Category archives: News

Hagerty Education Program announces $65K in first-quarter scholarship, summer intern grants

Student and professor select materials in upholstery shop at McPherson College |Hagerty photo
Student Nick Finney and professor Richard Dove select materials in upholstery shop at McPherson College |Hagerty photos
Kris Kindt and Matthew Edmondson gets hands-on study at Great Lakes Boat Building School
Kris Kindt and Matthew Edmondson gets hands-on study at Great Lakes boat school

More than a dozen college students learning the skills needed for the restoration of classic vehicles — cars and boats — will benefit from the quarterly grants awarded by the Hagerty Education Program, which is administered through the LeMay — America’s Car Museum.

At the first quarterly meeting of the Hagerty Education Program board of directors, grants totaling $65,600 were awarded for the first three months of 2014:

  • $40,000 to provide 8 students with $5,000 scholarships toward studies in the automotive restoration program at McPherson College in Kansas;
  • $10,000 to provide two summer internships at the LeMay Museum in Washington (with funds going directly two the two students, not to the museum);
  • $5,600 to fund a 10-week summer internships for a McPherson student at the Studebaker National Museum in northern Indiana;
  • $5,000 for student scholarships at the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, Mich.;
  • $5,000 a student scholarship to study at the International Yacht Restoration School of Technology and Trades based in Newport and Bristol, R.I.

It was in January that McKeel Hagerty, a founder of the Collectors Foundation and chief executive of Hagerty Insurance, pledged that his company would donate $1.75 million within the next five years to what since then has become known as the Hagerty Education Program.

In the previous nine years and under the banner of the Collectors Foundation, grants totaling $2.75 million had gone to  schools and museums with programs in automotive, aquatic and aviation preservation and restoration in 29 states, three Canadian provinces as well as to four national organizations for everything from scholarships to helping pay the cost of transporting school children to a car museum and from the restoration of a classic fire truck and to helping to pay a part-time auto shop instructor and providing automotive restoration programs for at-risk youth.

The skills necessary to preserve and restore collector vehicles are disappearing.”

— McKeel Hagerty


The mission — then and now — is to help ensure that the skills needed to preserve and restore classic vehicles is not lost.

“As a collector community, we’re faced with the reality that the skills necessary to preserve and restore collector vehicles are disappearing,” said McKeel Hagerty. “My vision for the Hagerty Education Program is to develop a program to meet that threat head on in a national effort to support students and organizations committed to the specialized training of those skills and trades vital to the collector vehicle industry.”

LeMay 2012 032
Summer interns Josh Baum and David Jussel help repair a door at LeMay Museum

Grants, according to the organization’s website, go toward scholarships and to organizations “committed to ‘hands-on education’ and making a difference in the lives of young people through the appeal of historic vehicles and vessels,” thereby “building the next generation of collectors” and those capable of preserving and restoring such vehicles.

Details on those and other grants is available at the website. The website also provides information about donating to the 509(a)(3) program.


$7-million GT40 boosts Mecum Houston total to nearly $35 million

GT40 sells for $7 million | Mecum / David Newhardt photos

Mecum Houston auctions at a glance

Total sales$34.9 million
Catalog1085 cars, 174 motorcycles
Sell-through70 percent cars, 72 percent bikes
High sale$7 millon 1964 Ford GT40
Next 9 price range$127,500 to $725,000
Next auctionApril 24-26 at Kansas City, Mo.

With a 1964 Ford GT40 selling for $7 million (that’s the hammer price and does not include the buyer’s premium), Mecum Auctions’ sale in Houston found new owners for 765 classic cars and did more than $33.6 million in business.

Mecum held a separate vintage motorcycle sale in the same venue, the Reliant Center, the following day. That sale generated more than $1.3 million in additional sales, boosting the four-day total to just shy of $35 million.

“Our Houston event is one of the fastest growing auctions on our calendar,” Dana Mecum said in a news release. “The quality of collector cars continues to rise year after year here in Houston. Attendees witnessed so many great cars sell at this year’s auction and several will go down as some of the most memorable in our company’s history.”

