Category archives: News

Auctions America does $17.5 million at Fort Lauderdale

Auctions America by RM opened its 2013 calendar with a sale at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that generated more than $17.5 million in transactions. The sell-through rate was 74 percent.

The high sale was $880,000 for a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL gullwing coupe. A 1963 Shelby Cobra went for $553,500, a 400-mile 2012 Lexus LFA brought $319,000, a 1932 Lincoln KB duel-cowl sport phaeton sold for $275,000 and a 1931 Cadillac V12 dual cowl sport phaeton brought $203,500.

Another highlight was the sale — for $88,000 — of a 1951 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe convertible formerly owned by Steve McQueen.

For further information on upcoming events, along with full results from the 2013 Fort Lauderdale collector car auction, visit auctionsamerica.com.

Classic car owners help Hagerty teach young driver to shift gears

Scottsdale, Arizona – resident Jim Bauder admitted “a lot” of hesitation about turning over the driver’s seat in his immaculate 1958 Triumph TR250 to someone who never before had manipulated a manual transmission. But, Bauder said, “I taught my three children to drive a stick and had only one failure” — when his daughter burned up the clutch. Undaunted, Bauder fixed the car and his daughter tried again, and became so skilled at coordinating clutch pedal and shifter that she not only moved to San Francisco, but bought and drove a stick-shifted Honda Civic.

We share Bauder’s experience, and that of other Phoenix-area classic car owners who offered up their manually shifted cars — including a 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder Veloce, a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and a 1960 Ford Galaxie — when Hagery Insurance called for cars and car owners to participate in the Hagerty Driving Experience, which the company says is “a rare opportunity to receive hands-on instruction on how to drive some of the most unique and iconic classic cars on the road.”

The program starts with classroom instruction and then moves outside for a lesson on routine vehicle maintenance — including checking air pressure and fluid levels — before anyone turns a wheel.

Hagerty launched the program to celebrate the inaugural Classic Car Appreciation Day in 2011. Hagerty makes arrangements to block off a section of private pavement — here in the Phoenix area, it was the driveways in front of the Scottsdale Automobile Museum. Hagerty staff provide classroom instruction and lunch.

In addition to clientele’s privately owned classics, the program has become supported by the Ford Motor Co., which provides some brand new cars for the youngsters to drive as well. Driving starts with the car owner or instructor at the wheel. After a couple of laps, instructor and student swap seats.

Yes, the students often chug the cars to a stall. But the car owners are impressively patient.

“He helped me a lot and was very supportive,” 17-year-old Paul Heinrich said after repeatedly stalling out Mark Esbenshade’s ’58 Alfa.

For his part, Esbenshade brushed off any strain on his car’s components. “Hey, somebody taught me to drive stick” he said.

Students and their parents offered various reasons for seeking such instruction, though only a few had manually shifted cars at home.

Dorrie Sibley said she brought her 16-year-old son, Breslin, because someday he might be out with friends who’ve been drinking and regardless of the vehicle they’re in, she wants her son to be ready to step in as designated driver and get everyone home safe and sound.

Hagerty has several more such sessions planned this year: April 13 at Houston, June 7 at Denver, July 12 in Orange County, Calif., Aug. 2 at Toronto and Sept. 21 at Las Vegas. If you get a call about offering up your car, please don’t hesitate to respond in the affirmative.

MV Agusta motorcycle collection goes back on the auction block

Remember that collection of more than 70 classic MV Agusta motorcycles offered as a single lot at Mecum’s auction in Monterey in August? Well, the high bid was $850,000, but that didn’t meet the reserve. So now those bikes will be offered as individual lots at the annual MidAmerica Auctions event January 10-12 at the South Point Casino and Exhibit Hall in Las Vegas.

The action that weekend in Vegas also includes the annual Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction, where the docket includes a 1939 BMW RS 255 Kompressor, the 1902 Rambler Model B, the only surviving 1905 Leo Two-Cycle, Steve McQueen’s 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross and a collection of cut-away engines, hubs and motor wheels from a variety of manufacturers.

The Bonhams sale takes place at Bally’s Hotel & Casino.

Christmas present from the Petersen: The vault is open for tours

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has a Christmas present for car guys and gals: Starting December 15, the museum opened its vault, the underground section of its parking structure where it stores vehicles that are not on display in the exhibitions inside the museum proper.

There are dozens of vehicles in those exhibitions, but that still leaves two or three hundred hidden away — until now.

“It’s a part of the museum that has become almost legend,” said Chris Brown, the museum’s information and marketing manager. “If you’re an enthusiast, you’ve heard about the vault of great cars at the Petersen. We get more and more people who keep asking, ‘hey, how do I get down in the vault? ”

Cruisin' with LarryYou now can do that by signing up for a guided tour. Each tour is limited to 10 people, runs for 90 minutes and costs $25, plus the regular museum admission.

At the moment, those tours are offered only on weekends. But, Brown promised, “if it proves to be as popular as we hope it is, we’ll extend it throughout the week.”

Brown and the museum’s new director, Terry Karges, recently offered me a pre-tour sneak peek of the vault and it was amazing to see what’s there, including several cars formerly owned by Steve McQueen, a couple of concept cars, the bulletproof limo the White House ordered the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the specially built Ferrari used in the TV show Magnum P.I., specially built so actor Tom Selleck could fit inside the cars tight cockpit.

Take the bus… to Blytheville, Arkansas

A national exhibition of antique buses and coaches converted into motor homes will be held April 4-6, 2013, at the historic Greyhound bus terminal in Blytheville, Arkansas. The event is called “Ghosts of Highway 61, Dixie Tour 2013.”

Among the coaches scheduled to participate is the recently restored 1949 Flxible DuMont Television “Telecruiser” that is believed to have been used as a mobile unit for ABC-affiliate KBTV Channel 8 of Dallas coverage of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963.

