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Cars or coins, it's all collecting

Iola, Wis., is swarming with old car collectors this morning as the annual car show gets under way. Over 100,000 people are expected to come and enjoy the show over three days.

I ogled some vehicles that were common in my youth as I walked to the office from a distant parking spot.

One owner of a muscle car who was wiping road dust off it likely was not even born when his car was current.

Anybody can own any car he chooses, but in this instance it is contrary to the common wisdom that many collectors acquire things that are familiar to them that they have formed an attachment to.

Do I take a pass on Presidential dollars because they did not exist when I was a budding collector?

Common wisdom would say yes.

Common sense might interject that I cannot collect everything. Something has to be ignored considering the size of my hobby budget.

Also ignored is the fact that collecting attachments can form at any time in life.

The car collector might have spotted a muscle car driven by an older family member, or even seen it at another car show. There is no way I can know.

However, I do know that I began collecting Costa Rican paper money after I paid a visit to the country in 1996. In my youth I probably would not even have known where the country was despite the fact that I received a Panamanian 5 centesimo coin in a nickel roll that I had obtained at the local bank.

While it might be easier for someone to begin collecting an item from the past that is familiar to him, it is not a requirement. It is simply one path to becoming a collector.

There are other paths.

Another tidbit from popular wisdom says that anyone who collects anything at all is susceptible to collecting something in another field. In fact, collectors tend to have multiple interests.

That reality spurred Chet Krause to diversify his numismatic publishing business into old cars in the first place. He liked cars. He collected them.

Krause's firm got into sports cards because two longtime editors in other fields were avid collectors of them and championed them.

In my life I have collected multiple things from rocks to stamps. I have never collected cars. But I sure enjoyed looking at the muscle car.

I understand the pride of ownership as one collector to another. But it doesn’t hurt that the muscle car reminded me of high school.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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