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Auctions in the Northwest

  • Written by Tom Berg, Windermere Real Estate

Auction time recently rolled right in with the car show season here in the Puget Sound area. At the end of May I attended the Lucky Collector Car Auction Spring Classic at the LeMay Family Collection at Marymount in Steilacoom.
I did sign up for a bidder card but was able to keep it in my pocket this time. There was a ’36 Ford Coupe in almost original condition I thought I needed but it quickly went to three times what I was willing to spend.

I’m either really cheap or it sold for too much. I would guess that about half the cars were sold and they were the less expensive half. There were a handful of six-figure cars available and supposedly there were phone bidders from around the world but the six-figure Caddys and Packards went unsold.

oldsCar auctions are simply big car shows where they just happen to sell the cars and this one had a great variety of cars to see, including a DeLorean, Alfa Romeos, Porsches, a hot dog trailer with Volkswagen pickup, and a 1967 Maserati Mistral in far from running condition that I think was the highest selling car at $90,000. They even had some vintage boats and motorcycles. All told, any event at Marymount is fun to attend and so it was another fine car day for Tom.

The next weekend my ’64 Studebaker Gran Tourisimo Hawk and I attended the annual Big Rock car show at the Safeway in Duvall, and as usual it was a well-run, fun event. I like it because it’s local and casual. Two of my friends won awards for their cars, including Rick Coffey for his ’56 Oldsmobile with flames. It was nice to see something besides a Chevy or Ford win. All kinds of great cars show up and lots of nice people attend. Several of my loyal readers even introduced themselves and were even kind enough to say they enjoy reading my monthly ramble. Thanks.

The next weekend (yes, three in a row) I managed to come down from Granite Mountain in time to catch Saturday afternoon at the inaugural Mecum auction at the Clink (the exhibition center at the football stadium.) I had been to other auctions, including Scottsdale, but I was still amazed at the quality of vehicles I saw.

The whole event was run flawlessly by the Mecum crew. They must bring 40 of their own people and tons of hardware. It would be like staging a rock concert. They sold just over 50 percent of the vehicles at an average of about $50,000 each.

My former 1931 Model A pickup sold on Friday but for how much I’m not yet sure. Among the highlights was a world record $3.5 million muscle car and a $3.7 million Corvette that didn’t even reach its $4 million reserve. Both were owned by the same 1 percenter.

I had wondered if there were enough wealthy car nuts in our area, but with the phone bidders’ help about $15 million was spent there in two days. I didn’t even get a bidders card (they cost $100) and it’s just as well because even if I had room for another classic I was priced out of 99 percent of those cars. I guess a poor real estate broker from Woodinville is destined to just be an observer at this event but I will sure go next year.

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