RM Auctions, Hershey, Pennsylvania, October 10-11, 2013
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
Hershey, Pennsylvania in October ranges from tropical heat through rain forest deluges to near-Arctic cold.
Those who have prior experience with the AACA’s Fall Hershey Meet, RM auction and swap meet know to bring multiple layers of clothes, rain gear and several pairs of footwear. But nothing in living Hershey veterans’ experience prepared them for the deluge of rain that settled in over southern Pennsylvania this year.
It didn’t just rain, it didn’t pour, it came down in prodigious, sustained conversions of the atmosphere to an aquatic environment. It was epic. A weather system stalled down around D.C. for two days, pumping water off the Atlantic across Hershey in an incessant stream.
Fortunately it wasn’t cold, so you were just soaked, your feet squishing in shoes like you’d wet your pants. Creeks overflowed their banks. Roads flooded. Isettas floated away like detached buoys (well, maybe not, but close.) Harrisburg reported 10.1 inches of rain in 24 hours. Had it been even slushy snow it would have been six feet on the ground.
RM Auctions chose this year to preview its two-day sale under bright, high, well-lit tents in the Lodge’s parking lot in preference to the dark, dreary, low ceiling Lodge parking structure. Bad timing. On Saturday water ran over an inch deep in fifty foot wide sheets through the preview tent.
Challenging hardly describes RM’s task in getting the Hershey vehicles, many of them rudimentary early 20th century relics, started and through the deluge to the auction block. But it was accomplished efficiently and effectively by Keith Terry’s RM team with time for Bob Knowles and his crew to squeegee off the water, wipe down the brass, chrome, upholstery and tops and present them in remarkably sharp and fresh condition on the block. The crew who start, run, drive and cute-up the cars rarely get credit. At Hershey they exceeded themselves and made an indispensable contribution to the sale’s success.
RM Hershey is a delightful auction. They bring cars that just cry for new homes, others that appeal to automobile enthusiasts who revel in the mechanical intricacy of early motoring and a some great classics. There are vehicles here that even the most eclectic automobile enthusiasts have never heard of.
It’s a regularly successful auction, too, largely without the panicked rush for currently fashionable mega-buck cars that make a circus of Monterey, Phoenix, London and Amelia.