ACD trio already consigned for Auctions America’s Labor Day sale

The ACD trio headed across the block at Labor Day weekend auction | Auctions America photos by Tyler Allen
The ACD trio headed across the block at Labor Day weekend auction | Auctions America photos by Tyler Allen

Auburn, Indiana, has been the home of the Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg brands, all of which are celebrated each Labor Day weekend with a massive festival in the northeast Indiana community. That celebration includes a huge collector car auction at Auburn Auction Park and Auctions America already has an ACD triumvirate for its sale docket.

Leading the early consignments for the 750-vehicle auction are an Auburn Twelve Custom Phaeton, a Cord 812 Phateon and the only Duesenberg Model J originally fitted with Fleetwood coachwork, the auction house announced. Continue reading

Eclectic sells well for Auctions America at Auburn Spring

The docket was varied for the annual Auburn Spring sale | Auctions America photos
The docket was varied for the annual Auburn Spring sale | Auctions America photos

With a top-10 sales list packed with Ferrari race cars from the Level 5 stable, World War II-era military vehicles, a Cunningham hearse and such standards as a pre-war Packard, a Shelby Mustang and Porsche GT3, Auctions America’s Auburn Spring sale featured an eclectic and well-received docket.

Overall, 83 percent of the lots went to new owners last weekend with total sales of $10.2 million, one of the highest figures in the auction’s history. Continue reading

Nothing Mickey Mouse about car folks doing good

Mickey Mouse and his new Hot Doggin hot rod | Disney photo by Matt Alexander/PA Wire
Mickey Mouse and his new Hot Doggin hot rod | Disney photo by Matt Alexander/PA Wire

‘Goodonya.” Technically the expression is “good on ya,” but on my trips to Australia, it sure sounded as though folks were pronouncing a single word of encourage and agreement and approval for someone who had done something praiseworthy.

With that in mind, permit me to say “goodonyas” to Kevin Cornish and Deb Pollack. And to Dana Mecum and John Andretti. And to a consignor at Auctions America.

I moved from Michigan to Phoenix as the country was in full Y2K, the sky is falling panic mode. One of my early duties was to cover the collector car auctions taking place and I remember people talking even then about how Arizona needed a concours d’elegance and maybe even a vintage racing weekend.

There was lots of such talk, though precious little beyond that, in the ensuing years, at least that was the case until a local car collector named Kevin Cornish put words into action, formed a committee and launched the Arizona Concours d’Elegance. Sadly, after only four years, that event succumbs to a lack of sponsorship.

Nonetheless, in just four years the event featured some of the world’s finest automobiles, and in the magnificent yet intimate setting of the inner grounds of the Arizona Biltmore resort, and perhaps most importantly, raised $300,000 for Make-A-Wish, money that enabled 30 children facing life-threatening illnesses to have their wishes come true, even if only for a day.

Deb Pollack and those who drove toward a cure
Deb Pollack and those who drove toward a cure

And then there’s Deb Pollack, an auto-oriented public relations professional I’ve known for more years than either of us is eager to admit. Complications from Parkinson’s disease claimed Deb’s mother in 2006. Last month, Deb overcame grief with gumption by staging the first Drive Toward a Cure auto rally and convinced 36 car owners to take their choice of routes — south from the Bay area or north from Los Angeles, meeting in Paso Robles a few days and several hundred miles later.

There were various events along the routes, including an autocross in which a skillfully driven 2017 Subaru Outback posted a time faster than any of the exotic vehicles in the field.

From what I’ve heard, a good time was had by all, and in the process $25,000 is being donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center. Deb’s planning another such rally this fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains with the finish line at the second Atlanta Concours d’Elegance, and hopes to stage more such events, including similar rallies in Europe.

Did you know that Mickey Mouse is a car guy?

London cabbie reacts to seeing Mickey and his new hot rod
London cabbie reacts to seeing Mickey and his new hot rod

Turns out that the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has been replaced by Mickey and the Roadster Racers on the Disney Junior and Disney Channels, with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy and Pluto racing around Hot Dog Hills and other locations.

One of the characters on the animated program is race announcer Billy Beagle, whose voice you might recognize (it’s Jay Leno).

