The Saturday of the Labor Day weekend was a father-and-youngest daughter day at our house for several years. My youngest daughter, Abby, loved the Ferraris I'd occasionally test drive home from AutoWeek magazine. On the Saturday of the Labor Day weekend, she got to see Ferraris not just one at an occasional time but at least a dozen or two during "sports car day" at the big Kruse Auction in Auburn, Indiana.
In those days, Auburn was, as Ed Sullivan would put it, "the really big show." The auction grounds adjacent to Interstate 69 north of Fort Wayne were full of cars and vendors and swap-meet parts and pieces and auctioneers in action moving the metal on two stages.
Neither Abby nor I can get to Auburn this Labor Day weekend, but I'm confident there's a new tradition we'd like starting there with the inaugural Auburn Fall Collector Car Auction, the first event staged by the new Auctions America by RM.
RM has made its name by doing concours-winning restoration work and by staging equally elite, world-class auction events at venues ranging from Modena to Monterey.
To resurrect the Auburn auction heritage and to service the more Main Street aspects of the classic car community, RM created Auctions America, bought the 235-acre Auburn Auction Park, and has consignments for more than one thousand vehicles for its inaugural event, which runs September 2-5.
Look for additional Auctions America events, and not only at Auburn, as the company expands along with the classic car hobby.
Expansion? But what about the threats?
Yes, we remember that in our last visit we wrote that while Monterey was magnificent, more than anyone might have expected, there were storm warnings there about threats to the future of the car collecting hobby. We promised to explore those warnings in our next episode. But with so much happening – over the Labor Day weekend and in the ensuing weeks -- we need to wait a couple more weeks before we issue the call to action and encourage you to join the newly formed Historic Vehicle Association. Please stay tuned.
Early autumn auction action
Auburn isn't the only venue with early autumn auction action. In fact, it's not the only event in Auburn, where Worldwide Auctioneers holds its annual Labor Day Weekend sale September 2-4 at its 140-acre headquarters. Highlights include Herbert Hoover's 1932 Cadillac Imperial presidential limousine; a 1952 Kurtis-Offy and a 1954 Watson roadster, both of which raced at Indy in 1954; and one of 13 1929 Duesenberg dual-cowl phaetons.
The annual Branson (Missouri) Auction celebrates three decades of auction action with its annual event September 11-12 at the Hilton-Branson Convention Center.
From September 16-19, Mecum stages its annual St. Charles Auction just west of Chicago and this year will feature vehicles from the Zeb Morris, David and Pauline Haas and Walt Hollifield collections.
On September 18, Classic Motorcar Auctions stages its first Grande Salon Antique and Classic Car Auction in conjunction with the 16th annual Glenmoor Gathering, a concours d'elegance at Canton, Ohio. Consignments include a 1909 Buick, 1928 Riley Nine, 1955 Chrysler New Yorker St. Regis, 1958 Ford F-100 Fireman's panel truck and 1955 Lincoln Capri convertible.
The third annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction kicks off September 22 with more than 100 vehicles parading down The Strip, from the Las Vegas Convention Center to the Mandalay Bay resort, where the bidding starts September 23. We'll have more on this auction next time.
More than auctions at Auburn
There's much more for classic car enthusiasts than auctions at Auburn, Indiana over the Labor Day weekend. "The Classic Car Capital of the World" stages its annual Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, a celebration of those once locally based marques. Events include a "gentleman's drag race" for Duesenbergs, a fly-in of vintage Stinson aircraft and much more. See www.acdfestival.org for details.
Concours at Canton, Connecticut and the Capitol
The seventh annual Fairfield County concours d'elegance is scheduled September 11-12 at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport, Connecticut, where there will be a special class for "barn finds," as well as a display of cars that raced at Le Mans, coachwork by Howard "Dutch" Darrin and "Styled by the Wind," a celebration of pre-war automotive aerodynamics, as well as hot rods and customs of the 1950s. See www.fairfieldcountyconcours.com for details.
The 16th annual Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles will feature "The Historic Motorcars of Cleveland" as well as "Cars of Giotto Bizzarrini," Duesenberg and Italian Super-Bikes on the lawns behind the Glenmoor Country Club, September 17-19 in Canton, Ohio. Featured vehicles include those produced by Templar, Chandler and Jordan, as well as electric auto manufacturers Rauch & Land and Baker. The concours is Sunday the 19th, but there are preliminary events throughout the weekend, including a display of scale models – from working engines to snap-together plastic models built by more than 100 youngsters during the show. See www.glenmoorgathering.org for details.
The annual Capitol concours d'elegance is September 19 on the Capitol Mall in Sacramento, California, but the event begins the previous day with the Tour d'Elegance, a road rally for owners for collector cars that raises money for Shriners Hospitals for Children-Northern California. Among the featured classes at the concours are Cars of Italy and France and the Ford Thunderbird. See www.shrinersconcours.com for details.
And don't forget the Corvette Funfest
Mid America Motorworks hosts its 17th annual Corvette Funfest on its campus at Effingham, Illinois on September 17-19. More than 15,000 ‘Vettes and their owners and fans annual turn out. This year special guests include George Barris, Reggie Jackson and Linda Vaughn, with The Guess Who performing on the Field of Dreams main stage Saturday night. See www.corvettefunfest.com for details.
Click here for event calendar.
Click here for more articles by Larry Edsall.