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Resource Guide
Auction Central
By Larry Edsall
Back to Community

Auburn rebounds with $31.7 million in sales
By Larry Edsall

Larry Edsall at Auburn, Indiana may never again be the epicenter of the classic car auction universe, but the recent sales held to coincide with the community's annual Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Festival went a long way toward re-establishing the Labor Day weekend in northeast Indiana as an important stop on the collector car calendar.

Auctions America does $18.5 million at Auburn
None other than The New York Times declared that Auctions America by RM's second annual Fall Sale at Indiana's Auburn Auction Park had rejuvenated the once-revered site and noted that this year's event had "the spirit of the auction from its glory years in the late 1970s through the 1980s -- when it had little competition in the collector car auction world."

There's plenty of competition within the classic car auction world these days, but traditionalists had to be encouraged by the fact that some 43,000 people attended the sale and spent more than $18.5 million buying collector cars and motorcycles.

"We're thrilled the results," said Auctions America's Donnie Gould. "From the sale results to event attendance, the swap meet and even onsite motorcoach parking and golf car rentals, numbers were up approximately 40 percent across the board on our inaugural event last year. The weekend certainly played a key role in putting Auburn back on the map as the Classic Car Capital of America and re-establishing the Auburn Fall Collector Car Weekend a 'must attend' on the global collector car calendar."

The sale and on-site Carlisle Events swap meet, as well as a rival auction by Worldwide, are held in conjunction with the annual Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Festival.

The Auctions America event posted a 60.5-percent sell-through, featured a panel discussion on hot rods and custom cars, and ran some 1200 cars and 80 vintage motorcycles across the block.

The high sale was $396,000 for a 1936 Auburn 852 SC boattail while a 1934 Auburn Twelve Salon phaeton went for $292,600. Other top sales included a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado for $280,500, a 1958 Eldo Biarritz for $179,300, a 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro for $176,000 and a 1954 Buick Skylark for $176,000.

An Eisenhower Presidential limo was bid to $160,000 but didn't meet its reserve.

Top sale among motorcycles were a 1930 Excelsior Super-X Streamliner for $33,600 and a 1917 Indian Twin for $31,472. Worldwide brings in $13.2 million at Auburn

Worldwide sets records with its Auburn action
Meanwhile, Worldwide Auctioneers reported its most successful event ever with sales of $13.2 million and record standing-room-only attendance at its fourth annual Auburn Auction.

Top sales included a 1930 Cadillac V16 Fleetwood convertible coupe for $363,000, a 1955 Hudson Italia GT coupe for $352,000 and "the first funny car," a 1964 Dodge Charger S/FX for $302,000.

A 1948 Delahaye 135M cabriolet by Chapron, a barn-find discovered after 35 years in Washington state, brought $247,500.

"This was in every respect our most successful event ever in Auburn," said Worldwide's Rod Egan. "Auburn is our home town and our aim is to put it right back on the map at the epicenter of the collector car world."

Actor helps hometown relief effort
Minot, North Dakota may be a long way from Las Vegas, but Barrett-Jackson's fourth annual Las Vegas auction will raise money for flood relief in the Minot area. Minot native and actor Josh Duhamel, who starred in the Las Vegas television series as well as in the Transformers movies, will be on the block when a 2006 recreation Shelby Cobra roadster is auctions with proceeds going to the Minot Area Recovery Fund. Duhamel is honorary chairman of the fund and has autographed the car.

"As a former Minot resident with family still living in the city, including two sisters who have been displaced by floodwaters, it is extremely difficult to see the devastation caused by the flood," Duhamel said.

Will the bidding 'eclipse' expectations?
After 22 years in production, the last Mitsubishi Eclipse has rolled off the assembly line in central Illinois and will be offered for auction at Mecum's Pheasant Run (Illinois) event September 15-18. The car is a 2012 Eclipse coupe SE 3.8 and is the only V6 Eclipse in SE trim. The car was built to commemorate the end of production and will be auctioned with all proceeds going to the Japan Red Cross and its earthquake relief effort.

Mitsubishi built 980,000 Eclipses over four generations at its plant at Normal, Illinois.

Larry Edsall at Mecum offers 60 vintage boats in Wisconsin
Speaking of Mecum, it will stage its first consignment boat auction September 25 at The Abbey Resort on Geneva Lake at Fontana, Wisconsin. Some 60 boats will be offered, including a 1986 Wellcraft 38-foot Scarab KV 38 that as used as in the Miami Vice television series.

Also on the docket is a 1937 Ventnour Runabout "gentleman's racer" (see photo) with a Lycoming flathead six marine engine that won its class in the prestigious Les Cheneaux antique wooden boat show in 2009.

"We believe there is a real growth opportunity in the collector boat hobby that includes specialty fiberglass boats in addition to wooden boats," said Scott Ales, boat consignment specialist at Mecum Auctions.

Hogeland's hosts 259-vehicle sale
Lyle E. Hogeland opened an auto body shop in Marshalltown, Iowa in 1948, and the business grew to include a salvage yard and towing business. On September 17-18 more than 295 cars and trucks will at Hogeland's Auto Plaza Towing & Salvage will be offered for auction.

Larry Edsall at Fairfield showcases Cunninghams
The eighth annual Fairfield County Concours d'Elegance (September 17-18) at Westport, Connecticut will showcase three of the 20 Cunningham C-3 coupes, including a 1952 model that was discovered after 20 years in a Connecticut barn (see photo).

Briggs Cunningham built 20 coupes and five convertible C-3s in 1952 and 1953 to homologate his own vehicle for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The other Hemi-powered C-3s on display at the concours include a 1953 coupe owned by the Cunningham family and a 1952 model "rescued" from South America in 2004.

F5000 racers join Coronado Speed Festival
The 14th annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival, September 24-25 at the Naval Air Station North Island San Diego will include a new class -- Formula 5000.

F5000 cars raced from 1968-82. They were open-wheeled cars with stock-block American V8 engines up to five liters of displacement. Among the cars entered at Coronado is the Gurney Eagle in which Tony Adamowicz won the F5000 championship in 1969. The car was put into storage for 37 years until Riverside International Automobile Museum founder Doug Magnon bought it in 2006 and began its restoration. Adamowicz will be reunited with the car for the Coronado event.

Featured marque for the event is Chevrolet, which celebrates its centennial this fall. Among the entires is a 1917 Chevrolet Speedster, the oldest Chevy racer in North America.

Route 66 reunion
The 10th annual Reunion on the Road, aka the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival & Car Show, is expected to attract 1000 historic vehicle to downtown Springfield, Illinois the weekend of September 23-25. The event is held in conjunction with a vintage car tour of Mother Road pavement between Chicago and St. Louis.

Click here for event calendar.


Click here for more articles by Larry Edsall.

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