The word “provenance” is a popular catchphrase recently in the collector car hobby. Regrettably, it has joined another popular plus overused phrase “pedigree” in false information. To avoid rehashing what many think they already know, let’s just get the facts of which is which.
“Pedigree” is a rarely used collector-car phrase simply because it is lumped in to the provenance conversation. Pedigree is defined as “The origin and history of something specially when it is good or impressive. ” Shelbys, Boss 429s, Boss 302s, K-codes, etc ., that were built brand new from the factory have pedigree.
These cars had been originally built above the norm and likely in smaller quantities than majority of other Mustangs of the time period. Build sheets, special documentation/paperwork, titles, etc ., all reflect plus support pedigree. However , this pedigree only solidifies a particular car’s source.
Here is where the ranges blur.
“Provenance” is described as “the origin or source of some thing. The history of ownership of an appreciated object or work of art or materials. ” Obviously we are talking vehicles not art or literature right here but you may be asking yourself, “Aren’t each definitions the same? ” The answer for this question is no.
With this argument we present this issue. Was your car any more or much less good or impressive than any when it was new? Could anybody else buy one with more or less choices, paint color, add-ons, etc ., in those days if they wanted to? The answer, of course , is certainly yes, if they had the way to do so. This would not change the car’s pedigree.
Does your vehicle have pedigree and provenance? Provenance is the history of an appreciated object. Yes, your car is highly valued, but how would it stack up contrary to the one-of-a-kind Henry Ford deuce sports coupe at a sale? That, of course , is not a fair fight but that is a good example of provenance versus pedigree.
So what will provenance consist of? As an owner a person no doubt have stories, photos (possibly your own or from previous owners), and a drawer full of restoration invoices. This is first-person provenance. But how about 20, 30, or 40 years back? Did it win a major race? Do Carroll Shelby own it? What makes this particular car special?
Remember that different does not equal special. Had been your car a factory test mule or appear in every major mag for the past 25 years? Any original push back in the day? What makes your car a lot more valuable than the rest and more significantly, can you prove it?
Provenance is fact with original or even available proof; not copies instead of stories told by eager retailers or auction houses. Provenance provides value, but seldom without pedigree. Therefore they should be measured accordingly.
Any car can declare pedigree, but pedigree alone is not really provenance, it is merely an component. In today’s vintage-car landscape buzzwords, such as these, are prevalent for a cause — profit. The value of provenance may differ greatly, but regardless, the car should be a high-quality example with proved history, events, ownership, and pedigree.