Long ago, there was a magical place in Buena Park, California called MovieWorld: Cars of the Stars, owned by a pair of brothers by the name of Brucker. Ed Roth worked there. Von Dutch lived in a bus on the property, and although the museum closed in '79, the Bruckers' stored collection contained some fabulous artifacts of lowbrow art history. Our friend, mentor, and sometime-collaborator Mike LaVella of Gearhead, covered last weekend's auction of the Brucker collection and kicked us down a bit of science as he frantically readied himself for a trip to buy a suit in Hong Kong.
The auction was also held live on eBay, and according to LaVella, "A lot of it was sold to eBay people." Jay Leno (who had a proxy bidder) bought a motor from Howard Hughes' plane that was in the Brucker museum that Dutch striped.
"The guy who bought Von Dutch's pinstriping kit is Ralph Whitworth who is opening up a museum in Winnemucca, Nevada called America's Car Collection. He bought the Road Agent, the Mysterion and the Druid Princess, and bid Von Dutch's paintbox up to $270,000."
According to LaVella, though, "If you went just to buy Williams, it could've been your cleanup day." Compared to to the frenzy whipped up by Roth and Dutch's dead-icon status, Robert Williams' paintings often sold below the expected outlay. Dutch's tools, however, went for mind-boggling prices, often going for ten times their appraised rates. The action was so fast and furious that LaVella lucked out and scored Von Dutch's flip-up address book for a mere 400 bucks (although on eBay it says it sold for $475).
The LA Weekly has a great piece on why this art matters, the Brucker collection, and a fond farewell to Fausto Vitello, a patron of lowbrow art.
Dutch Auction [LA Weekly]
Fausto Vitello: RIP [Internal]