Auctions America by RM successfully continued its mission to put Auburn back on the map as the ‘Classic Car Capital of America’, Aug. 30 – Sept. 2, posting strong results and record attendance at its third annual Auburn Fall Collector Car Weekend in Auburn, Indiana.
Held during the famed Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, this year’s Labor Day Weekend sale marked Auctions America’s largest event to date, combining a first-class auction with a host of other exciting automotive-themed activities designed to celebrate the hobby. More than 1,000 automobiles, 500 lots of memorabilia and a select range of vintage motorcycles crossed the auction block during the multi-day sale, generating more than $18.6 million in total sales with 76 percent of all lots sold.
Reflecting the event’s steady and consistent growth over the past three years, more than 52,500 enthusiasts turned out to the historic Auburn Auction Park across the Labor Day Weekend, surpassing last year’s attendance of 43,000. Also reflecting strong growth, a record number of bidder registrations received from 10 countries around the world and 40 states across the U.S., reaffirming the event’s standing as a Labor Day tradition and highlighting its global appeal. More than 1/3 of bidders represented first time clientele.
“We’re thrilled with the results from this year’s Auburn Fall Collector Car Weekend,” said Donnie Gould, president of Auctions America by RM. “Once again, the event provided a wonderful celebration of automotive culture – with some enthusiasts fortunate to walk away with the ultimate souvenir, a collector car. The feedback received from buyers, sellers and attendees alike has been extremely positive. There is no doubt, Auburn is back! We look forward to continuing to grow the event in the years ahead and further building its standing as a ‘must attend’ event on the global collector car calendar.”
In keeping with the theme of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, locally-built automobiles were once again the toast of the auction, with top sales honors going to a majestic 1935 Duesenberg Model J Sedan for $456,500 and a striking 1932 Auburn 12 Boattail Speedster for $275,000. Rounding out the top five sales and attracting enthusiastic bidding were a WWII Military Recreation for $269,500; a 1953 Buick Skylark for $192,500; and a 1932 Auburn 12 Phaeton for $181,500.
As part of Auctions America’s continued efforts to give back to Northeast Indiana communities, a special segment of the weekend was the presentation of a dedicated charity auction on Sunday, Sept. 2, benefiting local military families. Hosted by Barry Weiss, star of A&E’s hit television series Storage Wars, the charity portion of the program raised in excess of $41,000 through the auction and additional donations, with 100 percent of proceeds to be split between the family of U.S. Army Sgt. JaBraun Knox, who was tragically killed in action in Afghanistan in May, and the Fort Wayne Base Community Council, established in July 2012 to support current deployed and non-deployed military members and their families in times of need through various different initiatives, including financial assistance and education.
“The local community has been very welcoming and supportive of the Auctions America team since we arrived in Auburn in July 2010,” comments Gould. “The charity auction was part of our commitment to support the local community in which we operate. We’re proud to be able to give back and, in particular, provide support to local military families who make daily sacrifices for their community and country.”
Speaking on behalf of the charity auction beneficiaries, Rob Moreland, Director, Fort Wayne Base Community Council adds, “Auctions America really hit it out of the park for military families with their fundraising endeavors across the Labor Day Weekend. All of the donations to the Fort Wayne Base Community Council will go to help service members and their families in times of need.”
In addition to the Military auction, three-time Indy 500 champion Bobby Unser donated an autographed racing helmet during Saturday’s sale session, which raised in excess of $13,000 for the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum.
Beyond the auction, the weekend’s program also featured one of the Midwest’s largest car corrals and swap meets, organized by Carlisle Events. With thousands of sellers on-site, buyers and sellers alike noted that results were the best in years, with resto items and collectibles proving hot items for those shopping for pieces, parts and memorabilia, while a good number of cars sold within the car corral. Illustrating the continued popularity and draw of the event, vendors represented 31 states across the United States.
“There certainly was a lot of enthusiasm throughout the swap meet and car corral and we heard many reports of great sales in both areas,” notes Diane Vaughn of Carlisle Events. “We had a terrific mix of merchandise in the swap meet, delighting the shoppers all weekend long, plus I know of one person who purchased 17 cars within the car corral and was still looking for more. Our compliments to Auctions America by RM for their continued improvements to the auction park and all their efforts to create an outstanding weekend of continuous entertainment for the entire family.”
Other popular festivities forming part of this year’s Auburn Fall Collector Car weekend included helicopter and monster truck rides, along with the well-attended “50 Years of Shelby American” seminar on Friday, Sept. 31. A continuing part of Auctions America’s educational series, the seminar was hosted by well-known SPEED commentator Dave Despain and featured original Shelby Factory Team Driver, Allen Grant; Shelby American VP of Operations, Gary Patterson, and Auctions America’s own resident Shelby aficionado and President, Donnie Gould. The panel focused on the passion that drives Shelby enthusiasts, as well as the company’s past, present and future. The seminar series will return to Auburn for Auctions America’s Spring event in May 2013.
Auctions America continues its busy Fall calendar of events, Sept. 21 – 22, with the presentation of the Terry Bennett Collection, an eclectic offering of motoring and vintage collectibles, in Rollinsford, New Hampshire, closely followed by the company’s Fall Carlisle sale, Oct. 4 – 5, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
For further information on upcoming events, along will full results from the 2012 Auburn Fall Collector Car Weekend, please visit www.auctionsamerica.com.
*Official results are listed in USD and include a 10 percent buyer’s premium for automobiles and motorcycles and 15 percent for memorabilia.