The world is full of individuals looking for automotive treasures to restore, with each collection as unique as its collector. As a car enthusiast and avid car collector, Jet Linx client Todd Coady discovered his passion for the timeless classics at an early age.
“I was in 7th grade when my dad bought a 1932 Ford Model B station wagon from his uncle who had owned the car since the late 1930s. Then, just before my 16th birthday, my dad told me they would get me a car, but nothing new,” Coady mused. “His theory – if it was used and I had to work on it, I would take better care of it.”
While vacationing in Florida, Coady and his family were leaving a restaurant after dinner and that is when he spotted a 1950s MG TF parked on the street. “I decided that was what I wanted. A MG TF is a two-seat British sports car with a 4-cylinder engine,” Coady explained. “It also has no heater and the side ‘windows’ are one-piece arrangements that are put in or taken out and they don’t really seal at all. Since we lived in Illinois and I was expected to drive this to school in the winter, frostbite was a real possibility – something neither my dad or I had thought about – but Dad also loved sports cars, so he thought the MG was a fine idea.”
During the search for an MG, Coady’s dad found a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2. “That became my first car and I still own it today,” Coady stated with a smile. “This started the whole car collecting hobby. My dad continued to buy cars throughout the late 70s and early 80s. Actually, he hasn’t stopped. As time went on, my brother and I started collecting too.”
Passion and aspiration are common among vintage car buyers. “I currently have 18 cars in my collection,” Coady remarked. “Many were bought as restoration projects and over the last 20 years, I have been restoring them. Ten of them are restored, two are in restoration and six are waiting their turn. When we restore the cars, we do it to a concours level, so an original car is important, or one that has all its pieces, but maybe not assembled. We have bought many cars in pieces that do not run.”
With at least one in restoration in progress at all times, Coady finds enjoyment and solace in the work of restoring each vehicle. “I enjoy working on the car myself. Taking care of them is part of the fun, in addition to driving them,” he noted, adding, “What also makes it possible is knowing good shops and people who do outstanding work, whether it’s shops that maintain a 1994 Formula 1 car or a shop that can restore a mid 1960s ISO A3/C – a car that they only made less than 20 of.”
IF IT DRIVES LIKE YOUR DAILY DRIVER, WHAT IS THE POINT?Todd Coady
Much like extremely rare paintings, vintage cars resonate on an emotional, artistic and cultural level. “I don’t buy a car I don’t like,” Coady stated. “It has to be something that excites me, something I find interesting and visually appealing. A friend once said that we don’t get to drive these cars very often so when we do, it should be an experience to remember.” Of his recent purchases, Coady notes most require the driver to be actively engaged in driving. “These cars have personality. If it drives like your daily driver, what is the point?”
Collections are all individual, shaped by the personality and preferences of each collector. “I have been collecting for about 40 years and over time, your taste changes and your horizon expands.” In that way, his collection is not focused on one period or car. “That said, I like them all,” Coady divulged. “Right now, on my list to eventually buy are a pre-war Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and a Ferrari F40. Currently, the favorites in my collection are probably my 1928 4 . Bentley and my 1994 Tyrrell Formula 1 car. Of course, the Ferrari that was my first car will always be special.”
Coady, his dad and brother each started their remarkable car collections with Italian cars from the 1960s, Ferrari and Maserati models. “My collection has continued from there and as time has gone by, what interests me has evolved as well, but I’m still mostly drawn to 1960s sports cars,” Coady pointed out. His collection boasts multiple British cars – Allards, a Bentley, and a Jaguar – in addition to a few other unique, low-production cars.
Historical race cars round out the Coady car collection: the 1994 Tyrrell Formula 1 car which took third place in the Spanish Grand Prix in 1994, a 1994 Pegasus World sports car that ran the 24 hours of Daytona four times, and a 2005 Ford Doran GT-R that never raced – but that has a sister car that won second in class at the 24 hours of Le Mans. “With the race cars I do track days, mostly at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas,” he explained. “I love driving the race cars and working to improve my driving. It is an amazing and unique privilege to get to own and drive a Formula 1 car. It is an experience unlike anything else.”
Like most car collectors, Coady enjoys sharing his passion with like-minded people who also treasure the history and craftsmanship that lies behind each car. “We do concours and car shows. Amelia Island, Pebble Beach and Greenwich are all amazing national events and there are local and regional shows as well,” Coady shared.
When he and his wife have time, they also participate in driving tours with the 1928 Bentley. The tours are typically week-long drives covering about 1,000 miles. “We recently did one in Southern California with 27 other prewar Bentleys and had a wonderful time. You always meet great people and get to see and drive on beautiful roads.”
Coady offered some advice for those interested or are just getting started in collecting cars. “Buy what you like. Find a car that interests you. It’s important to note that it’s cheaper to buy a car that has been restored and pay a little more than to buy one and restore it. Restoring a car is expensive and time consuming – I speak from experience,” he continued. “Then you want to think about what you want to do – show the car, drive the car or participate in track days. If you’re purely doing this as an investment, you will most likely be disappointed.”
Coady not only owns numerous vintage cars, he’s also an aircraft owner. “Having the plane has allowed my family to do things we would not have otherwise been able to do,” he remarked.
His car buying philosophy, “I don’t buy a car I don’t like,” also extends to his private aviation needs. “When I was interviewing management companies, Jet Linx stood out,” he explained. “I met with potential management companies, asked a lot of questions and felt they wanted me to fit their mold. With Jet Linx, I did not feel that way. Their answers were almost always, ‘It’s your plane, what do you want?’ The entire team at Tulsa does an amazing job. They work hard to make everything seamless. It is nice to have local people you see all the time who you know and trust and who also know you. It makes it a much nicer experience.”