Eye Candy: Leake Auction’s Oklahoma City sale 2016

Cars crossing the block on the final day of the sale were parked in Barn 4 | Larry Edsall photos
Cars crossing the block on the final day of the sale were parked in Barn 4 | Larry Edsall photos

Leake Auction Company stages its annual Oklahoma City classic car sale at the Panhandle State’s fairgrounds, which are conveniently located between the state capital city’s downtown skyline and its Will Rogers Airport. But that location isn’t the only convenient thing about the sale and its venue.

Concurrent with the collector car auction in the Cox Pavilion, the Friends of the Library stages its annual used-book sale in Expo Hall 2 and the OKC Public Market is in the Modern Living Building for its monthly antiques and collectibles market, which draws dealers from across not just the state and region but from across the country.

Meanwhile, the 38th annual the Oklahoma State junior wrestling championships — a big deal in a state with a proud tradition in amateur (Olympic and collegiate-style) wreslting were being contested in the Jim Norrick Arena.

What that all meant was that for some auction attendees, he could spend his day with the cars while she could wander over to the book or antique sales.

At one point Saturday, I was sitting at the auction next to a man whose wife had gone and come (bringing him lunch) and had gone again and now was back — though not for long. She’d been antique shopping and came back to see how much cash he had. He had a twenty and a hundred. She took the Benjamin and off she went.

But there was more to see even just at the auction than what was happening within the main pavilion where Leake had two auction blocks running.

Just across the courtyard, the 100 cars from the Tom Falbo Collection were on display in the Centennial Building and just across the street behind the pavilion, cars that couldn’t fit within the Cox building were in Barn 4, a large, modern, and concrete-floored labyrinth of a structure where instead of the usual stalls for horses, horsepower was on display this weekend.

Next year, however, the Leake Auction figures to be consolidated in a single building, the new Expo Center being constructed at the fairgrounds. It will provide 290,000 square feet under a single roof, more than four times the room available in the Cox building.

The tale of the “elevator” Lincoln: The “elevator” Lincoln is a 1978 Mark V Diamond Jubilee Edition that a man bought for his wife for their wedding anniversary. However, when his wife died just a few days later,  the widower decided to put the car away in their garage. Three years later he became ill and shipped the car — which had been driven fewer than 20 miles — to a friend who had a warehouse where it could be stored. The story goes that the Lincoln is 19-feet, 6-inches long,  three inches longer than the warehouse’s elevator, or that the elevator couldn’t deal with the car’s weight. Either way, car and elevator became stuck between floors and were left there for nearly 20 years before someone finally decided to remove and sell the car. With that story shared with bidders, and with the 38-year-old car still showing only 40 miles driven on its odometer, the car sold at the Leake Auction for an astounding but heartwarming $57,200.

Photos by Larry Edsall

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