Turn out, as well, that Mickey’s car, the Hot Doggin Hot Rod, has emerged from the television screen to become a running vehicle that was unveiled last week to a British audience at the London Motor Show 2017. Sometime this month, an episode of the program features Mickey and company chasing down a thief who steals the Queen’s crown jewels.

Speaking of racing and the month of May…

Mecum Auctions, which stages its 30th annual Dana Mecum’s Original Spring Classic sale May 16-20 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, will sponsor Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s No. 24 Chevrolet-powered car and driver Sage Karam in the 101st Indianapolis 500.

Mecum Auctions sponsors Indy entry | Mecum photo
Mecum Auctions sponsors Indy entry | Mecum photo

Mecum sponsored the historic Dreyer & Reinbold car in 2012, with Oriol Servia driving to a fourth-place finish.

By the way, Karam, 22, is from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, the hometown of the Andretti family.

The Dreyer & Reinbold team traces its roots to the 1920s and Indy car builder Floyd “Pop” Dreyer. Dennis Reinbold is Dreyer’s grandson and has been fielding cars for the 500 since 2000.

Dana Mecum also has a long history with Indy cars, collecting them and each year leading the Millers at Milwaukee vintage racing weekend. Last summer, two of Mecum’s vintage Indy racers were on the 18th fairway for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where his 1965 Ford GT40 roadster also was part of the featured Ford GT40 50th anniversary Le Mans victory class.

Speaking of auctions and Indiana and the month of May…

1947 Dodge pickup
1947 Dodge pickup

Two of the cars on the docket at Auctions America’s Auburn Spring sale this weekend in northeast Indiana are being sold to benefit the automotive restoration technology program at McPherson College in Kansas. The vehicles are a 1947 Dodge pickup (Lot 3134) and a 1932 Ford three-window street-rod coupe (Lot 3135).

Each car has a pre-sale estimated value of $20,000 to $30,000.

Speaking of things most people would prefer to ignore…

In my first professional lifetime, I wrote about sports. Primarily stick-and-ball sports, but also about auto racing. One of the things that makes writing about auto racing different from writing about other sports is that sometimes, too often, your stories become obituaries for drivers for whom the checkered flag has flown too soon.

Knee injuries are debilitating. Death is fatal, and final.

Try as we do, even the most objective of journalists cannot help but establish friendships with some of the people about whom they write. For me, one of those people has been John Andretti, son of Aldo, nephew of Mario, cousin of Michael, husband of Nancy, father of Olivia and Jarett and Amelia.

John may be the most versatilely successful racer in history, having raced not only Indy cars and stock cars and Le Mans-style prototypes but also a Top Fuel drag racer. And he survived it all.

But now, at age 54, and ready to walk a daughter down the aisle at her wedding, he’s been diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer, and it has spread to his liver and, at last report, doctors fear to his spleen as well.

As might be expected, John is fighting the disease, and his fight includes going public and using his celebrity to encourage everyone to get screened, and to do so years earlier than usual.

“You don’t know,” John told the Indianapolis Star newspaper. “Nobody knows until they get screened.

“I’m glad people are taking this as a wakeup call,” he added.

RM Sotheby’s upgrades one auction, but cancels another

Historic Barker Hangar again will be the site of the now-RM Sotheby's auction | Auctions America photo
Historic Barker Hangar again will be the site of the now-RM Sotheby’s auction | Auctions America photo

RM Sotheby’s is adding a collector car auction to its calendar but eliminating another. The company announced Tuesday that it will take over presentation of the fifth annual Santa Monica, California, sale previously staged by its subsidiary Auctions America.

However, RM Sotheby’s will not stage the sale it has done for some 20 years in conjunction with the Concours d’Elegance of American in the Detroit suburbs, although it will continue as an event sponsor and will have a showcase of cars at the Inn at St. John’s. Continue reading

Big guns: Military vehicles join Auburn auction docket

This 1941 Krupp 8.8cm Flak 36 artillery gun is among the museum pieces headed to auction | Auctions America photos by Teddy Pieper
This 1941 Krupp 8.8cm Flak 36 artillery gun is among the museum pieces headed to auction | Auctions America photos by Teddy Pieper

Five years ago, Auctions America managed an on-site auction at the National Military History Center in Auburn, Indiana, generating $2.97 million in sales so the museum could pay off its mortgage.

