Can’t afford a collector car? Rally Rd. offers a piece of the action

Newly launched investment enterprise selling what amounts to shares in collector vehicles

Among the 3,300 collector vehicles parked within the sprawling Mecum Auctions complex at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida, is a 5,000-mile 1983 Ferrari 512 BBi. But this car won’t be crossing the auction block. In fact, it’s not actually for sale. Well, not really, though pretty much anyone, and of any age, can obtain a piece of it.

Oh, the car isn’t being disassembled. It’s at the auction as part of the launch of Rally Rd., a fledgling investment enterprise that enables people to enter the collector car hobby by selling what amounts to shares in a variety of vehicles, and for as little as $30.

Rally Rd. was founded by Christopher Bruno, Max Niderste-Ostholt and Rob Petrozoo, who brought with them experience in investment or product design as well as passionate interests in cars.

Can’t afford a collector car? Rally Rd. offers a piece of the action

1983 Ferrari 512 BBi is among the cars acquired so far by Rally Rd. Currently, each share is priced at $175 | Larry Edsall photos

“I’m an air-cooled Porsche guy,” said Bruno, the chief executive who bought a 1992 Porsche 911 American Roadster “when I was very young and it’s probably still the best investment I ever made.”

However, there were many other wonderful automotive investments that he missed in the ensuing years. And he’s not alone in that, he realized.

“You invest in a house, or stuff pops up but the cost of getting involved is too high, and 10 years later you wish you would put that down payment (from the house) into a 1994 Turbo ‘flatnose,’ and then there was that (Ferrari) 250 Pininfarina-built cabriolet…”

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But through diversification of ownership, such cars can be in reach of those who don’t have the individual wealth to simply purchase such a vehicle.

“That’s a little of what we’re trying to accomplish with this,” Bruno said, “that and taking down the ‘velvet rope.’

 

While several thousand people attend such events, millions are at home watching on television, and perhaps wishing they had a way to gain a stake in the collector car hobby.

‘That’s the group we want to mobilize,’ Bruno said.

 

“This marketplace is one that has driven passion for an incredible number of people,” he noted, “but at the same time there is a limited number of people who can play and play in a diversified manner.”

However, technology has allowed many more people to invest, both easily and at whatever level they can afford, in a variety of products, such as stocks and bonds. “The timeline is right to bring something like that to a new generation of collectors.”

Bruno said that Rally Rd. also wants to convince those already in the hobby that reducing the entry cost and spreading the interest to a wider and younger audience will be beneficial to the marketplace.

Rally Rd. launched recently in New York City and has struck a deal with Mecum Auctions to promote it concept at other locations, starting with Kissimmee.

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Mecum, Bruno said, “is more than an auction, it’s a collector car experience.”

Can’t afford a collector car? Rally Rd. offers a piece of the action

The Corvette (left), pale blue’58 Chevy and Packard Caribbean convertible will cross the block and likely go home with new owners who will pay tens of thousands of dollars. But pieces of the Rally Rd. Ferrari are just $175 each

While several thousand people attend such events, millions are at home watching on television, and perhaps wishing they had a way to gain a stake in the collector car hobby.

“That’s the group we want to mobilize,” Bruno said.

“I see this as a great way to get involved,” he added, noting that younger investors already like making purchases through their hand-held devices.

“We don’t want to let the next 10 years of appreciation pass them by. That’s what happened to me because I didn’t have the entry fee of a few hundred thousand bucks.”

A person has to be at least 18 years old to become a Rally Rd. member, but Bruno said families can open an account for someone younger to take over after they turn 18.

“We see families doing this together with younger kids as a way to start thinking about investing,” he added.

So how does it work? Rally Rd. secures the right to buy a vehicle, shows the car to its community, with which it shares all details of the car’s history and condition. Though the Rally Rd. web app, people commit to purchase shares, and those people include the company’s founders.

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Rally Rd. launched with 10 collector vehicles in its portfolio and wants to grow that number to somewhere between 50 and 150 by the end of 2018.

 

“We invest in the cars between 2 and 10 percent,” Bruno said of the Rally Rd. management team, adding that the company is “structured much like a public company and filed with the SEC.”

Three months after a vehicle is purchased, a “trading window” opens and shares are repriced based on the vehicle’s worth in the marketplace. The car also can be sold outright with profits returned to the investors.

For now, the cars are being stored in a climate-controlled facility located in Delaware, but Rally Rd. plans to expand that footprint to other locations in other geographic areas so people can see the vehicles in which they’ve invested.

Rally Rd. launched with 10 collector vehicles in its portfolio and wants to grow that number to somewhere between 50 and 150 by the end of 2018.

PS: So, Bob Golfen, I hope you’re happy. You’ve been bugging me for months, no, for a few years now to open my wallet and buy a collector car. Well, I’m here at Mecum Auctions’ huge Kissimmee collector car auction and I’ve signed up to buy shares in a couple of the Rally Rd. vehicles.

It that investment pays off, maybe I’ll have enough someday to buy an entire vehicle.

 

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8 Comments

  • Les henig
    January 8, 2018, 3:43 PM

    I think this is the most fantastic concept to come along
    Always have been a antique car buff
    But not getting. In 30 years ago the market just exploded
    Now I can at least be involved and who know maybe make enough to to get my own dream car. A 1947 Chrysler Toen and Country convertible
    Thanks

    REPLY
  • Stuart H
    January 8, 2018, 3:51 PM

    Sounds like a Ponzi scheme. They will take investors $ & use it to artificially inflate the collector car market driving prices up. When the bubble bursts, so will the value of the investors shares. This happened in the late 80’s with a group of unscrupulous low lifes from S. Florida who did something similar to the Ferrari market. Really hurts the collector car enthusiast who appreciates & would like to own & drive a car for reasons other than an investment standpoint.

    REPLY
  • Mark Collette
    January 8, 2018, 4:27 PM

    First of all, I am a car enthusiast like many other people that read this web site, and I have a couple of vehicles of my own that I am probably overly proud of, including a 1949 Studebaker 2R10 pickup truck that has been restored to a daily driver and a 1940 Buick Special straight 8 that I am just starting on. The thing is, the investors in the Rally Rd group might as well just invest in gold or Bitcoin futures, they will never drive these vehicles or even disassemble a carburetor on these cars, so what is the point? Be able to brag about "owning" a part of a Ferrari or Lambo? Hoping to make a little money in the resale maybe? Or just drive up prices for everyone else?

    REPLY
    • bernie@Mark Collette
      January 8, 2018, 5:15 PM

      I don’t think this concept will work, real collector have to touch and feel, it heart not head. Best of luck.

      REPLY
  • Bobsmyuncle
    January 8, 2018, 6:57 PM

    Most baffling here, is that ANY expert will tell you that collector cars are not good investments. Yes the past few years have seen unprecedented growth but that is an anomaly and significant growth was limited to very specific examples. Add to this that you don’t even get to interact with the vehicle and the investment worsens.

    Any claims that this new trend of monetizing the hobby is good for its future is shortsighted at best, and delusional or predatory at worse.

    REPLY
  • Hank f.
    January 13, 2018, 6:38 PM

    Sounds like another scam. Please do your research before signing the box marked gullible. The greed has infested the car hobby. Sorry to sound negative, just sick of seeing people taken advantage of.

    REPLY

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