Qualifications Matter

August 17, 2023

Spotlighting Donald W. Osborne, ASA

A couple of men standing in a room

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Editor’s Note: When it comes to valuing an asset, there’s no room for error. Qualifications matter. Nobody understands this more than ASA, and member Donald W. Osborne, ASA. Learn more about Osborne below.

Donald is a classic car historian, consultant, accredited appraiser, author, curator and the CEO of the Audrain Group in Newport, Rhode Island, where he guides the Audrain Automobile Museum, Audrain Motorsport and the Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week.

The New York City native is known internationally for his recurring segment “Assess & Caress with Donald Osborne” on CNBC Primetime’s show “Jay Leno’s Garage”, in which, for 7 seasons he has shared his considerable knowledge of collector car attributes and values.

The ASA Difference
Osborne and Leno discussed their thoughts on the importance of hiring ASA-accredited appraisers in a brief video filmed while onsite at Leno’s infamous garage. Each spoke to why education, accreditation, experience, ethics and membership in a professional organization like ASA are critical factors when seeking to hire professionals who determine value. View the “Qualifications Matter” video here.

Donald’s first book, ‘Stile Transatlantico / Transatlantic Style- A Romance of Fins and Chrome’ was published in 2016 and his writing has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Art & Antiques, Octane, Magneto, Sports Car Market, Road & Track, and other publications. He is also the publisher of Linkage magazine, a glossy quarterly covering the world of life with cars.

He is a 1977 graduate of the Hartt College of Music, West Hartford, CT with a B.A. in Opera. Donald almost literally ‘grew up’ at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, having made three ‘debuts’ with the company. The first, at 13, as a ‘supernumerary’, next at 19 as a baritone in the Extra Chorus in which he sang for 9 seasons, then his solo debut at 29 in the historic production of ‘Porgy and Bess’ in February 1985.

Having been hired for the prestigious R.H. Macy & Co. Executive Training Program in 1978, he worked for the retailer for a year before leaving to pursue his singing career. He returned to the world of retail in 1987, rising through various executive positions including a stint in the Macy’s private label division in which he was responsible for the men’s casual pants, jeans and shorts businesses.

He then created a department for Marketing Communications for all the lines of Macy’s private label products, followed by a varied career in marketing communications which included the creation of his own company ORTV, then eventually to partnership with a cutting-edge digital agency.

In 2004, Donald joined the American Society of Appraisers with accreditation in Personal Property and founded Donald W. Osborne, LLC / Automotive Valuation Services, a classic car appraisal and consulting firm now based in Palm Springs, CA.

He began to consult with the Audrain Collections in 2016 and was a key partner in the creation of the inaugural Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week in 2019. He joined the Audrain Group as its first CEO in December 2019 and relocated to Newport, Rhode Island in January 2020.

Donald continues to be active in his appraisal business along with his associate Scott King AM, with projects across the United States, the UK and Italy. Connect with Donald online, by e-mail at donaldo@autovalserv.com or by phone at 760-322-7832.

Looking to hire an ASA-accredited appraiser? Use ASA’s complimentary online search tool www.FindanAppraiser.org or call (800) 272-8258.

Looking to become an ASA-accredited appraiser? Visit ASA online or call (800) 272-8258.

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