GregLaR

Would You Be Disappointed?

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I see many cars are donated to museums over the years, and, in turn, many cars are bought from museums as well.

I can appreciate the museum's point of view having to rotate stock or for need of capital to stay afloat. But wouldn't you be just a little disappointed if you knew the car you'd donated was sold to another collector when you probably could have done that yourself?

I know this is all academic... just sayin'. ;)

Greg

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Seems like many times when the car is offered for sale by the museum, the person who donated it is gone to that big garage in the sky. Even if that is not the case, giving it to the museum may have been seen by the donor as a way to ensure the museum stays in business.  That wish can be continued by the sale of the car with the bonus of getting the car to someone who will enjoy its ownership as much as they did.

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If you do not want that to happen to your old car, simply LOAN the car to the museum. Once you DONATE it, it is up to them what happens to it.

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Donations used to have favorable tax incentives for the person making the donation.  Not sure if that is still true after the new tax code went into effect.  

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My wife's family donated a beautiful, family heirloom organ from the early 1800s to a local museum. It disappeared. We asked where it went and they said they sold it. The family was VERY upset. I LOANED my vintage radiator cap collection to the local museum. It came back to me when I wanted it to. Lesson learned.

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To me, contributing factors to reducing the appeal of the hobby are donating rare, desirable cars to museums, or hoarding them up into the huge vanity car collections, thus reducing the number of such cars available to individual collectors. I drive all my cars, take them on tours, and enter them in shows. More people see my cars, touch them, sit in them, hear them run and sometimes even ride in them than would ever be the case if they were housed in some museum where "people can see them."      

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16 hours ago, GregLaR said:

I see many cars are donated to museums over the years, and, in turn, many cars are bought from museums as well.

I can appreciate the museum's point of view having to rotate stock or for need of capital to stay afloat. But wouldn't you be just a little disappointed if you knew the car you'd donated was sold to another collector when you probably could have done that yourself?

I know this is all academic... just sayin'. ;)

Greg

There is a "Famous" museum in Pennsylvania were cars were donated for DOUBLE their market value at the time and that it turn was a tax write off, I don't think those owners would give a hoot what happened next. Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Licespray said:

 

Would you say “exxcceellent” points?

 

 

Isn't that nit picking?  🤣

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There was a museum that went bust here recently and the rumour was that it was actually just a dealer selling collector cars on consignment and calling it a museum to lower their tax obligations

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Yes, I would be disappointed if I wanted the car to be seen by people in a museum. I would not be disappointed if I just wanted the museum to get financially ahead with my donation.

 

I wonder when the "Famous" museum in Pennsylvania will sell Dave's Tuckers?☺️

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There   is a "Museum" not to far from me that has a very large percentage of cars that are on consignment.  They do have displays that they apparently own and make no bones about what they are. Charge admission and everything. Nice people and always willing to answer questions and be helpful to other owners of collector cars.

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A lot of cars making it to museums involve a death or a taxable event and the appraisal on the car often offsets the inconvenience (ex. a lot of people really do not like to deal with buyers) and/or timing needed for sale (ex. if you want to offset tax you have until midnight December 31st to capture for that taxable year).    And, if it were not for the donations many a museum would have folded eons ago - it is often their only significant means of survival. 

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My understanding is that the IRS is making it much more difficult these days to inflate the value of a donation, declared value must have some basis in the real world.

 

Also, a museum must keep a donated car for three years for the person taking the "write off" to maintain that deduction, or at least that's my understanding.

 

A lot of museum cars are "on loan", with the museums hoping they get donated.  Or, in the case of the museum in Sacramento, numerous cars are just being stored there, with owner paying $50 or so a month for the storage.

 

But, it is true, once one donates a car to a museum, then there's no guarantee that the museum will keep it.  

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Some states, Wyoming for one, have museum collections & donations laws. They state under what circumstances a museum may de-accession an artifact. Must it be kept forever? Generally, the paperwork for accessioning an item must state whether it's a loan or donation. May it be donated to another museum or sold? Duplications: what if it is one of several similar artifacts...say an 1890 White sewing machine, or a 1970s VW, which the museum has 3 of?  

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, mercer09 said:

Isn't that nit picking?

 

thats why there is Licespray!

 

Ayyyyyyy!

 

 

As to the above - museums are limited in space most of the time. They can’t take everything in, they can’t keep anything. Over here you can do donations with clauses, but whether the museum accepts the terms is a different matter.

 

Look at the Wright Flyer. If they try and research earlier possible powered flight then they lose it (IIRC?).

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On 2/28/2019 at 2:18 PM, GregLaR said:

I see many cars are donated to museums over the years, and, in turn, many cars are bought from museums as well.

I can appreciate the museum's point of view having to rotate stock or for need of capital to stay afloat. But wouldn't you be just a little disappointed if you knew the car you'd donated was sold to another collector when you probably could have done that yourself?

I know this is all academic... just sayin'. ;)

Greg

 

 

This is a very good question or at least one I've pondered. I don't own what I would call museum quality cars, but I have a survivor Mercury in pretty nice original condition that I would hate to see it fall in the hands of one of the millions of semi-moronic yahoos who think that 24" wheels, dark tinted windows and "ghost flames" would look great on an early 60's 4 door sedan. To insure it's originality after I'm gone, I've wondered if I could donate it to a museum (even the Smithsonian) though it isn't worth tons of money or a real desirable/rare model.

 

Our state's historical society sold a (very original looking) late 40's Chrysler Town and Country exhibit because (according to a friend who worked there) it became too valuable. What a shame. Hopefully it went to another museum. If not, most people don't put ghost flames on Town and Country's, so that's a good thing.

 

You have to wonder how many museums accept donations, cars or otherwise, merely as trading fodder for the stuff they really want. Maybe the donation could be made with the legal stipulation that the car has to go back to the donating owners estate or trust instead of being sold or traded.

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3 hours ago, mercer09 said:

Isn't that nit picking?

 

thats why there is Licespray!

 

Is it made by the ACME corporation?

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There is one way to make sure a museum cannot sell your donation even after death. You put the car or cars in a perpetual trust with several trustees, whom upon the death of one trustee elect more trustees. Sound complicated? It sure is. But a friend of mine did this with a rare collection of early brass Fords. When one infamous museum couldn't take care of them properly they were moved to another museum. Once you donate or gift something it is no longer yours. There is no contract or agreement that can stop it from being sold again. 

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2 hours ago, Brass is Best said:

There is one way to make sure a museum cannot sell your donation even after death. You put the car or cars in a perpetual trust with several trustees, whom upon the death of one trustee elect more trustees. Sound complicated? It sure is. But a friend of mine did this with a rare collection of early brass Fords. When one infamous museum couldn't take care of them properly they were moved to another museum. Once you donate or gift something it is no longer yours. There is no contract or agreement that can stop it from being sold again. 

Ah, the letter collection that was at the Darned museum in Hershey?  Interesting...

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On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 8:07 PM, hidden_hunter said:

There was a museum that went bust here recently and the rumour was that it was actually just a dealer selling collector cars on consignment and calling it a museum to lower their tax obligations

 

I know at one time that was very common

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On 3/1/2019 at 7:43 PM, trimacar said:

Ah, the letter collection that was at the Darned museum in Hershey?  Interesting...

Many Museums are "Non Profit"  also known as 501 c3 corporations.  It's my understanding that if the sell stuff to other than another 501 c3, that they'll be taxed.  Like most laws, I doubt it's often reported or enforced.  

Edited by Paul Dobbin
spill check (see edit history)
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