Rain or shine every Friday morning, a host of private individuals and regional automotive dealers flock to a large new building near Virginia’s largest inland shipping port at Deepwater Terminal to buy and sell cars and trucks. Most of these vehicles are everyday drivers, some of them completely driven down to the last tread on their tires, while others fit for service are ready to sit on a used car dealer’s lot. This is Motley’s Richmond Auto Auction, a unique brand-new facility created from years of market research and development that feeds a growing demand among private deal-seekers and public dealers alike to buy and sell rolling stock within the local marketplace.
Out of this growing demand for automobile auctions and the unique relationship Motley’s has with the U.S. Marshals’ Service in Virginia came a sale unprecedented in Richmond’s history. Last March, Motley’s professional team of Virginia State Champion Auctioneer Tim Dudley and representatives from his antiques, real estate, equipment and automobile auction operations came together to move a select group of government-seized and privately-consigned collector automobiles the likes of which had never and may never come together again. The subject of the primary seizures was a creative fraudster named James Brown, whose affinity for AMG-powered Mercedes-Benzes, a showroom-fresh Aston-Martin, a Maybach 62 and a diverse selection of personal-taste classics were made evident by the Feds who brought them to sale at no reserve and no buyer’s commission. Along with the private consignments, these lots produced sale totals in excess of $1,5 million and drew a fabulous crowd of locals, interstate travellers and remote bidders alike.
The potential for this sale to have become a one-time fluke was quashed when company President Mark Motley and his dedicated team of antique, equipment and automobile experts came together late last year and decided to reprise last year’s successful sale. Renamed the Classic and Collector Car Auction for 2008, this event will have far more quality collector consignments and far fewer Federally-confiscated exotics (as it’s not every year a James Brown amasses such a collection of automobiles!). Motley’s dedicated team of auctioneers, bidder and seller assistants down to the squad of car detailers are now preparing for this event in earnest as consignments continue to roll in.
Among the early vehicles featured for sale this April, an extremely rare one-owner 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst heads off the list. Repossessed by Chrysler Credit just 90 days after a scam artist signed papers on it at a Maryland dealer, its one and only true owner has been a lifetime MOPAR enthusiast and now-retired restoration professional in the Richmond suburbs. The car made the Richmond to L.A. run at triple-digit speeds during the 1970s from point-to-point in just under 40 hours and since then, apart from a light paint freshening, replacement tires and maintenance items is the way it was delivered to him in the Fall of 1970.
A 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster in barn-fresh condition apart from fuel and brake system overhauls and a general tune-up also heads up the list, completely unrestored and nearly rust-free, it is a time capsule from days-past when such cars were bought and sold for $100 on a street corner. Unusually well-optioned, this Chevy presents a unique dual opportunity for the new owner to buy and drive as-is as a testament to post-war GM quality or restore the car for the first time in its long life. Also from the WWII generation is a 1940 LaSalle 5019 sedan with just short of 60,000 original miles and featuring a total mechanical renovation performed during the last three years.
From retired local NASCAR promoter, collector and friend to the Petty family, Hugh Hawthorne, comes two unique vehicles, the first of which is the sole remaining survivor of a 1915 Ford Model T Town Car. The only year for brass and electric lights on the T, this unique coachbuilt Tin Lizzie was originally built for the Governor of Connecticut and used by that state for many years thereafter prior to Hawthorne’s acquisition and restoration in the early 1960s. A 1950 Bentley Mk VI Sedanca Coupé is also on offer, having been crafted in the period to replicate styling elements of Rippon Brothers and James Young, it is a well-known car in RROC and classic car circles and runs and drives as it should.
Finally, what sale worth its salt would be complete without a classy Corvette? A 1968 C3 Convertible rounds out the top few early registrations. Having undergone a body-off restoration just a few short years ago, its 327/300hp 4-speed Muncie powertrain runs as good as this car looks. Featuring black leather seats, wood steering wheel and power antenna, this early 3rd Generation ‘Vette is sure to impress, especially at the consignor’s attractively low reserve price.
Consignments are still being accepted and discount rates along with low commissions should entice many more to register. To consign your car for this exciting collector auction event, please call 804-357-4926 without delay so that we can do as much marketing for your exceptional cars as possible.
The entire Motley’s organization welcomes all to register to bid at the Richmond Auto Auction headquarters, by telephone at 804-232-SELL or on the Internet at the website address listed below Consignment catalogs will be available in print form on the day of the sale, and a web-based version is continually being updated on http://www.richmondaa.com .