In the vast industry of classic cars, Wayne Carini is considered a guru and an inspiration for many. Whether people got to know about him through his show “Chasing Classic Cars”, his businesses, newspaper columns, or even charity work, there’s no doubt that Wayne is as respected as he is admired.

With a decades-long career to back him up, Wayne’s the best guy to look up to for those who either want to follow his steps or simply enjoy his work as a restorer and preserver of the history of classic cars.

So how exactly does Wayne make his magic happen? Stay here to know all about his show, businesses, life story, and what exactly fuels his relentless chase for the best classic cars!

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Wayne Carini’s Chase

To Wayne Carini, classic cars is a passion of a lifetime and a family tradition. Wayne’s career choice isn’t surprising, considering he grew up surrounded by the industry thanks to his car-restorer father, and continued that legacy himself.

Known for his endless knowledge of the business and history, it’s understandable why Wayne’s show “Chasing Classic Cars” has been so popular since its premiere in 2008.

Even though Wayne’s chase seems to be very simple on screen, there’s an art behind it all. After being told about a hidden, stored, or abandoned classic car somewhere, Wayne’s knowledge and experience come into play when deciding on the spot whether a car is a good deal or not. Some cars haven’t been moved for decades, and others have missing parts, but the real magic happens when they’re all brought back to life in Wayne’s restoration shop.

Later on, F40 Motorsports takes care of the selling or auctioning part, while ensuring that they’re priced fairly. Not all deals are successful or possible in the end, but what makes the chase so interesting is finding the automotive gems hidden under the dust, piecing together some of the greatest parts of America’s car history, while allowing others to enjoy it as well.

The Business Behind The Show

While it might be assumed that Wayne Carini has only one business, in truth there are three Connecticut-based shops involved in his chase for classic cars.

The first one is Carini Carozzeria, his automotive restoration shop which primarily gives new life to all the cars brought into it. For its part, F40 Motorsports deals with the selling process, sometimes storing the cars for exhibitions, or just waiting for the right time to auction them.

While finding a new owner for his restored cars can often take some time, Carini’s staff at Continental Auto Ltd is always open to repairing exotic and classic cars, specializing in collision work. This shop was inherited by Wayne from his father when he retired, continuing his legacy and expanding it to other areas.

Although Carini Carozzeria is his favorite place to spend time, that doesn’t mean he’s all about restoring. Some of Wayne’s most interesting finds are notable for being left almost untouched for sale, such as the 1921 Stutz Bearcat he found hidden in a barn in the ninth season, but surprisingly didn’t restore it at all before auctioning for $594,000.

All in all, there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes of “Chasing Classic Cars”.

Wayne’s Biggest Car Deals

Given how long Wayne Carini has been in the automotive business, it’s not surprising that he’s made some great deals when it comes to selling autos. Wayne’s biggest car deal so far occurred in 2013, when he sold a 1967 Ferrari NART. Spyder for $27,5 million at auction.

While this number is as impressive as surprising, the truth is that the Ferrari was worth every penny. It originally belonged to Eddie Smith, a former theater boy turned successful businessman and former politician, who owned an extensive Ferrari and other luxury cars collection. Only 25 of these Ferraris were produced, and Eddie bought the eighth one for no more than $15,000 back in the day, keeping it stored and refusing to sell it to big names such as Ralph Lauren and Steve McQueen.

Eddie passed away in 2008, but his family still preserved the car for years, until feeling that it was time to say goodbye. That was when Wayne Carini did his magic, arranging all the things necessary to successfully auction it in California in August 2013, filming the entire process for the “Chasing Classic Cars” season sixth episode “Chance of a Lifetime”.

The Ferrari NART’s selling number broke records by becoming the second-highest-priced luxury car in the world. On the bright side, Eddie’s family donated a big part of the proceeds to charity, in honor of his humble origins.

