Robert Tybor is a finance and strategic economist with entrepreneurial and venture-capital experience in the hi-tech and healthcare industries. But he’s also a car collector.
“I look at industries and I look at trends and possibilities, and I looked at the world of auctioning and there’s a whole trend toward auctioning,” Tybor said.
And that trend looks so good and so strong to Tybor that he recruited former California real estate commissioner Jeff Davi and together they created JR-Auctions, which will stage its first sale this August during Monterey Car Week.
That week already includes auctions by RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams, Goodings, Rick Cole, Mecum and by Russo & Steele, as well as numerous car shows, vintage car races and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
But JR’s it won’t just be classic and collector cars at offer. JR’s first event is the Cannery Row Auto & Yacht Auction, but there also will be other things up for bidding, including art and jewelry.
“I live in Monterey and had been buying cars for a hobby,” said Tybor, whose personal classic car interests tend toward Porsches, older Fiats and ’50s Ford pickup trucks. He says at age 45 he’s not all that experienced in the hobby yet, so his automotive tastes are still in development.
But it is his perspective as an economist, he said, that drew him to add yet another auction to the Monterey calendar.
“I’m surprised more people aren’t into this,” he said, adding that collectibles as investments is a growing marketplace and their buying and selling amounts, he said, to something of “a local stock market” into which people are putting their hard assets.
“It’s an interesting industry when you start getting involved on the street level with the collectors,” Tybor said. “I’m meeting a lot of interesting individuals with a lot of cars.”
Tybor said the world of classic car enthusiasts reminds him of the world of art collectors, with very serious collectors, with the “average hobbyist” and with people who buy just one special car.
The inaugural JR sale will be held at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa on Cannery Row at Monterey Bay, where the available yachts will be anchored. Tybor called the JR sale a boutique auction.
“Our venue is a small, boutique-type venue. We can’t have more than 200 cars and we’re not even forecasting that. We’re way under that number. I’m looking for quality,” he said, and for bidders who are “looking for a certain type of consignment.”
Tybor said he believes “there’s enough business for everyone” and with its varied docket, he said JR hopes to “cross-pollinate the art audience with the car audience.”
JR’s plans call for sales to be conducted between noon and 4 p.m. August 12-15 with themed receptions each evening and a big gala-style event Friday evening including an outdoor concert.