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By Larry Edsall
Back to ClassicCars.com Community

A tiny Texas town hopes to reclaim fame by celebrating classic cars
By Larry Edsall

Larry Edsall at ClassicCars.com For much of its length, the Red River separates Texas and Oklahoma. Nocona is a Texas town just south of the river, and in its heyday was known for producing cowboy boots and baseball gloves.

Native son Pete Horton is working to revive the town's acclaim, and is doing it with classic cars.

Horton, a veteran of the oil and wire line service industry, has restored several buildings in town -- including old Ford and Chevrolet dealerships -- and has filled a couple of them with his 120-vehicle (and growing) car collection.

During the weekend of April 19-20, Nocona, population around 3,000, will celebrate not only Horton's classics but hundreds of others as well with Cruisin' Nocona. Events include a Classic Car Poker Run and a 200-lot Vicara Classic & Muscle Car auction.

Featured vehicles at the auction will include a 1964 Pontiac GTO "Tri-Power" convertible, a pair of Chevrolet Corvettes -- a '62 "Big Brake" coupe and a '63 split window Z06 -- that have been stored since the 1980s, and several golf karts designed to mimic classic cars, including a '34 Ford, '57 Chevy, '57 Thunderbird and even a Ford F-250 pickup truck. For details, visit www.vicariauction.com.

RM selling Don Davis Collection

A week after and some 90 miles to the south of the celebration in Nocona, another sort of classic car festival will take place when RM auctions the Don Davis Collection at Fort Worth. Davis started collecting cars about the same time he opened his first new-car dealership. Eventually, he owned a dozen dealerships and dozens of outstanding classics.

More than 60 vehicles will be offered at the no-reserve auction, including the 1941 Chrysler Newport Indianapolis 500 Pacemaker (the actual pace car and the only Newport built with exposed headlamps), one of two 1954 Chrysler GS-1 Specials, a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS, a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider, 1967 Toyota 2000GT, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing and '57 and '61 300SL roadsters, and several 1950s and ‘60s American classics. See www.rmauctions.com for details.

And more upcoming auction action

In addition to the auctions previewed above, the annual Branson Auction is April 12-13, Auctions America at the Spring Carlisle event and Mecum is at Kansas City the weekend of April 25-26, and Bonhams has a motorcycle sale in England April 28 and the RAM Museum at Hendon classic car sale the following day.

Larry Edsall at ClassicCars.com Barrett-Jackson's $21+ million boosts Florida season total

Barrett-Jackson closed out the Florida portion of the 2013 classic and collectible car auction season with the sale of more than $21-million at its 11th annual Palm Beach event.

Add that total to $120 million generated by auctions earlier this year and the season's total for Sunshine State tallies more than $151 million.

Now, add that to the $200 million generated in January in Arizona, and to the totals generated elsewhere around the country already this year -- including the Mecum sale at Houston (see below) -- and the 2013 sales season is off to a very good start.

"We kicked off the year strong in Scottsdale and are thrilled that our 11th year at Palm Beach has kept that momentum going," said Craig Jackson. "We were able to offer a unique lineup of rare, high-end automobiles that helped to bring out an enthusiastic crowd and we are proud to see that the collector car hobby is going strong. We're very pleased with the event's overall results."

The auction attracted 55,000 people despite severe thunderstorms. To make the event auction more attractive to new collectors, Barrett-Jackson staged an "introductory auction" featuring what figured to be more affordable classics on the Thursday of the auction weekend.

The high-dollar sale of the weekend was $1 million for the first 2014 Chevrolet corvette Stingray convertible. The first new C7 Corvette coupe was offered for sale at Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale event. Both cars sold for charity, with the convertible's sale benefiting the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Some $1.8 million was generated for charities at the auction, with a 2009 Ford F-150 King Ranch Super Crew pickup truck formerly owned by President George W. Bush brining $350,000 for the National Guard Youth Foundation.

Other top sales included $330,000 for a 1968 Shelby GT500 Ford Mustang convertible, $275,000 for a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 convertible and $258,500 for a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 convertible.

Mecum exceeds $25 million in auction at Houston

Mecum's sale at Houston sent more than one thousand vehicles across the block, generated a 72-percent sell-through race and sales exceeding $25 million.

The high-dollar sale was $200,000 for a 12970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 fastback still with its original drivetrain and interior. Next was the $185,000 total for a 1931 Cadillac V12 roadster.

Other top sales included $140,000 for a 1954 Buick Skylark, $135,000 for a resto-modded 1959 Chevrolet Corvette, $130,000 for a 2009 Dodge Challenger and $125,000 each for a 1967 Corvette coupe and a 1972 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS.

By the way, if you think that 72-percent sell-though is impressive, consider that while part of the Mecum crew was in Houston, others were in Davenport, Iowa, for the Spring Gone Farmin' vintage tractor auction, where 98 percent of vehicles offered went to new owners.

Larry Edsall at ClassicCars.com '67 Nova SS takes top honors at Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte

Fifty car clubs from the Charlotte, North Carolina, area were invited to display cars that annual Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Henry Brock's 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS took best-in-show honors.

The project started with Brock helping a buddy restore his car, but Brock liked the Nova so much he decided not to just help with the restoration, but to take it over.

"He brought it by my house and that's as far as it got," Brock said. "I made it mine instead of his" in a restoration effort that consumed five years -- and two paint colors.

Brock had the car painted gold, but decided he didn't like it, so his wife, Mary, picked the fusion orange shade.

Each of the car clubs participating in the Food Lion AutoFair was judged individually, with a Best of Show picked for each club.

Celebrating Corvettes new and old at Bowling Green

The "Bash" takes place April 25-27 at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and this year celebrates the new C7 Stingray with a series of seminars by the car's engineers and designers. Also on the agenda is a session with the Corvette Racing team, a seminar on C4, C5 and C6 Corvettes, and much more. For details, visit www.corvettemuseum.org/registration/bash/info.shtml.

Voisin exhibit extended at the Mullin museum

The Voisin exhibit at the Mullin Museum in Oxnard, California, isn't closing as planned, but because of on-going demand from visitors, will remain on display through June 25.

Auto movie nights scheduled at the LeMay

The LeMay, America's Car Museum, plans a series of auto movie nights and drive-in events at its Kirkland and Tacoma, Washington, club houses. The events began April 11 with "The Italian Job" and continue April 25 with "The Transporter."

Click here for event calendar.

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