At the risk of popping some balloons, perspective: Enzo Ferrari's o n l y interest in his street cars sold to playboys, playgirls, wannabe racers, was that they funded his sole passion, racing. This is underscored by a friend's '59 Pinin Farina coupe, a lovely car, and '63 Lusso (the '67 Camaro "borrowed" its lines, as the '55 Chevy copied Ferrari's grille) having the same dash switches, etc. as a Fiat, and no Ferrari ever rustproofed; a stream of tweaked variants for the must-have, latest thing crowd.
Do they drive nicely? Absolutely. For their price, they should. Do they drive three times nicer than a Jaguar, Bristol, Jensen or even some Corvettes? Many period Ferrari owners say the 3- liter engines require overhauls in as little as 30,000 miles.
We've seen the same pile on allegiance to Duesenberg Model Js (SJs, JNs), which Fred Duesenberg never wanted to build, preferring something the size of his earlier Model A & X, or that of the concurrent Stutz SV16/DV32. But E.L. Cord bought his company and wanted a cost little object world beater, which the J never was, obsolete two years after its introduction, it taking eight years and several iterations to dispatch 480 of them to Hollywooders and the scions of industrial wealth. The advertised hp was simply to best a limited production Mercedes SSK, its own hp claim bloated. Was a Duesenberg unpassable on a long, straight road? Absolutely. But for quintuple the price of an also hydraulically braked, nine-main-bearing Chrysler Imperial, only 10 mph slower than most Js in road trim, triple the price of a more advanced Marmon 16, only five mph slower, it should've been.
Ettore Bugatti preferred a Packard Eight over any of his namesakes for long, fast business trips across the Continent. Ralph Stein and others experienced with both preferred an Alfa Romeo over a Bugatti.
Are we suggesting Ferraris, Duesenbergs, Bugattis weren't, aren't exciting cars or that they were no good? Only that wily marketers of any upscale product; furniture, art, clothing, shoes, handbags, automobiles, have long known that a stiff price itself imbues cachet.
Really, an auto insurance company playing along with a boutique automaker's temerity in calling its just released, latest model "for collectors?" Hagerty clearly wants some of that glitz by association, hence the stream of articles like the above.
What was the last time you heard the expression "downscale?"
It's called m a r k e t i n g.
LJK Setright's two favorite makes, he knowing something about engineering, aero and auto, were Chrysler and Honda.
Hagerty persists with these paeans to mall developers' and arbitragers' flavors of the month, as well as rerunning auction house press releases, better served by Kiplinger's and Forbes, because they're appealing to casual, mainstream "car buffs," as they go after State Farm (who also insures collector cars), Farmers, Allstate, Geico, Liberty Mutual, USAA, Progressive, pandering to owners' egos by calling anything out of the Kelley Blue Book "classic."
Too bad Hagerty doesn't run the knowledgeable Don Sherman, Aaron Robinson more often. Apparently cheaper to run breathless me-tooism like the above.