Turning leaves mean change in classic hobby's geographic focus
By Larry Edsall
The leaves are turning colors in the northern tier of states. That means winter weather is approaching and many classic car enthusiasts will be putting their cherished vehicles into storage until next spring. But not before one last hurrah, well, actually three last hurrahs of the season take place in eastern Pennsylvania.
For the more grassroots part of the classic car hobby, there's the Fall Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet & Corral with an Auctions America sale October 3-4, and then, the following weekend, and just a few miles to the east, there's the annual AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet and a high-end RM auction at Hershey Lodge.
And in between, there's Bonhams "Preserving the Automobile" sale October 7 at the Simeone museum in Philadelphia, where the focus is on unrestored vehicles.
The cars offered up for bidding at all three sites show how auction companies tailor their dockets to the anticipated audience. For example, Simeone museum founder Dr. Frederick Simeone has become a leading evangelist for preservation, especially as opposed to over restoration.
At Carlisle, there will be a parade of 1960s Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs (including one formerly owned by Alice Cooper) across the block.
But at Hershey, the Brass and Classic eras return to prominence in the form of vehicles such as a 1910 PierceArrow seven-passenger touring (see photo), a 1935 Packard Super Eight convertible sedan, a 1933 Chrysler CL Imperial convertible roadster, a 1920 Kissel "Gold-Bug" speedster, etc.
Seasonal shift in auction action
Pennsylvania isn't the only venue for autumn auction action. Mecum Auctions stages its Chicago sale October 10-12 at north suburban Schaumburg, where the quartet of Hurst Hemi Under Glass wheel-standing Barracuda drag racers (see photo) will offered.
And then the hobby turns its attention to the south with events such as:
* RKM's inaugural auction October 31-November 3 at Charlotte, North Carolina, where several historic racing cars -- James Hunt's 1977 McLaren M26 F1, Dale Earnhardt's 1977 Chevy, the 1974 Gurney Eagle that Mario Andretti drove at Indy -- will be offered;
* Motostalgia's first event, November 16 at Austin, Texas, not far from the site of the U.S. Grand Prix and featuring the 1950 Cisitalia Abarth 204A in which Tazio Nuvolari scored his final racing victory;
* Mecum's Anaheim auction is November 21-22 in southern California.
And exception to the geographic shift will be the combined RM and Sotheby's "Art of the Automobile" sale November 18-21 in New York City (we'll have more on this event in future reports).
Best in show winners
American Bruce McCaw's 1930 Bentley Speed-Six Gurney Nutting Sportsman coupe won best-in-show honors at the prestigious St. James's concours d'elegance at London's royal Marlborough House palace.
The car was commissioned by Woolf Barnato, a three-time Le Mans winner, South African diamond heir and one of the original "Bentley Boys."
"Receiving the Best of Show Award was beyond my wildest expectations," McCaw said, adding that while the car is, indeed, very special, "I can take no credit for its design, or even its restoration, [but] I am proud to be its current custodian and to be able to bring it back for a rare appearance in its homeland."
Meanwhile, a 1970 B5 Blue Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda owned by John Jancic of Cleveland, North Carolina, won best of show at the Charlotte Auto Fair an a 1966 Jaguar E-type couple owned by George and Elaine Pfalzgraf of Cedar Falls, Iowa, took similar honors at the Salisbury concours in Des Moines.
Click here for event calendar.
Click here for more articles by Larry Edsall.