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Elham AbolFateh

Automobile

Rally Rd. Collector-Car Investment App Lets You Own a (Small) Part of a Classic

Tuesday 29/January/2019 - 09:59 AM
Sada El Balad
Car and Driver Magazine
Are you interested in investing، but find tracking your 401k about as soul-stirring as enjoying a glass of warm milk while compiling the ultimate Kenny G playlist? Consider reading the fine print on a certificate of deposit prospectus a one-way ticket to Yawnsville? Then we suggest you check out Rally Rd.، an app that allows enthusiasts to invest in rare، collectible-grade classic cars for as little as $40 per share. Sound complicated? It's not.

Basically، it works like this: You download the Rally Rd. app، currently available only for iOS devices، provide enough information to verify your identity and establish your source of funds (note، since it's a stock-purchasing app، you must provide your Social Security number before you can access all of the features)، then scroll through the current collection of cars by swiping، Tinder style. Before you know it you're a part owner of the car، er، uh، investment of your dreams.

To select the cars that make up its roster، the Rally Rd. app explains، it takes into consideration the potential investment's rarity، significance، history، originality، value، condition، and additional data-driven factors. Naturally، the app's creators look for best-in-class vehicles and investigate whether they have been properly maintained or restored. There is no timeshare provision for wheel time in any car you add to your portfolio، sadly، although there are plans for a program to let investors drive "similar" cars.

To lend a more human element to the proceedings، co-founders Rob Petrozzo، Christopher Bruno، and Max Niederste-Ostholt opened a 1500-square-foot storefront at 250 Lafayette Street in Manhattan's fashionable SoHo neighborhood last weekend. The showroom is designed as an attention-getting outpost only، since many of the vehicles are stored in a climate-controlled secured warehouse at an undisclosed location. Rally Rd. says the showroom will be open to the public on Saturdays، and a small amount of merchandise including clothing is available for sale there. This may play into the company's larger goal of providing premium access to IPOs of super-rare cars and extended trading opportunities، potentially including buying the car outright.

To investigate the app's functionality، we completed a Rally Rd. registration، which took just minutes. The first car offered in the queue was a 1988 BMW M3 that is currently valued at $141،000. Listed as an initial offering، shares are offered at $47; currently 55 percent funded by 348 investors، the offering closes on February 11. Additional details are accessed by swiping up، which reveals a comparable-asset chart، comprehensive imagery، and a detailed timeline of the specific car. At that point، buying in is just a click away.

Additional vehicles at the top of the queue included a 1980 Lamborghini Countach valued at $635،000، currently priced at $127 per share; this offering had reached the full valuation، so the buy-in is closed. An additional dozen or so high-profile vehicles were also listed. Investments of this type are generally referred to as alternative assets; like art or wine، they can be more volatile than traditional low-risk CDs or bonds. While Rally Rd. is not the first initiative to trade in vehicular alternative assets—the Classic Car Fund operates similarly—it's certainly the first aimed directly at the affluent under-40 crowd.


Edited By: Rabea Yehia

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