing the badass in black machine. But this is 2018…and the car is in no different shape. Again, driven twice. Ever. It’s never smoked the tires in anger, it’s never cruised down a road at sunset, I’m willing to bet that the tops have never been taken out and that the runtime on the turbocharged 3.8L V6 can be measured in minutes. And that means that this isn’t a car, this is a two-ton diecast model that can move on it’s own, if it wasn’t for the fear of putting another click on the odometer. Why do people do this? It boggles my mind to no end the amount of speculators that hope that by cocooning a car for twenty to forty years, that they somehow have solidified their nest egg. I’m willing to bet that there is a six-speed Chevrolet SS sedan that has six miles on the clock and won’t see one additional more because the owner believes that in twenty years, they’ll be set for life on it’s sale.

Plenty of enthusiasts see the most perfect Grand National out there. I see thirty-one years of wasted potential, missed fun, and neglect. Why do people do this? What’s the point? Can you provide an insight, readers? Because if it was me, I’d go looking for that GN I passed up in 2009…the one with well over 120-something thousand miles on the clock, a boost leak and a hint of oil smell, and an owner who told me to go for another drive and “drive it like you mean it this time”.


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10 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: Why Do People Bother Squirreling Cars Away?

  1. George

    Bought a new T-type in Feb. of ’87. Drove it for 10 yrs. and had a hell of a fun time. Sold it to a guy that had another T-type and still kick myself in the ass occasionally. Driving a 37 Chevy coupe with a 350 now. Don’t save em, drive the hell out of them.

  2. Loren

    Ever had a Hot Wheels you just put on the shelf and didn’t play with much, or even left in the package? This is likely the same, it’s a novelty thing and the people have other cars they use. If they ever sell it for more than they paid that makes a good story but as a pure speculative move, storage costs over time in-fact kill the deal…$100/mo secure inside storage X 31yrs is over 37 thousand dollars and you still have to compare how the initial outlay would have done in, say, a money-market fund. Gotta keep cars because you love ’em, not to make money.

    With a couple cars in the barn (not like this one) I actually get a bit annoyed with guys who get too incredulous at me over it. My stuff, I’ll do or not do what I want with it.

  3. Robert

    I compare it to having a painting on the wall. It is simply a piece of art at that point but if it is tucked away and covered then even the owner can’t enjoy looking at it. I don’t get it. I am guilty of a project car sitting around and waiting for its turn but it doesn’t run so I can’t drive it even if I wanted to!

  4. jerry z

    It’s usually someone with disposable income. The average enthusiast don’t put cars away for a “rainy day”. I bought a 2004 GTO new and thought this would be a collector driven on weekends. I put 50K miles in 5 yrs of ownership. If it’s a fun car to drive, the garage would be the last place to stay!

  5. RK - no relation

    You could make more by investing the money differently, but then all the cars like this would be shagged out, rusted, smashed up or whatever.

    There’s lots of late model low mileage muscle cars available if you got the bucks

    Come on lottery ticket!

  6. 3nine6

    I remember a local junkyard owner stashed not one, but two Indy Pace Car Corvettes (1978?) and a matching official Indy lettered Chevy truck in a building on his property. All were near zero mile, wrapped in factory plastic vehicles. The yard was prone to floods and is now long gone. Wonder where they are now?

  7. John T

    agreed. What a waste. I had to call out a guy the other day who criticized me for driving my 73 XB Falcon (Aussie) coupe in the rain. Uh… its got wipers….and if I wash it I use the same kinda water…`no, it should be locked up in a shed! ‘ he foamed…bullshit.

    Mate of mine has 2 cars locked away in sheds…interiors smell horrible, brakes are all spongy, fuel’s gone to shit and clogged everything up – and I can’t convince him that he’s not `preserving ‘ them he’s ruining them. Cars were built to be driven. Mine’s done school runs, seen dirt roads, mud, rain, you name it. It still goes just fine, still gets thumbs up – use the bloody things!

  8. Steve

    People see the enormous figures classics can get at these dumb auctions, and they want to get in on the action. I know 3 guys playing this game, a Grand National, a late model Shelby, and the worst case, 65 GTO in a garage with no garage door. In my experience, the more you drive them, the better they get, reliability wise. On the other hand, these guys are all preserving some rare sheetmetal for some next gen enthusiasts.

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