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Answering questions about the Lotus and The Vermont Loophole

I’d like to circle back on two stories I wrote recently. Before I do, I wanted to let you know I’ve had a rough couple of months. My mother passed away in mid-July, and I mention it because it is both germane to the story and it shows how enthusiast cars and other passion outlets can be both producers and reducers of stress.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/08/12/answering-questions-about-lotus-and-vermont-loophole

Yes, accounting for the cost is one thing. But what to do when you calculate you’re underwater when you just have the car on road? Sell and formalise the loss? Keep for a set time to make sure the enjoyment is had before selling? Push into storage in the hope that the market is about to discover it?

Very few cars are truly neutral or cashflow positive, even the low mileage pristine collectors stashed for 20 years. You need to have a metric and work to that, whether it’s dollars per fun day, dollars saved by avoiding new car depreciation, or something. It is a hobby, and an expensive and silly one. The main thing is understanding what your hobby budget is, and sticking to it with an eye on what you’d rather be spending the money on.

I’d wager most people pay more for their dog in a lifetime than you have on the lotus. Very few people add it up and work out whether it was worth it - they just enjoy the time with their pet. Take from that what you will.

@brucerchapman - That pet analogy hits pretty close to home for me. My better half has cats and never totals up her spending, she just enjoys the cats. I need to do that more with my cars.

First off, my condolences on the passing of your mother.

@brucerchapman

What to do when you’re underwater after it is “done?”

I think that depends less on the car in question, or any arcane appreciation depreciation curves, but more so on the person who is considering the question.

For me, I can only speak for myself…

Yes, it is entirely within the realms of possibility that I will be upside down on the beetle, at the very least. This is a factor of me being a total rube in buying them even after all of these years, or maybe just being a sucker for any intact autostick vw I find.

The truck? It’s a daily, and it is kind of too soon to tell.

Would I willingly sell either? Interestingly enough, this question has come to the forefront for me, because of recent financial setbacks for my family.

My answer is a surprising and resounding yes, however my wife knows me too well and told me not to sell either. She’s afraid I would pout and not be happy (true, too true indeed by far) but also resent what the monies would go for. That last is patently false.