‘This was our first year in Detroit and we do believe that Detroit will be a prosperous market for us,” Richard Sevenoaks, president of Lakes Auction Company, said in the aftermath of the family firm’s inaugural Motor City collector car auction.
However, the auction wasn’t very prosperous in its first year, with total sales of $1.5 million and a sub-50 percent sell-through rate.
“We are impressed with Detroit, the hospitality we received, and the fantastic venue,” Sevenoaks said in a news release. “Everyone with the MotorCity Casino Hotel worked to help us bring this auction to fruition.
“In addition to their staff, we met many people who worked hard on our behalf to make this a great inaugural event. We had new buyers and consignors who were excited to be a part of our auction. Detroit is a beautiful place and has so much to offer. It is Motor City after all!”
However, Sevenoaks continued, “August and September are busy months in this area with the Woodward and Hines Cruise events as well as the NSRA Street Rod Nationals. As we build this auction and invest in this area, we will compare our dates with other events.
The sale had the venue and the cars to offer but the turnout of bidders was lower than anticipated. Bidding also was hampered by the fact that cars were limited to less fuel in their tanks than is typical at auction venues and many vehicles were not allowed into the building and onto the block but had to remain outdoors while bidding took place indoors.
The top-dollar sale of the auction was a 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL that sold for $115,500 (prices include buyer’s premium). A 1936 Cadillac Series 80 brought $97,900, a 1965 Chevrolet Nova Dobbertin drag racing custom went for $93,500, a 2007 ASV ’32 Ford street rod was purchased for $79,200 and a 1956 Oldsmobile 98 Starfire convertible went for $77,000.
Three vehicles were sold to benefit charities. A 1941 Cadillac Series 62 earned $66,000 and a 1989 Cadillac Seville added another $2,200 for the Cadillac & LaSalle Club Museum and a 1931 Ford Model A-400 brought $36,300 for the Classic Car Club of American Museum. Both of those museums are on the grounds of the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. The CCCA museum is undergoing a renovation to enhance the environment within its vehicle display area.
Leake Auction Company’s next sale is November 18-20 at Market Hall in Dallas, Texas.