Wayne’s Background

There’s no doubt that Wayne Carini is extremely successful at what he does, but how exactly did he go so far?

Everything started during Wayne’s childhood as he started to follow his father’s path in the automotive industry. As the owner of the collision shop Continental Auto and curating the Captain Paul House Model A Museum, Bob Carini was known all around Connecticut and beyond for the high quality of his work, especially when it came to classic and exotic cars.

Thanks to his father’s job, from a very early age Wayne was surrounded by classics such as Duesenbergs and Packards, though his favorite experience was riding his first Ferrari at nine years old, and being smitten by it forever.

Despite his father’s influence, Wayne went to university and planned on becoming an architect. However, his father had different plans for him and soon enough, Wayne went back home when offered half the family’s business. Around the same time, Wayne was lucky enough to receive mentorship from the famous mechanics Francois Sicard and Luigi Chinetti Jr., son of the famous driver, two people deeply connected with Ferrari who fueled Wayne’s automotive passion, and guided him in building his path.

Wayne’s Best Car Advice

There’s no question that Wayne Carini is a man deeply passionate about the automotive world, using his years of experience in the field in business, but also to help others in finding the classic cars best suited for themselves.

That being said, Wayne’s best advice while buying a car is to do it for fun. As he said in an interview with Hollywood Soap Box, the best one can get out of a car is their enjoyment.

Nonetheless, if the expectation of buying a car as an investment already exists, he recommends going for rare, not-highly produced cars: ‘as long as it appeals to you and it’s a low-production car, I think you’ll always make out in the long run,’ he said.

When it comes to bidding at auctions, things become rather complicated, but Wayne recommends having a firm budget and investigating the cars before taking the big step. However, the most important rule is to not let others influence that decision: ‘First and foremost, buy a car that you like, and not what everybody else likes. Buy with your gut’, he said in an interview with the magazine Residual Values.

Wayne’s extensive knowledge always comes into play while dealing with cars, but he’s a car lover through and through, and always has that in mind even while doing business.

Wayne’s Dream Car

The chase is probably the most remarkable part of Wayne Carini’s work. As seen in “Chasing Classic Cars”, there’s an incredible thrill about uncovering a long-forgotten car which has been years or even decades enclosed somewhere. Getting it out of there to bring new life into it and find it a new home is what makes his job so worth it.

Nonetheless, Wayne’s own chase for his dream car goes a little differently than the stories featured in the show. Back in 1967, he caught sight of a 1954 Hudson Italia in his father’s shop, and it was love at first sight for Wayne.

The Hudson was a special car through and through, as it was more expensive than most cars of its time, partly because only 27 of them were produced. It was a car hardly forgettable, especially for Wayne, who never lost sight of the Hudson despite the passing of time and the owner’s refusal to sell it.

In the 1980s, the car passed into the hands of the original owner’s sister, inherited upon his death, but who kept her word of not selling it for several years until the 1990s, when Wayne’s resolve and persistence paid off. Since then Wayne has taken special care of his Hudson, honoring all the years he patiently waited for it.

The Show & Future

The story of Wayne Carini’s restless chase of his 1954 Hudson Italia was featured in the New York Times in 2006, attracting the attention of car lovers and TV producers. It was Jim Astrausky who offered Wayne a spot on TV, soon making “Chasing Classic Cars” a reality.

Turning into a reality star overnight was life-changing for Wayne, as not only has the popularity of his businesses been unstoppable since the show’s premiere, but it’s also gained him the recognition of other people in the automotive industry around the world.

Even regardless of the lack of news about an 18th season renewal of “Chasing Classic Cars”, Wayne is currently focused on his podcast “Talking Classic Cars”, and magazine The Chase.

All in all, there’s an undeniable thrill in seeing Wayne find, restore and bring back to life some of the most amazing cars in the world. Whether it happens on TV or in real life, Wayne’s chase for classic cars has taught us that a great passion and love for what one does can accomplish incredible things in life.

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