Chief among those is the 1964 Ford GT40 prototype racer, one of two that Shelby America raced during the 1965 season and the first Shelby-spec GT40 chassis. Bidding on the car took 5 minutes.

The GT40 is the second-oldest extant and was raced by Phil Hill, Bruce McLaren, Bob Bondurant, Ken Miles, Jo Schlesser, Richie Ginther, Richard Attwood and other works drivers.

Chassis GT/104 was the first built with lighter 24-gauge steel for its chassis. Ginther led the second lap at Le Mans but damage from a fire in the engine bay four hours into the race led to the car’s retirement after 13 hours. The car was repaired, fitted with revised front bodywork and raced in the Nassau Speed Week, where it sustained damage to its rear suspension. Ford turned to Shelby for the 1965 season.

The car was updated to improve cooling, transmission, brakes and high-speed aerodynamics, and additional weight was removed. Bondurant and Ginther drove the car to a third-place finish at Daytona. Suspension issues sidelined the car at Sebring and Monza. A blown pit stop may have cost the car a victory at the Nuburgring 1000-km, after which the car was retired as next-gen GT40s were available for Le Mans.

1967 Corvette gets plenty of protection
1967 Corvette gets plenty of protection

Another memorable sale at the auction involved the “McNamara Corvette,” an unrestored 1967 Chevrolet Corvette coupe with 2,996 lies on its odometer. The car had been hidden away for nearly four decades in a climate-controlled, single-car garage until being displayed at Bloomington Gold in 2012. The rolling time capsule sold at the Mecum Houston auction for $725,000, a record for a 427/390-hp Corvette coupe.

Noteworthy as well is the fact that the sixth-most expensive purchase at the auction was a 1968 Toyota FJ-44, which brought $150,000.

Top 10 Sales, Mecum Houston:

  • 1. 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype, GT/104, $7,000,000
  • 2. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette coupe, $725,000
  • 3. 1968 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro RS/SS, $450,000
  • 4. 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia coupe, $170,000
  • 5. 1934 Cadillac Fleetwood V12 All-Weather Phaeton, $165,000
  • 6. 1968 Toyota FJ-44, $150,000
  • 7. 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Huntington limousine, $145,000
  • 8. 1960 Porsche 356B cabriolet, $145,000
  • 9. 1970 Plymouth Superbird, $135,000
  • 10. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette convertible, $127,500

Figures show hammer prices and do not include buyer’s premium.

The top sale at the motorcycle auction was $105,000 for a 149 Vincent HRD Black Shadow from the Mike Doyle Collection, which accounted for the top 8 sales at the auction.

‘Barn-find’ classics soar at British auction

A British auction featuring neglected “barn-find” cars and partially completed restoration projects hit the target Saturday, earning £1million ($1.67 million) with 85 percent of the 184 lots sold.

Ranging from valuable classic sports cars in decrepit condition to low-mileage mini cars and downright oddities, Silverstone Auctions’ inaugural Practical Classics Restoration Show in Birmingham, England, offered a few classic car bargains for restorers, as well as some surprisingly high results for beat-up cars.

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Barrett-Jackson hits record sales in Palm Beach

A beach-cruiser-blue 1956 Ford Thunderbird sold in West Palm Beach for $66,000 | Barrett-Jackson
A beach-cruiser-blue 1956 Ford Thunderbird sold in West Palm Beach for $66,000 | Barrett-Jackson

Barrett-Jackson cruised to another strong auction in West Palm Beach, Fla., this past weekend, scoring a record $25 million in overall sales that included $2.35 million for charity.

Results for the 12th annual Palm Beach auction easily eclipsed figures from a year ago, when $21 million worth of cars were sold.

Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach 2014

Total sales$25 million
Catalog509 automobiles
Sell-through99.6 percent
High sale$1 million (charity sale)
First 2015 Corvette Z06
Next 9 price range$165,000 to $500,000
Next auctionReno-Tahoe, Jul. 31-Aug. 2

“Each year, Palm Beach continues to expand its impact, bringing better cars, more fans and growth,” Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, said in a news release. “We have enjoyed the years here and this year was a stellar showing, which continues the explosive start we had in Scottsdale.”

Charity sales led the top results for the Florida auction and provided a stunning déjà vu moment when NASCAR team owner and mega auto dealer Rick Hendrick stepped up once again and bought the rights to the first production 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 for $1 million with all proceeds going to the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Another million-dollar Corvette | Chevrolet
Rights to the first 2015 Corvette Z06 hit $1 million | Chevrolet

It was one year ago during the 2013 Palm Beach auction that Hendrick bid $1 million for the first production 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible, also benefiting the Karmanos institute. Hendrick started off his million-dollar run of new Corvettes at the 2013 Scottsdale auction, where he paid $1 million for the first 2014 Corvette Stingray.

Hendrick, a North Carolina-based car dealer and major collector of Corvette and Chevy muscle cars, is a leukemia survivor and a strong supporter of cancer charities.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 sale was the top sale of the Barrett-Jackson auction at Palm Beach. Another car donated by Chevrolet, the first 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 coupe, sold for $500,000 to benefit the AARP drive to End Hunger. Barrett-Jackson charges no auction fees for its signature charity sales.

The 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang was celebrated throughout the three-day Barrett-Jackson auction. The official anniversary date for the Mustang’s debut in April 17.

The 'Need for Speed' Mustang reached $300,000 | Barrett-Jackson
‘Need for Speed’ Mustang reached $300,000 | Barrett-Jackson

Punctuating the Mustang party was the sale of one of the star cars of the Palm Beach sale, the 2013 Mustang fastback that co-starred in the recent Hollywood movie “Need for Speed.” Donated by the Ford Motor Co. and benefiting the Henry Ford Health System, the Mustang went for $300,000.

The wide array of collector cars offered at Barrett-Jackson’s only East Coast auction reflected the laid-back lifestyle of the high-end Palm Beach retirement community, with a strong emphasis on cars that can be driven and enjoyed, including late-model exotics and luxury cars. Two of the top 10 auction sales reflect that: a 2005 Ford GT sports coupe that sold for $242,000 and a 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder that fetched $181,500 (all non-charity results include the 10 percent buyer fee).

Full-classic 1935 Packard V12 convertible | Barrett-Jackson
Full-classic 1935 Packard V12 convertible | Barrett-Jackson

The highest non-charity sale was for a full-classic beauty, a highly desirable 1935 Packard V12 convertible coupe with coachwork by Dietrich, which sold for $330,000. The Packard was one of a handful of cars offered with reserve bidding at Palm Beach, two of which – a 1966 Shelby GT350 and a 1938 Cord 812 Phaeton – were the only no-sales among the 509 auction cars.

As with all Barrett-Jackson auctions, there was a something-for-everybody run of modestly priced collector cars, such as a 1976 Triumph TR6 roadster that went for $10,670, a 1969 Corvette custom coupe for $12,100, and a restored 1967 Mustang 289 convertible for $23,650.

Barrett-Jackson’s next auction is July 31-August 2 with the second annual Reno-Tahoe event that takes place in conjunction with the Hot August Nights old-car celebration. For more information, see

Dentist, aviator Cox’s collection offered up by Bonhams

Back in January, Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction sold a pair of cars from the Dr. Ralph W.E. Cox Jr. Collection. His 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K sports phaeton brought $1.43 million and his 1933 Auburn 12-161A custom speedster sold for $451,000.

Bonhams has just announced that it will stage a single-estate auction of the Cox collection cars — and more — May 10 at the NASW Aviation Museum at Cape May, N.J., where the collection had been on public display in the early 1960s.

In addition to classic cars, the aviation pioneer’s collection includes a San Francisco Cable Car, a JB1 Buzz Bomb, aircraft engines and musical machines including two Mills Violano Virtuosos and a Seeburg Style G orchestrian.

