ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 4 - Fall

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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Page 122 of 155

E STORED Peek under the hood of the region's top car collections before the city's buzziest new automotive event on Boston Common. BY JANICE O'LEARY PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC LEVIN BLUE CHIP COLLECTOR An energy executive invests in the rare, beautiful—and appreciating. Tom Zarrella's first car was a yellow 1964 Chevelle Super Sport that his aunt gave him. "I liked the design of that car. It wasn't souped up or anything—just a two-door with a 283 engine." But that didn't stop him from drag racing his friends along a quarter-mile stretch of highway in Waterbury, Connecticut. Happily, for Zarrella, those days are in the rearview. Now, as president and CEO of SustainX, a start-up energy storage company based in New Hampshire, the Gloucester resident can invest in his passion—collecting rare and beautiful classic cars. His first was a 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE. "They made only 400 or so of this model that year," he says. It's already appreciated since he bought it a few years ago. "It probably sold for about $10,000 back then. Today it's worth $120,000 to $140,000." Zarrella's collection—a mix of cars that are good investments and those he simply loves—is now up to six, the exact amount that can fit in his carriage house. Last year he took his 1958 Porsche Speedster, known as a "bathtub" for its unique shape, to the Boston Cup. This year he's entering his ivory Mercedes-Benz 280SL convertible in the German sports car category. "There are two main groups of cars I follow," he says. "Mercedes and Porsches. The Italian car market has gone way up and then way down. But German cars have been on a very steady rise, with Mercedes and Porsches in particular becoming more and more collectible." BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 120-127_BC_F_Cars_Fall13.indd 121 121 8/2/13 6:08 PM

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