Milhous Collection an amazing array of mechanical wonders, some automotive
By Larry Edsall
One of the most amazing collections in the world goes onto the auction block February 24-25 when the Milhous brothers sell the contents of a museum that houses their antique firearms, furniture, art, clocks, 42-animal carousel, automatic musical instruments and, yes, cars, both real and scale models.
The array is so large that RM and Southeby's are cooperating on the sale of items collected by Bob and Paul Milhous. In the 1960s, the brothers bought a weekly shopper-style newspaper in California. They later bought their own printing press and grew their company into a major publisher of weekend newspaper advertising supplements, magazines and television listings guides.
As the collection grew, they had to move from one museum to a larger one. The Milhous Museum in Boca Raton, Florida, is their fifth and last. As part of their estate planning, they are selling their collection.
While the cars are terrific -- among them a 1933 Chrysler Custom Imperial five-passenger phaeton, a 1930 Murphy-bodied Duesenberg Model J convertible sedan formerly owned by Hollywood star Dolores Del Rio, a pair of Cadillac Sixteens -- a 1934 custom roadster and a 1937 custom phaeton -- and a 1912 Oldsmobile Limited five-passenger touring car -- the stars of the auction likely will be 46-foot carousel and the organs and the items such as a 1913 Weltewotan brass band orcheststrion, basically a mechanical orchestra in a box, albeit a rather large box.
Just the catalog from the auction figures to become a collector's item. For a stunning four-minute video preview, check out http://www.rmauctions.com/milhous-collection.cfm#.
Mecum realizes $60 million at Kissimmee
The early-season bidding momentum generated in Arizona carried over to Mecum's auction at Kissimmee, Florida, where 1528 vehicles -- a strong 73 percent -- sold for nearly $60 million.
The high sale was $850,000 (hammer price) for a 1936 Shelby Cobra Dragon Snake. Next came a quartet of Chevrolet Corvettes -- a 1969 L88 convertible for $610,000, a 1969 L88 coupe for $270,000, a 1963 resto-mod for $255,000 and a 1967 convertible for $227,500. A 1930 Packard 745 Waterhouse sold for $225,000 and a 1941 Packard Darrin 180 convertible Victoria brought $220,000.
Also significant was a 30-percent boost in attendance compared to the same event in 2011.
'15 Iver-Johnson tops MidAmerica bike auction
A 1915 Iver-Johnson twin was the high sale of the recent MidAmerica vintage motorcycle auction at Las Vegas, where a 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross formerly owned by Steve McQueen went for $137,000. Total sales at the event exceeded $4.6 million.
Burdick Collection auction part of museum move
Some 93 vehicles -- 88 with no reserve -- from the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History will cross the bock as Dan Kruse Classics stages an auction March 3 in Rosansky, Texas. The sale is being held because, after 32 years, Dick Burdick is moving his cars to a new museum in his hometown of San Marcos, Texas.
Cars being offered in the auction include a 1903 Stanley Steamer Runabout, a 1970 Rolls-Royce limo formerly owned by Johnny Cash, a 1979 Chevrolet Corvair coupe with 14 miles on the odometer, a 1901 Holsman Model 54 high-wheeler rear-entry tonneau, a 1948 Pontiac Silver Streak 8 Torpedo convertible, the "Queen of Diamonds" 1933 Duesenberg Model J-365 sports sedan, a 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost formerly owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the "Yellow Rose of Texas," a 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom II.
Momo's Moretti dies
Hemmings reports the death of Momo founder and racer Giampiero Moretti following a long illness. He was 71.
Moretti was in his 20s when he launched Momo (short for Moretti-Monza), to make steering wheels. Other equipment followed, especially as related to driver safety. Ferrari racer John Surtees is believed to be the first to take the Momo steering wheel to prominence when he had one put into his Ferrari 158 F1 racer and used it to steer his way to the World Driving Championship in 1964.
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