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By Larry Edsall
Back to ClassicCars.com Community

A plane, no trains, but tractors and automobiles
By Larry Edsall

Cruisin' with Larry Remember the movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"? Well, this week we have a plane, no trains -- but lots of tractors -- and, of course, lots of classic automobiles:

Bonhams' Paris sale totals more than $20 million

Bonhams' second auction held in Paris in conjunction with Retromobile week offered 86 cars, 84 motorcycles and even an historic airplane, with sales of $13-million pounds, or more than $20.5 million.

Although several vehicles brought more money, the highlight of the event was the sale of the 1929 American Moth Corp. De Havilland 60GMW Gipsy Moth biplane featured in the 1985 movie "Out of Africa," which starred Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The plane sold for nearly $320,000 to a telephone bidder who said the plane would be going to Kenya, the setting for the book that inspired the movie.

The top sale of the event was $1.3 million for a 1929 Bentley 61/2-liter Speed Six tourer. A 1963 Aston Martin DB4 Vantage sold for $1.27 million, more than double its pre-auction estimate. A 1938 Bugatti Type 57C couple formerly owned by Ettore Bugatti brought nearly $1.1 million.

Museum selling dozens of its classic cars

Mecum will manage the sale of some 80 vehicles -- most of them convertibles -- and more than a thousand pieces of road art and memorabilia February 22-23 at the Verde Classic Museum Collection auction in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Fran and Ron Green previously shared their collection through museum tours to raise money for charities. Now they're selling vehicles such as a 1961 Chrysler 300G convertible, 1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner and 1970 Aston Martin DBS coupe.

For details, visit www.mecum.com.

McCormick's readies 54th Palm Springs auction

On the other end of the country that same weekend, McCormick stages its semi-annual Palm Springs collector car auction. More than 500 cars will cross the block during the three-day -- February 22-24 -- event, including a 1928 LaSalle Landeau cabriolet and a 1931 Packard 833 convertible.

Keith McCormick says his event specializes in "what we like to call Palm Springs barn cars -- those great finds used sparingly and lovingly, and in amazing original condition." For example, he said, a 1954 Corvette with its original interior and top but also with a recent mechanical restoration.

For details, visit www.classic-carauction.com.

Cruisin' with Larry Gone Farmin' vintage tractor sale

Mecum's third-annual Spring Gone Farmin' vintage tractor auction is scheduled April 5-6 at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa. Some 250 vintage tractors will be offered, including the one-of-a-kind "museum-quality" 1920 Samson Cane M shown here. Also being offered are more than 90 tractors from John Buchanan's collection in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Russo and Steele sets dates for new auctions

Russo and Steele has announced dates for its two new auctions:

The inaugural Sports and Muscle auction at Newport Beach, California, is June 20-22 and the inaugural Sports and Muscle auction in Las Vegas is scheduled September 26-28.

The Newport Beach auction will be held at the Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina. The Las Vegas event is at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. The sale at the Tropicana takes place the same weekend Barrett-Jackson’s annual Las Vegas auction at the Mandalay Bay Event Center.

Sensuous Steel set for Nashville museum show

Art museums in cities such as Phoenix, Boston and Atlanta have hosted exhibitions of the automobile as art. The First Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville joins the list June 14-September 15 with its Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles show. Eighteen classic cars and three motorcycles borrowed from major car collections will be displayed to showcase "the eclectic, machine-inspired decorative style that thrived between the two World Wars."

"Sensuous Steel is the first major museum auto exhibition devoted entirely to Art Deco automobiles, and there could be no more fitting a venue than the Frist Center's landmark historic Art Deco building, which was completed in 1934," said Susan Edwards, executive director of the museum.

"Art Deco styling influenced everything from architecture to sleek passenger trains and luxury liners, furniture, appliances, jewelry, objets d'art, signage, fashionable clothing and, of course, automobiles. The works in this exhibition convey the breadth, diversity, and stunning artistry of cars designed in the Art Deco style."

Bloomington Gold adds road tour for double anniversary event

Bloomington Gold celebrates its 40th birthday and the 60th anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette the weekend of June 28-30 at Assembly Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign... and on the roads of central Illinois with a new road tour on Saturday that includes the historic Lake of the Woods covered bridge.

Benchmark, Gold and Survivor certification will be awarded to worthy Corvettes, Corvette luminaries and special vehicles will be featured in the Great Hall, there will be an autocross and Mecum will stage its annual "world's largest Corvette auction."

For details, visit www.bloomingtongold.com.

Pebble Beach announces featured classes

While teasing that they've saved some surprises for the day of the event, organizers of the 63rd Pebble Beach concours d'elegance have announced the featured classes for the event August 18 on the Monterey peninsula.

Those classes include:

  • coachbuilt Lincolns,
  • Simplex, of which only 48 are known to survive,
  • cars with coachwork by Vanvooren,
  • the 50th anniversary of Lamborghini,
  • the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911,
  • the 90th anniversary of Aston Martin,
  • the BMW 507,
  • French motorcycles

Cruisin' with Larry Volkswagen celebrates 50 years of Formula Vee

Speaking of anniversaries, Volkswagen used the recent 24 Hours of Daytona sports car race to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Formula Vee open-wheel racing car. The first Formula Vee event was held at Daytona in August, 1963 and since then has provided a training ground for racers who have achieved success at Indianapolis and in Formula One.

"Volkswagen can look back on major success on the motorsport scene," said VW motorsport director Jost Capito. "However, the continuous promotion of juniors has been even more successful."

Among those former juniors participating in the Formula Vee reunion at Daytona were Arie Luyendyk, Michael Andretti, Hurley Haywood, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Markku Alen and others.

The first Formula Vee race featured open-wheeled cars propelled by the 40-horsepower, 1.2-liter engine from the Volkswagen Beetle. The cars popularity in the U.S. led to racing series in Europe and elsewhere.

Click here for event calendar.

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