I'm so bummed.
A few weeks ago, Bob Lichty, classic car dealer and auctioneer from Canton, Ohio, was telling me about the Centennial tour he's organizing for the Lincoln Highway Association, although as he noted it's really sort of two tours -- one heading west from New York City and the other traveling east from San Francisco. The tours will meet midway, at Kearney, Nebraska, for the big centennial celebration next June.
Since talking with Lichty, I've learned that the Great Race, the annual prize-paying rally for vintage vehicles, will follow a route next summer along the Mississippi River, from St. Paul, Minnesota to Mobile, Alabama.
Could it possibly be, I wondered hopefully, that those traveling the Lincoln Highway and those on the Great River Road will cross paths? If so, I'd definitely like to be there to see it. I grew up just a few miles from what I consider to be the crossroads of America -- the intersection in northern Illinois of Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway. Seeing vintage vehicles engaging each other while crossing the country next summer would amount to taking a trip back in time.
Hurriedly, I went to the web. The Lincoln Highway tour starts June 21 and ends June 30. The Great Race starts June 22 and also ends on the 30th.
Not only do the routes intersect, but the dates overlap. So far so good.
Next I dug out my maps to see where the Lincoln Highway intersects the Great River Road, which actually isn't just one road but includes pavement on both sides of the river and the bridges that span the Mississippi as it winds its way down the middle of the country.
From what I can tell, the intersection for the routes being traveled next summer should be the 57-year-old, two-lane Gateway Bridge that spans the Mississippi River at Clinton, Iowa.
Back to the web.. The east-to-west tourists traveling the Lincoln Highway are scheduled to cross that bridge on June 28th, the day they'll be driving from Rochelle, Illinois to Ames, Iowa.
Alas -- by June 28 the Great Racers will be long gone, at least a few days gone, and will be driving along the banks somewhere well down the river.
RM at Hershey results
With 95 percent of vehicles selling, RM Auction's annual sale in conjunction with the AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet at Hershey, Pennsylvania, achieved $10.7 million in business.
"We are very pleased with the results and strong global interest received," says RM chairman Rob , who added that many of the vehicles were "fresh to the market," meaning it had been years since they'd been available for sale.
"With many lots offered fresh to the market, collectors recognized the wide range of exclusive ownership opportunities the sale presented, as illustrated by strong bidder registrations and numerous, lively bidding contests. Almost 25 percent of bidders represented first time clientele, with bidder registrations well-surpassing levels enjoyed at our 2011 sale. We look forward to continuing the momentum at our upcoming Charlie Thomas and London auctions later this month."
As is typical at Hershey, Brass and Classic era cars are the stars.
The high-dollar sale was more than $1.29 million for the 1931 Duesenberg Model J "Barrelside" Phaeton that once raced and beat the Marx Brothers' Mercedes.
Another Duesie from the same collection, a 1929 Model J sport sedan being offered for sale for the first time since 1979, went for $792,000.
A 1933 Packard Twelve convertible coupe brought $451,000, an 1894 Silsby fourth Size horse-drawn steam pumper sold for $396,000 and an unrestored 1933 Packard Twelve Victoria convertible went for $357,500.
RM's calendar resumes October 20 with the Charlie Thomas Collection sale at Dallas and on October 31 with an auction in London, England.
Auctions America at Carlisle: $2.5 million in sales
Auction America by RM's Fall Carlisle sale did more than $2.5 million in sales with only a 57-percent sell-through rate of the 300 or so vehicles that crossed the block.
The high-dollar sale was $90,750 for a 1958 Chrysler 300D convertible, one of only 20 known to remain.
A 1958 Chevrolet Corvette roadster sold for $81,400, a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham went for $67,100, a '66 Corvette roadster brought $60,000 and a 1964 Pontiac GTO went for $59,675.
Bonhams, Simeone preserve some classics
Unrestored vehicles and the parts and pieces needed to keep them in running order comprised the 463 lots in the inaugural Preserving the Automobile: An Auction at the Simeone Foundation museum in Philadelphia, where sales totaled nearly $3 million.
"Promoting the conservation of historically significant automobiles is a mission of the museum and this auction brought attention to this important endeavor," said Dr. Fred Simeone, executive director of the Simeone Automotive Museum.
"We are delighted with the response to this auction, the first of its kind in the world devoted to predominately 'preserved' collector cars," Bonhams said in a statement. "We will be back next year."
Among the top sales were $357,000 for a 1972 Ferrari 365 FTB/4 Daytona coupe, $219,500 for a 1915 Packard Model 3-38 Gentleman's Roadster, $208,500 for a 1932 Aston Martin 1.5-liter Le Mans four-seater (see photo), $208,500 for a 1917 Simplex Crane Model 5 dual-cowl Victoria phaeton, $186,500 for a 1931 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A two-door faux cabriolet, $159,000 for a 1960 Facel Vega Excellence sedan formerly owned by the French ambassador to the United States, and a record $142,500 for a 1965 Citroen Sahara.
Mecum expands Kissimmee to 10 days
After receiving 1,000 consignments in five days, Mecum Auctions has expanded its annual Kissimmee auction to 10 days and says it expects to offer more than 3,000 classic vehicles at the event that will run January 18-27, 2013.
Before that big event, however, Mecum has 1,000 vehicles for sale October 25-27 at St. Charles, Illinois; another 750 on the block November 15-17 at Anaheim, California; and yet another 750 being offered December 6-8 at Kansas City, Missouri.
'In their prime' at Riverside museum
In 1960, the Los Angeles Times-Mirror Grand Prix for Sports Cars and only the second U.S. Formula One Grand Prix races were held at Riverside International in southern California.
Photographer Christian du Bois Larson used Riverside's famed Mission Inn as the setting for a series of portraits of drivers including Bruce McLaren, Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Phil Hill, Roger Penske (see photo), Ron Flockhart, and Stirling Moss. The portraits hung at the Inn for many years, but then were lost during the hotel's change of ownership.
But the Riverside International Automotive Museum has worked with Larson, the University of California-Riverside's ARTSblock to recreate the prints, which are being shown at the museum through December 8.
A special reception featuring Larson will be held October 20.
Gala and charity auction at the Blackhawk
The Blackhawk Automotive Museum beings its 25th anniversary celebration with a gala and charity auction November 17 to benefit the museum's education fund. Being offered at the no-reserve bidding are a 1926 Dodge Brothers touring, 1931 Ford Model A roadster, 1941 Dodge Power Wagon (military truck), 1951 MG TD, 1952 Jaguar Mk Vii DeLuxe sedan, 1956 Austin Healey 100-4 roadster, a 1964 Chevrolet Corvair 95 and a 1982 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit.
For information, visit www.galaatblackhawkmuseum.org.
Chasing Classic Cars at McPherson College
The automotive restoration program at McPherson College, the only one of its kind at a four-year school in the country, will be featured on the Velocity Channel cable television program "Chasing Classic Cars." Show host and restoration specialist Wayne Carini visited the Kansas campus for the annual student-organized classic car show. The program also features Carini's quest not for a classic car but for a student to intern in his shop. The show is scheduled to be televised the evening of October 23.
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