“Dr. Ralph Cox was an extraordinary pioneering collector of all manner of self-propelled machines, and the collection he built was extremely diverse,” said Rupert Banner, a Bonhams motorcar specialist. “Unseen for decades, this auction will return the vehicles to the former site of their display and provide today’s collectors of a wide variety of genres of fresh property all offered at no reserve.”

Cox, who died two years ago at the age of 97, was a dentist and Naval aviator who flew anti-submarine missions during World War II. After the war, he bought surplus aircraft from the military and launched U.S. Overseas Airlines, flying military personnel around the globe for several years as well as providing civilian flights to Hawaii.

Among the vehicles offered at the auction will be an 1870 Sisby steam fire pumper, 1920s American LaFrance ladder truck, 1933 double-decker motor coach in 5th Avenue Coach Co. livery, a 1904 Ford Model AC four-seater tonneau, several “brass radiator” Model Ts and a fabric-bodied Model T speedster of Cox’s own design.


British museum celebrates 21 years with 21 icons

Stirling Moss and the MG EX181 set speed records at Bonneville | Heritage Motor Centre photos
Stirling Moss and the MG EX181 set speed records at Bonneville | Heritage Motor Centre photos

Britain’s Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, Warwickshire, celebrates its 21st birthday in May with a special exhibition, “21 Years 21 Icons.” We asked if we could get the list of the 7 vehicles, inventions and people who will be featured.

Not yet, we were told. It’s still a secret.

Curator Stephen Laing in the original cutaway Mini
Curator Stephen Laing in the original cutaway Mini

However, we did get a sneak peek in the form of three photographs — one of Stirling Moss, one of a disc brake and one of curator Stephen Laing sitting in a cutaway of the original Mini.

“Since the Museum opened on 1 May 1993, its collection has been renowned as one of the finest selections of British motor cars,” the centre said in announcing its anniversary exhibition. “The museum tells the story of the people that have shaped Britain’s love affair with the motor car and also houses some of the world’s best-known examples of automotive design and technology. “

The exhibition opens May 2 and runs through December.

“For each of the 21, the exhibition will explore their history and why they are so important to Britain’s automotive evolution,” the news release said.

Pub No. H 5837 Acc No. 90/42/63
The disc brake

“The Heritage Motor Centre has been celebrating the best of Britain’s car industry for 21 years,” Laing said. “It has been a difficult task to choose just 21 products, people and pioneering inventions that represent motoring, the motor car and its industry in Britain.”

In addition to its 21st anniversary celebration, the centre announced that it will receive more than $6.2 million from its Heritage Lottery and will use those funds to construct a new two-story building to house its reserve car collection, workshop and learning education zone. The new facility is scheduled to open in 2015.

“It will allow us to make our collections far more accessible,” said Tim Bryan, head of collections and interpretation.

The Heritage Motor Centre is home to the world’s largest historic collection of British cars and draws together the collections of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust with more than 300 vehicles.

Classic car auctions focus on ‘barn finds’

he barn-find 1954 Jaguar Xk 120SE will be presented at Auctions America just as it was found | Auctions America
The barn-find 1954 Jaguar Xk 120SE will be presented at Auctions America just as found | Auctions America

Everybody dreams of making a “barn find,” discovering a dirt-encrusted classic car forgotten for decades in some musty outbuilding. That’s become a powerful draw in the classic car community, where the debate rages over restoration vs. preservation.

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Danbury Mint ends die-cast model sales

The final die-cast car from Danbury Mint was a limited-edition model of a 1935 Ford Deluxe | Danbury Mint
The final die-cast car from Danbury Mint was a limited-edition model of a 1935 Ford Deluxe | Danbury Mint

The Danbury Mint has gone out of the car business. The Connecticut-based collectibles company, known for its finely honed 1:24 scale replicas of classic cars, announced recently that it would no longer include the die-cast cars among its lineup.

The final offering was a limited-edition model of a 1935 Ford Deluxe three-window coupe, of which the company produced 2,500 versions that quickly sold out.

