We have classic cars. Europe has "historic motoring." For the third year, a British bank and magazine have sponsored the International Historic Motoring Awards to "celebrate 'the best of the best' in what is now a multi-billion global industry."
The event of the year award was shared by the Amelia Island concours d'elegance and the VHRA Pendine Sands amateur hot rod races while the publication of the year went to the book "The Stewardship of Historically Important Automobiles" published by the Simeone museum of Philadelphia.
The museum or collection of the year was the Louwman Museum of The Netherlands. Motorsport event of the year was the Silverstone Classic while the race series of the year was the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship. Rally or tour of the year went to the 20-Ghost Club's Centenary Alpine Trial. The Aston Martin Owners Club was club of the year.
The lifetime achievement award went to F1 broadcaster Murray Walker while Philip Young, father of historic rallying, received the personal achievement of the year award.
Car of the year was the recreation of the Bugatti 57SC Aerolithe by David Grainger of the Guild of Master Craftsmen, Canada (see photo by Joe Wiecha). Restoration of the year was the 1966 US. Grand Prix-winning Lotus 43 by Andy Middlehurst, and specialist of the year was Francis Tuthill Ltd., which sent more than 15 Porsche 911s and more than 50 tons of parts and gear to the East African Safari Classic despite being a family-run company with less than 30 employees.
Among the finalists in the various categories were concours at Pebble Beach and The Quail, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the Blackhawk, Le May and Mullin museums, the Colorado Grand tour, Hagerty insurance (specialist), and book publisher David Bull of Phoenix (in the personal achievement category for his battle back from a life-threatening motorcycle collision).
American bidder buys Ecurie Ecosse racers, famed transporter
Bidding by telephone, a "buyer from the United States" secured several vehicles from Dick Skipworth's acclaimed Ecurie Ecosse collection at an auction that opened Bonhams' new $50-million headquarters building in London.
The American bidder spent $4.75 million on a 1952 Jaguar C-type and $4.25 million on a 1956 Jaguar "shortnose" D-type.
The Ecurie Ecosse 1952 Jaguar C-type sold for $4.75 million and the 1956 Jaguar "shortnose" D-type brought $4.25 million. The same bidder also bought the iconic Ecurie Ecosse race car transporter for nearly $3 million in a bidding battle that lasted 20 minutes and delighted the 800 people in attendance.
The transporter, a 1960 Commer TS3 designed by aeronautical engineer Selby Howgate, had been immortalized as a 1:48-scale Corgi toy. Bonhams said the truck's sale price made it the most valuable historic commercial vehicle ever sold at auction.
Ecurie Ecosse was founded in 1951 by Scottish racer David Murray, and primarily raced Jaguars tuned by famed mechanic "Wilkie" Wilkinson. The team won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1956 and 1957 with D-type Jaguars.
"We always knew that today's sale had the potential to be a roaring success, but nobody quite anticipated the incredible atmosphere in the sale room that saw so many truly historic cars go for such astounding prices," said James Knight, Bonhams motoring group director.
"The Jaguars especially were exceptionally popular, and I am delighted that the Transporter will still be carrying two of its original Ecurie Ecosse racing cars."
Other highlights of the auction included the sale of Michael Schumacher's Benetton-Cosworth Ford B194 F1 car to a German museum for $1.01 million, and Ringo Starr's Facel Vega fetching $552,000.
Overall, sales at the auction totaled nearly $28 million.
800-plus cross the block at Mecum's Anaheim auction
The folks at Mecum Auctions anticipated 750 vehicles would cross the block at their second annual autumn event in the Anaheim Convention Center, but "consignments came in droves" and bids were accepted on 812 vehicles.
Seems, however, that sellers were more eager than buyers, because only 412 of those vehicles sold, though for nearly $14 million.
Tied for high-dollar transactions were a pair of Ford GTs, a 2005 and a 2006, each of which brought $210,000.
The list of top-10 vehicles is an interesting mix. At $180,000 was a 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro, but then came a 1953 Hudson Hornet Twin-H convertible at $150,000.
Next on the list was a quartet of vehicles sold for $132,500 as a single lot -- a 1955 Chevrolet 210 resto-mod, a 2005 Harley-Davidson Roadglide, a 2006 Ness Lowliner bike and a 2008 Adventure motor bike trailer.
Selling for $130,000 each was a pair of 1954 Buick Skylark convertibles. A 1956 Chevrolet Nomad resto-mod brought $125,000, the 1938 Harley WLD Solo Sport formerly owned by Steve McQueen also went for $125,000, while a 1955 Chevy Nomad traded ownership for $120,000.
Mecum ends its 2013 auction year December 5-7 at Kansas City, and then launches its 2014 calendar with a motorcycle auction January 9-11 at Las Vegas, followed by its huge -- some 3,000 vehicles huge -- sale January 17-26 at Kissimmee, Florida.
Packard Speedsters highlight Dragone's online sale
Dragone Classic Motorcars does auctions from time to time, and this Saturday the Westport, Connecticut dealership is doing an online auction featuring cars from Thomas Kerr's Packard collection. Kerr spent some four decades seeking the best classic Packards he could find.
Among those cars are a 1930 Packard 734 Speedster Runabout and a 1930 734 Speedster Phaeton. Only 15 Packard Speedsters of any body style are known to still exist, Dragone said.
Also offered from Kerr's collection are a 1934 Packard 1107 coupe roadster, 1929 645 Dietrich-bodied roadster, and six other Packards.
The sale also includes a 1920 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost with custom Barker coachwork that was stored in a garage in San Francisco since 1937.
To see the cars up for online bidding, visit http://www.dragoneclassic.com/pdf/WinterAuction2013PDFcarlist6.pdf
LeMay launches Family Zone for kids of all ages
LeMay -- America's (self-proclaimed) Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington -- opens a new attraction December 14 that sounds like fun for the full family. It's the Family Zone, where "kids and adults of all ages" can take part in hands-on automotive exploration and activities, including planning a road trip, learning how cars work (a chassis with exposed parts), taking the wheel (to see what what it feels like to drive one of the museum's cars), racing pinewood derby cars and experimenting with the science of speed, and more.
Click here for event calendar.
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