Helping shape resale values and collectordesirability, rarity is one of a dozen elements we highlighted in Volume One ofour “Borrowed Time” western vehicle book series. For historians, collectors and enthusiasts,the term can involve anything from the brand to the style of vehicle, features,paint, age, provenance, condition, originality, completeness and numerous otherelements.
Spending so much time researching, collecting,photographing and cataloging information on early vehicles, we’ve learned that sometimesit’s not necessarily what you’re looking for as it is what you find. In other words, learning to recognize thosethings that are truly unique, peculiar or otherwise different can open up opportunitiesthat may otherwise have been overlooked. Of course, ‘unique’ can also mean non-original, wrong, or just that youmay never have seen something before – which doesn’t always mean someone elsehasn’t seen it quite often. Withoutknowing what is correct and truly uncommon, it’s easy to misjudge a piece. As with any antique, it pays to know yoursubject. After all, contrary to the oldsaying, what you don’t know can hurt you.Ultimately, some of the best advice I’ve ever heardhas been to know what you’re looking at and look at as many vehicles as oftenas you can. Over time, the awarenesslearned from personal experience has a way of delivering rewards.