Next month, 15 more military vehicles, each formerly displayed at the museum, will be offered up for bidding at Auction America’s annual Auburn Spring sale, being held just across the street — well, on the other side of the Interstate highway — at the Auburn Auction Grounds. Continue reading

Mustang Boss 429 muscle-car icons head to Indiana auctions

The Mustang Boss 429 at Auctions America has been repaint its factory Royal Maroon | Auctions America
The Mustang Boss 429 at Auctions America is a low-mileage survivor | Auctions America

Limited-production rarity, ferocious capabilities and uniquely aggressive styling, the 1969-70 Ford Mustang Boss 429 is a true icon of the muscle-car era, an A-List celebrity applauded everywhere it goes.

Yet the Boss 429 was an unlikely creation, a piece of high-performance art built by necessity. Just 1,358 of them were produced during the two model years, and they are highly sought after today, not just by Ford enthusiasts but by collectors who recognize how very special they are. Continue reading

Not fake news: Trump’s Ferrari soars at Auctions America sale

The Ferrari F430 F1 originally owned by Donald Trump crosses the block | Auctions America photos
The Ferrari F430 F1 originally owned by Donald Trump crosses the block | Auctions America photos

A low-mileage 2007 Ferrari F430 F1 coupe formerly owned by the President of the United States received a major Trump bump at auction last weekend. Auctions America sold the Ferrari, along with its vehicle title bearing the name Donald J. Trump, for $270,000, about $100,000 above its non-celebrity value, during the annual auction in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The President’s Ferrari landed in fifth place among the highest-selling cars at the auction, which reached $17.3 million in sales, with 76 percent of more than 400 vehicles sold. Continue reading

President’s Ferrari, astronaut’s Cadillac likely to draw interest from Auctions America’s ‘Iron-enriched’ bidder pool

Donald Trump was the original owner of this 2007 Ferrari going to auction | Auctions America photo by Dirk de Jager
Donald Trump was the original owner of this 2007 Ferrari going to auction | Auctions America photo by Dirk de Jager

Auctions America stages its 15th annual Fort Lauderdale collector car sale March 31-April 2 — and this is no April Fool’s Joke: Expect there to be much more interest in a couple of cars with significant ownership history than might otherwise be expected at such an auction.

The cars are a 2007 Ferrari F430 F1 coupe and a 2000 Cadillac Deville DHS sedan, neither of which might normally cause all that much excitement at a classic car auction. However, the Caddy was originally owned by the late astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn and the Ferrari’s original owner was a future U.S. President, Donald “Make America Great Again” (by buying an Italian car?) Trump. Continue reading

25-year wait might be worth it for this taste of Cappuccino

1991 Suzuki Cappuccino is on the docket at Fort Lauderdale | Auctions America photos
1991 Suzuki Cappuccino is on the docket at Fort Lauderdale | Auctions America photos

When I was one of the editors of AutoWeek magazine, we used to do a semi-regular feature called NFUSS, short for Not For U.S. Sale. These were cars we’d have loved to drive, and for our readers to drive as well, if only they had they been available in the United States automotive market instead of being restricted to their Asian or European homelands.

One of the cars we were eager to feature was the Suzuki Cappuccino, launched in 1991 after being teased two years earlier at the Tokyo Motor Show. Continue reading

AACA, CCCA to share historic national meet at Auburn, Indiana

'Triple Crown' event will be joint meet of CCCA and AACA this spring in Auburn, Indiana | Auctions America image
‘Triple Crown’ event will be joint meet of CCCA and AACA this spring in Auburn, Indiana | Auctions America image

An historic event is scheduled to take place May 11-13 when the Antique Automobile Club of America and the Classic Car Club of America plan to stage their first joint national meet. The “Triple Crown” Meet is to be held in conjunction with Auctions America’s annual Auburn Spring weekend at the Auburn Auction Park in northeastern Indiana. Continue reading