Classic Car Season Heats Up Coast-to-Coast
By Larry Edsall
As warm weather spreads across the country, classic cars emerge from their garages like butterflies from their cocoons. While butterflies stretch their wings and begin to fly, for classic cars this is the time to be shined and showed - or even sold.
While those cars won’t be sold at auctions run by Dean Kruse and Kruse Inc., there has to be optimism among those consigning at other bid-to-buy events.
KRUSE AUCTION LICENSE REVOKED
The Indiana Auctioneer Commission has revoked Kruse Inc.’s auction license on a permanent basis, and unanimously rejected as too lenient a proposal merely to suspend Dean Kruse’s personal auctioneer license for a period of six to nine months.
Kruse and his company were called before the commission on 70 counts of failing to pay consignors whose vehicles had been sold at Kruse auctions.
COAST-TO-COAST CLASSIC CAR ACTION
What’s a car guy (or gal) to do? You can only be in one place at any given time, yet here’s just a partial list of what’s happening the weekend of June 25-27, moving across the country from the Atlantic Coast to the shores of the Pacific:
- In Rhinebeck, New York, the Goodguys East Coast Nationals.
- In Washington, D.C., the 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo.
- In St. Charles, Illinois, the Bloomington Gold Corvettes and Survivor Collector Car shows and a Mecum auction.
- In Pueblo, Colorado, the National Street Rod Association Rocky Mountain Nationals Plus.
- In Costa Mesa, California, the inaugural Barrett-Jackson Orange County auction.
- In Dana Point, California, the Dana Point concours d’elegance.
HISTORIC CORVETTE APPROACHES $1 MILLION MARK
Not only did Mecum’s 23rd Original Spring Classic auction in Indianapolis top the $41 million mark in total sales – with a sell-through rate of 66 percent of the more than 1000 vehicles offered – but the top car-buying bids were downright impressive.
For example, the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, a one-off created especially for GM design chief Harley Earl, brought $925,000, a 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger convertible went for three-quarters of a million and a 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 sold for $625,000.
Also among the top-10 sales were a trio of Pontiacs. A 1963 Tempest Coupe Super Duty (Super Duty being Pontiacspeak for factory-prepared drag racer) went for $455,000 and a 1963 Super Duty Tempest station wagon brought $450,000. A 1965 GeeTO Tiger went for a quarter-million bucks.
Dana Mecum said his largest annual auction drew “a high-energy crowd and eager bidders.”
SPEAKING OF PONTIACS
RM’s Classic Muscle & Modern Performance auction this month in San Diego will feature four Pontiac Trans Ams from Jim Wangers’ personal collection. Wangers, of course, was the marketing genius the original GTO. Also crossing the block at the one-day auction will be 17 of those famed GTOs,
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
Gooding isn’t the auction house is with own iPhone app. Barrett-Jackson has rolled out its own mobile device application which has a Next On Block feature that alerts you to the vehicles about to roll across the block so you don’t miss bidding on your dream machine.
The Barrett-Jackson app was beta-tested during the Palm Beach event and will be up and running in late just for the inaugural Orange County Collector Car Auction.
AUTO LITERATURE FAIR MOVES
The annual automotive literature fair, a highlight of the southern California classic car calendar, moves this year to the Automobile Driving Museum, 610 Lairport Street in El Segundo. Vendors will all sorts of classic car literature set up between 7 and 9 a.m. with the sale running from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 27.
‘DRAGGINS’ READY TO BREATH FIRE
The Goodguys’ summer racing season opens June 11-13 with the 22nd Hot Rod Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park west of Indianapolis, where more than 20 cars are entered in the Nostalgia Top Fuel or Nostalgia Funny Car classes. There also are a dozen Sportsman categories for vintage drag racers.
Other dates in the series are August 20-22 at Norwalk, Ohio and October 15-17 at Bowling Green, Kentucky.
LAKESTERS AND BONNEVILLE RACERS AT PEBBLE BEACH
Yes, the 60th Pebble Beach concours d’elegance in August will honor such things as the 75th anniversary of Jaguar and the centennial of Alfa Romeo, will feature Pierce-Arrows and showcase cars designed by Ghia of Italy. But there also will be several special classes, including the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, the centennial of the Indianapolis 500, pre-war American motorcycles and hot-rod lakesters and Bonneville racers.
The lakesters and Bonneville racers class will include cars built and raced between 1927 and 1953, considered the halcyon days of dry lakes racing when, “young men with little money but remarkable intuitive engineering and a lot of enthusiasm built cars in their backyards that rivaled the performance of the best in the world.”
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Now that www.classiccars.com has launched its gigantic classic car calendar, instead of listing a few upcoming events here, we're simply closing with a link to the searchable calendar with all the bells and whistles, including maps to guide you to the events: Click here for event calendar
Click here for more articles by Larry Edsall.