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How Much Value Does Celebrity Ownership Add?

Posted in Car Auctions, Car Buying, Celebrity Cars by Kurt Ernst | March 26th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Jenson Button's '78 Ferrari 512BB. Image: Bonhams

Jenson Button was the 2009 F1 World Driving Champion. Outside of the United States, where F1 has very little appeal or presence, Button is a bona fide celebrity on par with Miami Heat star LaBron James or Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. It stands to reason, then, that a car from Button’s garage will be worth more than a car from my own garage (although I’d like to point out that I’m something of a C list celebrity in Montgomery, AL). Not that Jenson and I have the same rides parked in our garage, especially since his collection previously included a Bugatti Veyron. It also includes a 1978 Ferrari 512BB, at least until the car gets auctioned by Bonhams on April 11. Jenson only bought the car last April, for the equivalent of about $133,000, but he’s selling the Ferrari because he’s simply too busy to drive it.

Since Button’s purchase of the 512, the odometer has spun up just 55 miles, increasing from 49,100 to 49,155. That’s not exactly low mileage for a Ferrari, but the good news is that this car comes with extensive service documentation. It was a driver, but it was a very carefully maintained driver, as the $154,000 worth of service receipts would indicate. Bonhams expects Button’s celebrity to add value to the car, and their pre-auction sales estimate ranges from $145,000 to $177,000. Put another way, the fact that the car is owned by a former world champion will add between $12,000 and $44,000 to the projected value if the car sells withing the range of the pre-auction estimate. In terms of value per mile, it means that Button’s hand sweat and ass-cheek imprints are worth a minimum of $218.18 per mile. Damn.

Source: NY Times Wheels

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