For more information, see www.ghostsofhtehighway.com, from which we borrow the photo of the ’49 Flxible DuMont unit.

Auction helps save military museum and creates room for more displays

Dean Kruse may have stumbled in the late stages of his career as a classic car auctioneer, but his dream of a museum preserving American military machinery not only will live on but will be able to expand in scope in the aftermath of an auction at what is now known as the National Military History Center in Auburn, Indiana.

Kruse searched throughout Europe to find tanks, trucks, rocket launchers and other military equipment used in World War II but discarded after the war. He bought nearly 200 vehicles and was ready to ship them to the museum he was building in northeastern Indiana when 911 occurred.

In the aftermath, instead of merely shipping his purchases, Kruse needed an act of Congress to allow the import of his used military equipment. But the bill passed and Kruse’s purchases arrived and his museum opened.

However, along with the rest of his holdings, the museum suffered financial setbacks and faced a mortgage of some $2.9 million. To pay that mortgage, keep the museum operating and to make room for military equipment not only from WWII but from other wars, including the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars, the museum staged an auction, selling some 80 vehicles — nearly half of Kruse’s collection — as well as WWII uniforms and other military gear from that era.

The auction, managed by Auctions America by RM, generated hammer sales of more than $2.97 million.

The top sales included $200,000 for a Daimler-Benz DB10 half-track troop carrier, $160,000 for a Haromag armored 3/4 track, $150 for a Horch 4×4 cross-country personnel car, and $145 for a Borgward half-track.

Several of the pieces were bought for display at a museum in Europe. Several bidders said they participate in WWII battle reenactments that are becoming popular in the United States. (One man said his son and daughter-in-law are re-enactors — medic and nurse — and that he wants to participate as well, but not as an infantryman and that people who bring veteran vehicles to such events automatically earn higher rank.)

Others bidders said they planned to drive their purchases in parades and to display them at shows and other events. Still others said they simply wanted the 4×4 capabilities of the retired military equipment to enjoy on land they owned.

ClassicCars.com Expands Industry-Leading Certification Program to Embrace Auto Dealers

Phoenix, Arizona, June 30, 2011 (PRNewswire) – ClassicCars.com, the world’s largest online classic vehicle marketplace, today announced the expansion of its first-in-the-industry Certified Classic Vehicle(TM) program to include dealer inventory.  Initially, certification was available only to private sellers.  Enhancements to the program now allow classic and collector car dealers the opportunity to certify any number of vehicles on their lots, whether those vehicles are dealer-owned inventory or consignment inventory.  In a related announcement, ClassicCars.com also introduced a credit program for qualified dealers, enabling them to certify as many as fifty vehicles on their lots with no up-front costs.

Listings for ClassicCars.com Certified Classic Vehicles receive preferred placement in search results and bear an exclusive certification seal that clearly distinguishes them from non-certified vehicles.  Certified listings include a copy of the signed inspection report in Adobe PDF format along with other details about the vehicle’s certification and its buyer benefits.

Dealer-specific enhancements to the Certified Classic Vehicle program include on-vehicle and in-showroom promotional materials such as window clings, brochures, and posters.  A comprehensive training kit for sales staff is also available for dealers accepted into the program.

Certified dealer vehicles undergo the same comprehensive 50-point inspection by an independent ASE-certified technician that private seller vehicles do, and they are offered with the same 3-month/3,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and one year of nationwide roadside assistance at no additional cost to the buyer.  The inspection, certification, warranty, and roadside assistance program are paid for by the dealer (for dealer-owned inventory) or by the consignor (for consigned inventory).  The certification process typically takes two to three days, and once certified, the vehicle remains certified until sold.  Not every vehicle qualifies for certification; only those in sound mechanical condition as determined by the independent ASE-certified technician earn certification.

The warranty and roadside assistance program take effect upon the vehicle’s sale and are written in the buyer’s name.  The program’s powertrain warranty covers mechanical engine components, the transmission, and the drive axle.  Emergency roadside services include towing, battery service, flat tire assistance, fluid delivery, and lock-out assistance for a full year.

“We see a great deal of pent-up demand among dealers for additional ways to gain a competitive edge,” said Roger Falcione, ClassicCars.com President and CEO.  “We’re thrilled to offer this service to our dealer network.”

Dealer reaction has been positive.  “I am excited to offer the certification program for many of our classics,” said Harry Clark, owner of Classic Promenade, a specialty dealer in Temecula, California.  “More than half of our business is overseas or from across the country and it is rare that the buyers have an opportunity to fly out to personally inspect before buying.  The independent certification offers our clients peace of mind.  This will certainly increase our sales velocity and offers terrific value to our clients.”

More information about the ClassicCars.com Vehicle Certification Program may be found at http://classiccars.com/certification.  Dealers interested in applying for the ClassicCars.com Certified Classic Vehicle program should contact Alan Gill at 480-285-1600.

About ClassicCars.com

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, ClassicCars.com is devoted to helping automotive enthusiasts as they purchase, sell, restore, and maintain their most prized possessions. Featuring more than 25,000 vehicles for sale by private sellers, auction houses, and specialty dealerships around the world, ClassicCars.com is home to the world’s largest online selection of classic and collector vehicles for sale.   ClassicCars.com is also home to the classic car industry’s first and only certification program, the ClassicCars.com Certified Classic Vehicle(tm) program.  With high-profile industry partners including Hemmings Motor News, Cars.com, TraderOnline, the National Street Rod Association, and JamesList, ClassicCars.com is a vibrant marketplace for lovers of classic cars, trucks, motorcycles, and specialty vehicles.

 

For more information:

Call: (480) 285-1600

Email: press@classiccars.com