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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Texan buys car once owned by slugger Babe Ruth

Wonder if the car has any knicks…

For Pampa’s Lonnie Shelton — and baseball fans across the nation — the ride of a lifetime is a regal blue 1948 Lincoln Continental two-door hardtop coupe.

“The first time I saw the car,” Shelton said, “I fell in love with it. I bet I stayed there two hours looking at it, sitting in it, asking questions about it. There are several 1948 Lincoln Continentals out there, but none like this one.”

“This one” is the last known car George Herman Ruth owned before his death Aug. 16, 1948.

...Shelton said he has signed information from Ford Motor Co. confirming the car was a gift to Babe Ruth in 1948. Shelton said he also has documentation from Claire Ruth, Babe’s wife, writing about the car. Claire Ruth died in October 1976.

“Buying it had nothing to do with the car,” Shelton said. “It had all to do with the love of baseball. And the history of baseball and that gentleman who was involved with it. There was nobody that rivaled Babe Ruth back then.”

The car is in pristine shape with original interior and car color — “I call it Yankee blue,” Shelton said.

Repoz Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. puck Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4273888)
Not the Lonnie Shelton I was thinking of.
   2. salvomania Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4273895)
How can the article not have a photo of the car???? That's terrible!
   3. Gamingboy Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4273904)
   4. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4273993)
This is one of those things I've never understood. Why pay crazy money to own a car driven by Babe Ruth?

I mean, I guess it means you can tell people that it was the Babe's. But other than that, I don't see the attraction. And I say this as someone who has been a collector and pack rat, but my collections tended to be of things that had some sort of use or value themselves (e.g. comic books, movies). I can read them, or watch them, or get some kind of enjoyment out of them beyond the collectible aspect.
   5. The District Attorney Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4273996)
Everybody's talkin' at me... I don't hear a word they're sayin'... just drivin' round in Babe Ruth's car...
   6. Derb Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4274116)
#4, I don't understand it completely, either, but as long as there are people out there who will pay crazy money for things like this (which there always will be), then this is about as safe of an investment as you're going to find.
   7. depletion Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4274120)
A 1948 Continental is a collectible car, regardless of ownership history. They are the last V12 powered American car. See Hemmings Motor News or eBay for representative values. The value is very heavily condition dependent as it is expensive to restore one. Any car is valued higher if it has celebrity ownership. So this one, with the paper trail going back to the original owner, will be valued higher than a similar car without celebrity ownership. The car has intrinsic value as well: you can actually drive it somewhere. By the way, some collector cars that are almost never driven have been auctioned at $30M or so. This one, maybe at 90 to 120K, if it's in great condition.
   8. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4274141)

Right, I get all that about the car itself, but the buyer specifically acknowledges that this had nothing to do with the car. I could see myself becoming a car collector if I had the cash laying around, because cars can be driven and enjoyed, and because restoring a car can be a very fun (if dirty) project.

And the '48 Continental is a beautiful car. I was not aware it was the last V12.

I was more commenting on the idea of buying something because a celebrity owned it. I get how that has value in the financial sense (you can ebay it for a profit later if you like), but I don't get the actual appeal beyond that.

Probably just a part of our celebrity culture that I'm not in tune with.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4274189)
Babe Ruth the dentist?
   10. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4274197)
#9: I see what you did there.

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