Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
It would not be at all understated to say that Auburn Fall 2010 was one of the most anticipated auctions in recent memory. Its realization delivered everything that could have been hoped for, let alone expected.
The background, of course, is the demise of Kruse International.
For Kruse the Auburn Fall sale has long been the signature event and the foundation of the Kruse family’s collector car auction history. Two decades ago Auburn Fall was the largest gathering of collector cars on the planet, overshadowing even Monterey and Scottsdale with acres of cars and a swap meet and vendor area that rivaled Hershey. It drew collectors, dealers and tire-kickers from around the world.
In the last few years that faded into a memory and eventually unpaid consignors led to the auctioneer licenses of Kruse International (permanently) and Dean Kruse (temporarily) being pulled by the state of Indiana in May. Prospects for the 2010 Auburn Fall looked bleak until RM stepped bravely into the breach, bought the real estate and with just 60 days to go announced they’d hold the Labor Day weekend sale.
Talk about audacious….
Boxcar loads of money were spent on the Auction Park including cleaning and painting the inside and outside of pretty much everything that didn’t move, sealing the acres of ageing asphalt, redoing the entry and access roads, rebuilding the interiors of offices and, yes, redoing the restrooms. RM’s crew mastered the intricacies of receiving, verifying and entering hundreds of cars in almost no time at all, dispatching them to predetermined preview spots, establishing the lot order and then finding and bringing the cars to the two auction blocks in order.
Credit Donnie Gould, dropped into the leadership position on moments’ notice, Ken Wallace, charged with consignments for one of the year’s most complicated events, Greg Sparling, managing the event operations, and a supporting cast including many Auburn Auction Park regulars who brought their years of experience to the “Auctions America by RM” team.
It isn’t reasonable to compare the most recent Kruse Auburn Fall with Auctions America by RM’s first, but some numbers are representative of the order of magnitude of the accomplishment of Auctions American by RM. Kruse reported 767 cars last year, selling 309 for a 40.3% sale rate and a $5,774,285 total. Auctions America by RM brought 878 cars to its first Auburn Fall auction, selling 417 for a 47.5% sale rate and a $13,311,160 total.
Arranged, consigned, organized and delivered in two months? It is “A-mazing!”
Auburn Fall Auction 2010 Report – Auctions America by RM
Lot # E320 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Coupe; S/N 30927W212948; Red/Black vinyl; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $21,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $23,100 — Automatic, radio, wheelcovers, narrow whitewalls. All original museum displayed, nearly like new with 3,136 miles. Good original paint and chrome. Very good upholstery and interior trim with especially sharp dash and instruments. Sharp, freshly detailed engine. A rare and wonderful find. This rare and unusually original and superbly preserved Corvair Monza sold for $17,050 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in January of this year. It’s been cleaned up and detailed since, effort that was rewarded by a noteworthy result here in Auburn. Even at that, though, it is a particularly neat little car and a rare find. It’s expensive but there is unlikely to be another one out there anywhere close to this nice. (picture unavailable).
Lot # E687 1954 Plymouth Belvedere Convertible; S/N 13631935; Santa Rosa Coral/Coral, Beige; Tan cloth top; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $39,250 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $43,175 — 3-speed, heater, radio, chrome wire wheels, whitewalls, fog lights. Good older paint, chrome and interior. Soiled top. Old undercoat on chassis and overspray on undercoat. Sound and usable but no longer fresh, and not all that good to begin with despite being an AACA National First Prize winner in 2005. Sold by Bonhams at Greenwich in 2008 for $64,350, this cute little Belvedere convertible seemingly has had no attention since then and has just 13 more miles on its odometer. A basically sound car but seriously neglected, it needs plenty of attention and brought all the money today in its present condition. (picture unavailable).
Lot # W317 1956 Dodge Coronet 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 35143351; Bright Metallic Blue, White/Blue cloth, White vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $10,100 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $11,110 — 2-barrel Red Ram V-8, pushbutton automatic, heater, dual rear antennas but no radio, chrome wire wheels, whitewalls, no P/S or P/B. Fuzzy headliner, gaudy colors, weak chrome inside and out. Scruffy underhood and chassis. Superficially cosmetically restored but definitely eye-catching. This result is appropriate to the attention this car has received, let alone its mundane body style. The seller did well to get this much for it. (picture unavailable).
[Source: Rick Carey]