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Donald Osborne

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Donald Osborne on Jay Leno's Garage [13]

Donald W. Osborne is an automotive consultant, historian ​, Accredited Senior Appraiser, and a member of the American Society of Appraisers ​. He is also the owner of Automotive Valuation Services and advises on collection building, vehicle acquisition, and sales. Osborne is perhaps best known for his current role on Jay Leno's Garage ​ as a recurring segment host who educates viewers on classic car ​ values. [3]

Early Life

Donald Osborne is originally from Manhattan, New York . [5] ​ His passion for cars started at an early age. Growing up, he enjoyed building model cars ​ with his older brother, Art Osborne. By the age of 9, he was already "completely obsessed" reading Road & Track ​, Autoweek (Competition Press) ​, Car and Driver ​ and Sports Car Graphic magazines. [4]

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Photo from December 1964, of Donald Osborne (age 9) celebrating after finishing a Lotus 29 ​ model car with his older brother, Art Osborne. [4]

Living in Manhattan, Osborne and his family grew up taking public transit , but at the age of 13, his father, Earl Osborne purchased the family's first car. Donald pleaded with his father to buy a Peugeot 404 ​ which he thought was classic and elegant like a Mercedes-Benz ​ but  much cheaper. Earl instead decided to a buy a Pontiac Bonneville ​ which according to Earl had more "stylige" a term he coined. As an adult, Donald admitted that his father made the right call. [5]

Personal Life

Donald Osborne lives in Southern California ​ and also has a home in Northern Italy ​. In addition to being passionate about classic cars ​, Osborne is also passionate about trains ​, ships ​, airplanes ​, music ​, art ​ and architecture ​. [6]

Certifications

Youtube Video
Donald Osborne, Baritone, sings ' The Star-Spangled Banner' , to open the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on March 10, 2013.

Donald Osborne is a member of the American Society of Appraisers ​, and has earned the society’s “Accredited Senior Appraiser” (ASA) designation. [10]

Singing Career

Prior to working in the collector car industry, Donald Osborne was a classically trained baritone opera singer ​. His solo career culminated in his debut with the Metropolitan Opera ​ in 1985. [3] ​ While, Osborne left the world of professional singing to focus on the world of collector cars he still enjoys singing for others. For years he has sung the Italian National Anthem ​ at the prize giving ceremony of the Mille Miglia ​ at the Teatro Grande ​ in Brescia, Italy ​. [6] ​ He has also sang the The Star-Spangled Banner ​ at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance ​. [17]

Automotive Career

Valuation & Writing

Donald Osborne, possesses decades of business experience involving the evaluation and valuation of goods. These include partnership in Garofolo & Osborne Antiques since 1974, work as an Auction Analyst, Contributing Editor ​ and Editor-at-Large ​ for Sports Car Market ​, consultant for major collector car companies and organizations as well as the purchase and sale of collector automobiles for consulting clients and his own collection. [10]

Youtube Video
Donald Osborne speaking about the Hudson Italia ​ and Nash-Healey ​ which were both covered in his book, ‘ Stile Transatlantico/ Transatlantic Style: A Romance of Chrome & Fins

Donald Osborne first contributed to the magazine, Sports Car Market in 1994 and began working as an Auction Analyst in 2000; he became a Contributing Editor of the magazine in 2004 and Editor at Large in 2014. Sports Car Market is a magazine that covers the collector car market with an emphasis on auction reporting on an international scope. Osborne regularly writes profiles on Italian ​, France ​, Germany ​ and American ​ automobiles and reports on auctions, reviewing and evaluating all types of automobiles from the turn of the 20th Century to contemporary across the United States and in Europe. [10]

Donald Osborne’s writing on collector cars has appeared in The New York Times ​, Businessweek Online ​, Hagerty's magazine, Road & Track ​, Art & Antiques ​, Palm Springs Life, The Wall Street Journal Online ​ and in the books “Keith Martin on Collecting Alfa Romeo ​” and “Keith Martin’s Guide to Car Collecting”, published by MotorBooks International ​. He also served as editor of Lanciana, the magazine of the American Lancia ​ Club. [10]

In 2016, Donald Osborne authored his first book, ‘ Stile Transatlantico/ Transatlantic Style: A Romance of Chrome & Fins ’ which was published by Coachbuilt Press. The book tells the story of the creative exchange between Italy and America in mid-century automotive design ​, using evocative photographs by Michael Furman to showcase some of the most iconic designs from both countries in the period. [3] [11]

In 2004, Donald Osborne founded Automotive Valuation Services offering consulting services to collectors and major collector car businesses across the country and in Europe. [10]

Memberships

Mr. Osborne is a member of the Vintage Sports Car Club of America ​, Alfa Romeo ​ Owner’s Club, American Lancia ​ Club, Ferrari Club of America ​, Lamborghini ​ Club of America, Maserati ​ Club International, Zagato ​ Car Club, Shelby American ​ Automobile Club (SAAC), Rolls-Royce Owners Club and Bentley ​ Driver’s Club among others. [10]

Youtube Video
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance ​: Full Forum: Jay Leno & Donald Osborne at the 2017 Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum

Concours

Donald Osborne has served as a judge for multiple internationally recognized concours events. He has served as the Consultant Director, judge and Master of Ceremonies with the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance in Westport, Connecticut ​ as judge at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance ​, Concours of America at St John’s and Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance in Michigan ​ and Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance in Pennsylvania ​. He has been Master of Ceremonies at the Carmel-by-the-Sea ​ Concours on the Avenue, Greystone Mansion ​ Concours d’Elegance in Beverly Hills , Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance ​ in Oregon ​, Santa Fe Concorso and On-field Commentator at Meadow Brook. [10]

Television

Fom 2011-2012, Donald Osborne was a co-host on two seasons of the nationally broadcast TV show ‘What’s My Car Worth’ on Velocity (TV network) which is owned by Discovery Communications ​. [12] [3]

Since the premiere of Jay Leno's Garage ​ on CNBC ​ in October 2015, Donald Osborne has featured on the show as a regular segment host, commenting on collector car values and the attributes of value that contribute to their market appeal. [10] [12]

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