This dream barn is home to a Porsche 910 and more legendary racers

Photography by Naveed Yousufzai and Shayan Bokaie

Sep 2, 2021

The term ‘barn finds’ is normally reserved for dusty, time capsule cars which have been sitting dormant for decades. In Dave Hagan’s barn, however, this is not the case. Crisply parked race cars, a beautiful collection of motorbikes and automobilia, and even a pinball machine, you could call Dave’s barn a pipe dream for enthusiasts everywhere. The entire property was designed with high consideration for his collection, with barn doors permitting California sunshine to offer the fleet some Vitamin D.

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

When the light hits just right, Dave’s Porsche 910 race car (which he co-owns with another enthusiast), the centerpiece of the collection, really comes into the fold. The supporting cast is thoughtfully also curated. Dave has dialed in both the race cars and road cars to optimize costs and the ownership experience. We chatted with Dave to learn more about the complexities and lessons in building a collection of this size, vintage racing, and how co-ownership of a prized race car works.

Marqued: You have a road car collection. You've got a race car collection, and you're an avid racer. You've achieved, I think, the dream for a lot of enthusiasts. Can you share a bit about yourself and what led you to cars?

Dave Hagan: My dad was really into cars. This was in the Midwest, but we used to spend Sundays going around to car dealers, looking at sports cars. My dad was a traveling salesman, so he was on the road Monday through Friday. So Sunday was kind of our day, and that's what we would do. The dealers weren't open on Sundays back then, and so you could kind of access and look at the cars without dealing with salespeople.

Photographed by Shayan Bokaie

We went to Indianapolis and the 500 time trials a couple of years, during the era of Mario Andretti and the STP turbine. He also took us to Road America up in Wisconsin. That really got me into racing. It's just like literally being at the track for the first time in my life, hearing the cars, seeing the cars, smelling the cars. And so I think the die was cast at that point when I was a kid.

When my wife and I got married, the first car that we bought together was a used 1978 911SC. Obviously, I'd been into Porsches for a long time at that point, just as an enthusiast, as a reader of car magazines. So when we got married, that was like the first car that we bought together. It kind of cemented my relationship with the Porsche marque, and we've had lots of Porsches now over the years, and obviously several in the barn right now. So yeah, I've always been into cars and into racing.

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

And on the racing side of things, when we were in Kansas City, we had a neighbor who was a vintage race car guy. This is now the mid-80s. I had no idea what vintage racing was or meant. He invited us to a race at Heartland Park, which is outside of Topeka. My wife, son Tyler and I went to the track and were just blown away. And so I kind of bookmarked it. If I ever had the opportunity and the financial wherewithal to go vintage racing, it would be amazing to do.

Later, we moved to California. And I'd been reading about the Monterey Historics for 30 years. And I think, "Okay, I don't know what I'm waiting for.” Our son was now out of college. In theory, we had some money to be able to spend on racing. And so we got our first race car, and that was now, I guess, 15 or 16 years ago. And then kind of really just built up from there.

Collector Profile: Dave HaganCollector Profile: Dave Hagan

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai and Shayan Bokaie

Marqued: What was your entry point into racing yourself?

Dave: First one was a 1960 Cooper T52, which is a Formula Junior. So it's an open wheel, open cockpit car. The first car that I bought, while it was a fine car and relatively inexpensive, which fit our budget, it was not a great car. It was a slow car for Formula Juniors. And so it was really hard. We had a horrible first year.

Marqued: So your dream of vintage racing didn’t have an idyllic beginning?

Dave: The first time we took the car out for a test day, the car would start but it would not go into gear. And so we spent a day trying to get around the track. Never could. So that was my first vintage race experience was a car that would not even literally go out on the track. And so when I talk to people now about vintage racing, I think there's a much better way to do it. And that is first pick a shop, a race shop, and there are a bunch of them, and then work with that shop to figure out a car that they can vet for you and know it's a good car.

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

And then you go in with a team instead of trying to go in on your own and just figure it all out because unless you're an incredibly talented wrench, you're probably going to need a shop to work on your car. And so once you kind of figure out how to navigate the vintage racing scene and you're aligned with a race shop, it makes everything a lot easier. How to find cars, how to maintain the cars, how you get support for the race weekend. It basically gets done for you. It's a service provider model, which I think for most vintage racers is the way to go.

I sold the Cooper, bought the Elva Mark 7, which is a phenomenal car and had great success with that. I actually just recently sold that back to Bobby Rahal. It was his dad's car, which is really cool. So I'm super excited that it's going back to the Rahal family. So now I race the '67 910, the 1960 356 roadster. I've got a Lotus Formula Junior. And then my son, Tyler, runs a 914-6 GT tribute, which is a lot of fun.

