Christmas present from the Petersen: The vault is open for tours
By Larry Edsall
The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has a Christmas present for car guys and gals: Starting December 15, the museum opened its vault, the underground section of its parking structure where it stores vehicles that are not on display in the exhibitions inside the museum proper.
There are dozens of vehicles in those exhibitions, but that still leaves two or three hundred hidden away -- until now.
"It's a part of the museum that has become almost legend," said Chris Brown, the museum's information and marketing manager. "If you're an enthusiast, you've heard about the vault of great cars at the Petersen. We get more and more people who keep asking, ‘hey, how do I get down in the vault? "
You now can do that by signing up for a guided tour. Each tour is limited to 10 people, runs for 90 minutes and costs $25, plus the regular museum admission.
At the moment, those tours are offered only on weekends. But, Brown promised, "if it proves to be as popular as we hope it is, we'll extend it throughout the week."
Brown and the museum's new director, Terry Karges, recently offered me a pre-tour sneak peek of the vault and it was amazing to see what's there, including several cars formerly owned by Steve McQueen, a couple of concept cars, the bulletproof limo the White House ordered the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the specially built Ferrari used in the TV show Magnum P.I., specially built so actor Tom Selleck could fit inside the cars tight cockpit.
MV Agusta motorcycle collection goes back on the auction block
Remember that collection of more than 70 classic MV Agusta motorcycles offered as a single lot at Mecum's auction in Monterey in August? Well, the high bid was $850,000, but that didn't meet the reserve. So now those bikes will be offered as individual lots at the annual MidAmerica Auctions event January 10-12 at the South Point Casino and Exhibit Hall in Las Vegas.
The action that weekend in Vegas also includes the annual Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction, where the docket includes a 1939 BMW RS 255 Kompressor, the 1902 Rambler Model B, the only surviving 1905 Leo Two-Cycle, Steve McQueen's 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross and a collection of cut-away engines, hubs and motor wheels from a variety of manufacturers.
The Bonhams sale takes place at Bally's Hotel & Casino.
Mecum generates $11.5 million at Kansas City
Mecum Auctions wrapped up 2012 with an event in Kansas City that achieved a 65-percent sell-through rate and $11.5 million in sales of 520 lots.
The top sale was a tie -- a 2012 Chevrolet COPO Camaro and a 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 428 Twister Edition each sold for $140,000. A 351 Twister Mustang went for $130,000.
The auction as Mecum's 16th of the year.
Dan Kruse Houston event does $1.5 million
Dan Kruse Classics' second-annual Houston auction had a 50-percent sell-through and total sales of $1.46 million, led by a 1957 Jaguar XK140 roadster that sold for $75,600. The event was held in conjunction with the O'Reilly Auto Parts AutoRama at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
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