Last week, Carstories friend and third-time guest Ken Lingenfelter stopped by. You probably remember that he’s not only a collector, but also relishes driving his cars. When last he came by the Petersen he said that didn’t plan on purchasing a Ferrari F50, in spite of owning every other Ferrari supercar, including the LaFerrari, due to how they’ve appreciated, the opportunity cost (a couple million dollars could buy a LOT of fun cars), and because he probably wouldn’t use the car very frequently. “More often these days I’m looking for cars I can drive and enjoy.”
He gushes when describing his recently acquired LaFerrari. He loves it and calls it an “amazing car.” Even though he grew up during the muscle car wars, he is also very passionate about supercars. And although he’s a die-hard “Dream Cruise guy,” he has ordered a new Acura NSX, expected later this year. He saw one at a show and fell in love with its aggressive body. Additionally, the old NSX, as Lingenfelter repeated for effect, “was VERY underrated.” As a result of owning one, he’s “certain this thing will be a great supercar for a pretty bargain price.”
When asked about pre-war cars and other segments that he might be interested in, Lingenfelter says he loves seeing them, “but I don’t want to own them.” Which shouldn’t surprise anybody after learning that he just wants to drive. Some people focus on a brand or type of car, Lingenfelter focuses on cars that he enjoys and can use. He buys cars that he likes and shares them, via his Collection, with people that also like them.
Lately, he’s been making the auction circuit and speaking on valuation panels, but he’s been around for a long time. But he enjoys where the hobby is right now—it seems like there is no standing room left at auctions. And even though most people aren’t bidding, everybody is enjoying the process and seeing some great cars. What amazes him is that many cars are selling for a lot more money for than he’d spend (see the Ferrari F50 above). But Lingenfelter recognizes that people are living out their passion for a car that they wanted back in the day.
And if you’re looking for advice on the next car that will appreciate dramatically, he does offer one model that seems unstoppable these days, but also advises buying what you love, because you’ll enjoy it no matter what. And even with prices rising so dramatically in recent years, Lingenfelter points out that most gains aren’t real (when you consider all ancillary costs).
When asked about collecting cars like the Callaway and Greenwood Corvettes and if they’d ever build one, Lingenfelter said that his company isn’t interested in re-inventing the ‘Vette. But they are focused on the C7 Corvette, and improving the breed via performance packages for the base model and Z06. They’re enjoying success finding more power in the engine. And their partnerships with companies such as Edelbrock, Holley, and others, are bearing fruit.
“I think we get the cream of the crop of the things that will really last and as a result we’ve had some really good luck with things that people have brought us.” For instance, Lingenfelter uses Edelbrock’s E-Force blower on their Z06 packages. They’re curating many of the aftermarket world’s best parts into one Lingenfelter package. And then Lingenfelter warranties those packages so that you can be confident that they’ll stand up.
We can’t wait until Ken visits again and shares more news from his adventures. Maybe we can convince him to convert his Gremlin X into a Lingenfelter Signature Gremlin?