Collector Profile: Dave HaganCollector Profile: Dave Hagan

Photographed by Shayan Bokaie

Marqued: I think it's hard to talk about race cars without talking about the 910.

Dave: So the 1967 Porsche 910, it was the fourth one of 29 that were built. It's chassis 004. It was one of the factory works cars. This particular car ran at Sebring with the factory drivers Jo Siffert and Hans Herrmann behind the wheel. It took second in class and fourth overall. So the car is an amazing piece of racing history. It's super fun to be able to take it to the track.

Marqued: You own this car jointly with a friend, correct? How is that co-ownership model working for you?

Dave: Yeah. So I've been racing with a group of guys for well over a decade, all through the same race shop. My partner in the 910 first owned the car himself. He was turning 80 and he was just getting less comfortable in the car, even though he was still very fast. He didn't want to race anymore, but he didn't want to sell the car. He wanted to kind of keep his investment in it. And secondly, if he did sell it, he didn't want it to go into a museum somewhere. He wanted it to stay on the track.

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

He and I had become friends over the years and he came to me and said, "I've got a proposition for you. Why don't you buy half the 910?" And I jokingly said, "Well, like which half? Like who wants half a car?" He's like, "No, no, no. We'll co-own it and you drive it and manage the operating expenses because you'll be incurring those, but we'll have co-ownership. You get into a 910 for half the price it would cost otherwise. And hopefully it'll appreciate over time and it becomes a good financial decision for both of us. But you just get to have a lot of fun in the meantime, just driving the car, racing the car."

I talked about it with my wife, and she kind of got a grin on her face, said, "That sounds fun." And so we did it. He figured out what he thought the market was for it, and I paid him half of that. And we've been at it five years since.

Collector Profile: Dave HaganCollector Profile: Dave Hagan

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

In terms of a model for people, I think it's fantastic. It's not all that uncommon in vintage racing for partners to go in on cars. You just have to have a good trust level, especially if you're both racing it. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be in that car if I would have had to write the check for 100% of it. Now knowing how much fun it is, maybe I would have tried to get there, but it's a valuable car and it's a big number for me.

Marqued: You seem to appreciate small displacement momentum cars more so than, like, a big V8 up front. Can you speak to that as a part of your collecting philosophy?

Dave: I was always drawn to European cars more than American muscle cars as a kid. I think just the sound of them, the way they looked, the way they sounded, the way they drove. And then as I got into racing, my first race car was purely a momentum car. If you can get fast in something like that, you'll be a really good driver, because it teaches you to carry corner speed. And so none of the cars that I have on the street or on the track are big-motored cars. Give me a high revving, very light car, with adequate torque, and that's going to be a blast on the racetrack. It's also going to be a blast on the street.

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

Marqued: I think the car that sort of underscores this, at least from my point of view, is the Mini Cooper.

Dave: Yes. The Mini. It's fabulous. You cannot drive that car without smiling. It's not sophisticated. It's not German. It's not nearly as well put together as the German cars, but it's just a gas to drive. And people love the car; you get thumbs up and honks. You can't drive it without having fun. It's just a great car.

Collector Profile: Dave HaganCollector Profile: Dave Hagan

Photographed by Naveed Yousufz

Marqued: You still primarily collect Porsches. Is there a benefit to focusing on one marque?

Dave: When you have different street cars, and you have two or three or four different makes, you're probably going to need two or three or four mechanics. I've read some different articles on collecting and how to think about it. And one of the things that I read, which I thought was a wise idea, said that if you really have a thing for one marque, as I do with Porsche, it's really good to just collect that marque, since it makes everything easier. You'll meet a network of people who can help you buy the next one. You can focus the expertise around you on that marque.

Collector Profile: Dave HaganCollector Profile: Dave Hagan

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

From a maintenance basis, you'll have one mechanic for all the Porsches. That's much easier. For the Mini and the other race cars, I'm lucky since I'm a co-owner in Huffaker Motorsports. So they can maintain the race cars. But for the most part, I'm focused on Porsche going forward for all the reasons that we just talked about.

Marqued: I think those are great closing statements. And I think an enthusiast who's got ambitions of someday having a garage like that, this is valuable intelligence.

Collector Profile: Dave HaganCollector Profile: Dave Hagan

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

Meet our contributors

As an avid driver and collector, photographer Naveed Yousufzai (@eatwithnaveed) captures California's car culture from a true enthusiast's point of view for various automotive publications.

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