In the last couple of weeks, I've learned that car guys speak the same language, even when don't.
As you may know, in addition to writing for this website, for newspapers and magazines, I've written more than a dozen books about cars. A few of those books have been sold around the world. What a thrill the day I was walking through Paris and passed a book store that had the French edition of one of my books in its window!
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was invited by someone who has purchased several of my books to join a private Facebook page. Because I neither read nor write Persian, I cannot tell you the name of the page. But I can tell you that it's the domain of a group of classic car enthusiasts who happen to live in Iran.
That's right, Iran, an "axis of evil" nation, but also the home, according to Facebook statistics, of some 1800 classic car enthusiasts.
While I can't read the posts, I can enjoy the photos of people and their cars, and of car collections, car shows and what appear to be some pretty interesting barn finds.
One of the page's founders has a couple of my books in his library and has corresponded with me for a couple of years. Recently, he invited me to join the Facebook page and explained that the car posted on the site all are in Iran or, if seen in another country, have some sort of Iranian history.
As you might expect, many of those cars were produced in Europe, but I'm amazed at how many of those cars I see on the site are American classics -- early Camaros and Mustangs, an Imperial convertible, classic Caddys, and even a couple of Toronados.
So, regardless of our geopolitical and religious and linguistic differences, I hope you'll be glad to know that there are car guys just like us all around this big blue marble we call Earth.
Spring sale at Auburn does $5.7 million
With more than 77 percent of lots selling, Auctions America's annual Auburn Spring sale in northern Indiana generated some $5.7 million. The top sale was $198,000 for a 1930 Packard 745 dual-cowl phaeton that had won top national honors from the Antique Automobile Club of America.
Speaking of the AACA, it held its first Central Division National Spring Meet in conjunction with the auction.
"Thanks to a great team effort by the staff of Auctions America and AACA, our inaugural Central Division Spring Meet was a resounding success," said AACA executive director Steve Moskowitz. "We had almost 250 cars registered, 400 well-fed people at our banquet, and numerous empty wallets from attending the auction (and a few fat ones from selling)!
"The reaction from our members and the public alike was astounding. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with Auctions America and a continued presence at Auburn."
"We could not have been happier with the turn out of the AACA's inaugural meet at Auburn Spring," said Auctions America president Donnie Gould. "The impressive showing, along with very strong interest from bidders both nationally and abroad certainly took us one big step further in putting Auburn back on the map as the classic car capital of America."
One-third of bidders were newcomers, Gould reported. Bids at the auction came from people residing in 38 states and six foreign countries.
In addition to the award-winning Packard, a 1931 Auburn 8-98 boattail speedster brought $159,500, a 1967 Shelby GT500 fastback went for $121,000, and a 1950 Hudson Commodore 8 convertible brougham from the estate of John Soneff sold for $112,200, and a 1955 Chrysler 300 garnered $107,250.
RKM's inaugural auction nears $2-million mark
RK Motors of Charlotte, North Carolina, staged its first auction, held at the Pinehurst resort community, and did nearly $2 million in sales.
The top sales were $185,000 for a 1970 Dodge Charger; $183,000 and $161,000, respectively, for 1963 Chevrolet Corvettes; $140,000 for another '70 Charger, and $94,000 for a 1970 Dodge Coronet.
After 108 years, this Fiat's finally for sale
Sixteen Ferraris, including a 1953 340/375 MM Berlinetta 'Competizion,' will be offered at RM's annual auction in conjunction with the Concorso d'Elganza Villa d'Este showcase May 25 in Italy.
The sale also features Bugattis and Bentleys, Cisitalias (that's right, more than one) and even a couple of luxurious wooden boats.
But while the red racers and their prancing horses and the others draw a lot of attention, don't overlook another car that will cross the block -- the 1905 Fiat 60HP five-passenger touring built for American brewer August Anheuser Busch (see photo). The car, considered by some to be the first "supercar," was the second of its kind -- the first was built for Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany -- and is being offered for sale for the first time in 108 years!
Dragone family hosts its second auction event
The Dragone family of Westport, Connecticut, had been buying, restoring and selling classic cars for nearly seven decades before it staged its first auction last spring. Highlight of that sale was the $1.38-million transaction for a 1931 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Beverly.
It appears that auction has become an annual event, with the second Dragone Spring Auction scheduled May 31. The auction features pre-war cars, including the "last original unrestored SJ," -- a Rollston-bodied 1934 Supercharged Continental Touring Berline Duesenberg, one of only 35 built with a supercharger and one of only five built with closed bodywork. The car originally was built for socialite Mrs. Henry Evans.
Also offered at the sale are a 1927 Rolls-royce Piccadilly roadster originally owned by J.P. Morgan Jr. and a 1910 Renault towncar formerly owned by the wife of John Jacob Astor.
'Elegance in Motion' at California Automobile Museum
Elegance in Motion: Cars of the Golden Age is the feature exhibition at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento from May 15 through October 13. The exhibit showcases cars from the Roaring '20s and Art Deco era. See www.calautomsueum.org for details.
Click here for event calendar.
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