Danbury Mint has been marketing the die-cast replicas for more than 20 years, producing hundreds of brands rendered in miniature. But the two Chinese factories that produced the cars have closed, the company said, leaving it with no production facilities. The rising cost of producing the high-quality models was also cited for ending their sales.

The Danbury Mint website includes no mention of model-car sales, but shows the company’s continuing concentration on jewelry, commemorative coins, sports memorabilia and figurines.

Last — and most badly damaged — Corvette freed from sinkhole beneath museum’s Skydome

Mallett Hammer Z06 is loaded for transport to the exhibition hall |National Corvette Museum photos
Mallett Hammer Z06 is loaded for transport to the exhibition hall |National Corvette Museum photos

“It looks like the worst one… a lot of parts and pieces,” Mike Murphy, chief executive of Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction, said as the last of the eight Corvettes swallowed by a sinkhole emerged from the abyss beneath the Skydome at the National Corvette Museum. Continue reading

Astronauts’ cars among featured lots at Mecum’s Houston auction

Photos by Mecum Auctions

Houston being the site of the NASA Johnson Space Center, it seems only fitting that among the 1,000 cars being offered up for bids this weekend at Mecum Auctions’ sale are two formerly owned by astronauts. And not just any astronauts, but the first two U.S. fliers to travel into space.

In addition to riding rockets, astronauts were known for their rocketing along the highways in Chevrolet Corvettes. Alan Shepard, the first American into space and later known for hitting a golf ball on a course called “The Moon,” was among those Corvette owners, but later in life he owned by 1995 Camaro Z28 convertible, a car that will be lot F59 at the Mecum sale.

Virgil “Gus” Grissom died in the Apollo 1 catastrophe just a few months after he’d purchased a 1967 Corvette convertible. The car continued to be shown in parades at Cape Kennedy in Florida, has been restored and has won NCRS Top Flight honors. It will be Lot S120.1 at the Mecum sale.

Among other vehicles at the sale at the Reliant Center are:

  • A 1967 Chevrolet Corvette coupe that had been hidden in a garage with less than 3,000 miles on its odometer until being found in 2012;
  • A 1969 Chevrolet Corvair Monza coupe, unrestored and with only 15 miles on its odometer;
  • An unrestored, 3,853-mile 1965 Mercury Monterey Marauder;
  • A 1969 Plymouth Road Runner convertible;
  • The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette 7 11 race car used in the movie Viva Las Vegas;
  • A 1920 Cadillac Type 59 Phaeton;
  • A 1934 Cadillac Fleetwood V12 all-weather phaeton (the second of only three built);
  • The 1963 “Bunkie Knudsen” Corvette styling car;
  • An ex-Paul Newman 1974 Porsche 911S race car;
  • The 7-time NHRA national championship 1963 Shelby Cobra Dragonsnake;
  • A 1964 Ford GT40 prototype;
  • 1 of 20 1972 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 coupes
  • A 1970 Plymouth Superbird with a 440/375 V8;
  • A 1910 Locomobile Model 40 Type 1 demi tonneau;
  • A 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Huntington limousine with Brewster coachwork;
  • Six street rods from the same collection.

In addition to the classic car auction that runs April 10-12, Mecum will stage a one-day MidAmerica vintage and antique motorcycle auction April 13, with 200 bikes available.

Among them are nearly 100 bikes from the collection of Mike Doyle, including:

  • A 1928 Henderson K-Deluxe;
  • A restored 1949 Vincent HRD Black Shadow;
  • A 1913 Sears single-cylinder auto cycle;
  • A reproduced 1926 Harley-Davidson JDH-8 valve board-track racer
  • A 1960 Ducati 260 Elite racer

Also crossing the block will be two motorcycles formerly owned by Steve McQueen:

  • A 1931 Harley-Davidson VL;
  • A 1971 Husqvarna 250cc motocross

The Houston classic car sale will be televised by the NBC Sports and Esquire networks.