Flaming Wades on Wheels: At the Le Mans Classic

10.07.2014
Jonkheer Gijsbert van Lennep and Kenny Schachter with a factory prototype of the Porsche 2.8 RSR that he drove in Le Mans in 1973.
Jonkheer Gijsbert van Lennep and Kenny Schachter with a factory prototype of the Porsche 2.8 RSR that he drove in Le Mans in 1973.

As a coda to the art season, I thought I’d take a palette-cleansing trip to the biennial Le Mans Classic to check out the races and pick up an historic racecar I purchased along the way.

Though it is certainly much smaller in scale, the vintage car market in many respects parallels the art market—there have been abrupt hyper-inflationary price escalations of late, and some of the same shenanigans. For instance, a broker tried to steal my car out from under me before I closed on the contract, a scenario not altogether different from trying to buy a Wade Guyton (another fast moving object with flames going up and down the sides). But what I find so refreshing about car enthusiasts is that, though their passion is as fervent as their art-collecting peers, they’re slightly less jaded, and they’re refreshingly nonchalant compared to the sometimes-pretentious art gang (well, marginally anyway). With cars, it’s more art than artifice.

Things didn’t get off the start line exactly as planned. So much for clearing my mental sense of taste: en route on the Eurostar to Paris, I bumped into a friend and got wind of a major dealer and rival of sorts, who was having his car raced. You can run, but…may as well try and sell something while I’m at it. I checked into the hotel in Le Mans, fittingly enough located on Boulevard Duchamp, and a similarity with Basel became immediately apparent: the hotels are crap. It was so cramped I had to sit sideways on the toilet and could hear the guest in the adjacent room belch.

The art market continues to clamor for more of the same  ... weiterlesen

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"Die Kunstwelt ist wie eine Mafia, es gibt ein ungeschriebenes Gesetz des Stillschweigens", sagt Kenny Schachter. Auf seinem Monopol-Blog bringt der britische Kunsthändler Licht ins Dunkle und macht die Mechanismen des Marktes transparent. In englischer Sprache
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