Vegas, Hershey mark final laps for 2009 auction season
By Larry Edsall
The 2009 classic car season is winding down, with only two more major auctions - both this weekend -- until it all starts up again in January here in Arizona.
Back East, it's the Antique Automobile Club of America's big Eastern Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where activities include RM's Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey auction.
Out West, Barrett-Jackson stages its second annual auction at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.
Among the featured cars at Barrett-Jackson is the Max Balchowsky-built 1961 'Ol' Yaller VIII racer that was seen in the 1964 Elvis Pressley movie, Viva Las Vegas, as well as the 800-horsepower, Don Prudhomme Special Edition Ford Mustang Shelby GT-500 concept vehicle.
The Hershey auction will include a 1918 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-A-4 four-passenger roadster, one of two remaining 1931 Marmon Sixteen convertible coupes, and 22 cars from the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum's collection at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland. That grouping includes the 1949 Belanger Special Indy 500 roadster and a 1930 Bugatti Type 44 touring car.
The economy is having its impact on classic car museums. In addition to the Crawford museum selling of nearly two dozen of its cars, Mecum Auction Co. will auction off some 65 cars and contents including collectibles and re-created 1950's era storefronts from the '57 Heaven Museum. The auction is October 24 in Branson, Missouri.
Bonhams & Butterfields held its inaugural Pacific Northwest auction in conjunction with the LeMay Collection, America's Car Museum, in Tacoma, Washington, with 85 percent of consignments selling. The top price paid was $430,000 for a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing.
Meanwhile, RM's Icons of Speed & Style auction at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles reached nearly $7 million in sales for 80 vehicles and assorted but significant memorabilia, all led by the wheelstanding 1965 Dodge A100 "Little Red Wagon" pickup, formerly raced by Bill "Maverick" Golden, at $550,000 and the amazing 1965 Dodge Deora "Hot Wheels" concept truck going for $324,500.
But the sales weren't the auction's only highlight. "The auction marked a rare occasion where many of the highlight dragsters and customs were reunited with their original drivers and designers to the delight of the crowd," noted RM president Ian Kelleher.
Mark your calendar
8-9 RM at Hershey, Pennsylvania; Kruse at Lebanon, Pennsylvania
8-10 - Barrett-Jackson at Las Vegas
10-11 - Kruse at Biloxi, Mississippi
16-17 - Kruse at Las Vegas
23-25 - Spendick Collector Car Productions at Toronto
24 - Mecum at Branson, Missouri
6-8 - Kruse at Auburn, Indiana
20-22 - Kruse at Dallas
27-28 - Kruse at Daytona Beach, Florida
3-5 - Mecum at Kansas City
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