As he approaches the age of 90, Larry Klairmont has run out of room and has commissioned Leake Auction Company to disperse some 150 cars that will be offered at no reserve at Leake’s next auction, June 5-7 at the Tulsa Fairgrounds in Oklahoma.
The cars will come from the Klairmont Kollection, a two-story, 150,000-square-foot museum on the west side of Chicago.
According to a video on his Kollection website, Klairmont lived with his grandmother during the Depression and was a teenager heading to a Chicago Bears football game when he heard the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He enlisted in the Navy and was transferred to the Marines, where he was a platoon leader and was wounded twice in the Pacific.
After the war, he built his own dry-cleaning business – literally built it with pipes and wood salvaged from a junk yard. When he sold the business, he owned 110 stores. He then invested in real estate, but “I always liked cars” and 15 years ago went to an auction and bought “a bunch.”
His collection eventually grew to some 500 vehicles – cars, motorcycles and scooters – making it one of the largest in the Midwest.
Klairmont’s interest spans the automotive spectrum and his eclectic interests are reflected in the cars being sold through Leake.