In honor of Collector Car Appreciation Day on July 11 (oops), Auctions America is holding a big auction of some really interesting collectible cars. They were nice enough to let me check out some of them before the July 31 auction. I'm pretty sure my presence devalued the cars a bit, so, you're welcome, bidders.
The collection is really quite varied, with some crazy high-end stuff, albino-unicorn-grade rarities, and a few more humble but charming entries as well. Here's some of the cars that caught my attention:
A Tucker! Of course there's hardly any of these around, so it's always exciting to see this stillborn American take on the Tatra. This one looked to be perfect.
And look at that delightful helicopter motor sitting in there. You could eat out of that engine bay, but they restrained me so I couldn't.
A '59 Fiat 500 Jolly! These are always fun. This one is a US-spec model, which you can tell by the strange, oversized-bug-eye headlights.
WWI Flying Ace Eddie Rickenbacker started a car company started a car company in 1922, and this is a fine, brass-trimmed example of one. There's not many of these around.
The Rickenbacker has some of the classiest taillights I've ever seen. That top-hat-in-the-ring logo was taken from Rickenbacker's old WWI fighter squadron.
A Muntz Jet! "Madman" Muntz was a really interesting character, and while a Kaiser-Frazer dealer, he had an idea for his own sports car, about 400 of which were built, mostly in Glendale, CA. I think they're quite striking.
MG TCs were once sort of the iconic "sportscar" back when the idea of a light, small, quick car was still unusual to Americans. This would be a very fun car to have.
Plus, for turn-indication aficionados like myself, these are some really delightful units here. Actual arrow and everything!
These two should probably be sold as a set: a nice GT40 recreation and a really well-sorted Isetta.
Oh boy, a Vector! This would be perfect for the buyer who wants something that generates as much confusion as it does attention. And all those questions asking you what the hell it is are sure to distract you from the possibly abominable build quality. Is that panel on the hood open or shut? It's pretty impossible to tell.
A DeLorean! Sure, they're not great cars, but at the same time, they're kind of great cars. They've managed to stay striking looking after all this time, and by now the thing's iconic. Even with that awful PRV V6.
There's no reason your next car shouldn't be an open-wheel racer. Slap some lights on there and a basket for groceries and you've got life figured out.
How do you keep track of the needs of a warehouse full of cars? With a whiteboard, apparently.
Look at this lovely Ford V8 from that open-wheel formula car there. Who doesn't love those intakes? Horrible, joyless people, that's who.
This was sort of the Miata of its day. A 1911 Model T, the sports version. Minimal bodywork, huge monocle for a windshield, fire apple red. I bet this thing could make corsets snap a hectare away.
Ford's headlight design in the late '30s was just fantastic.
I realized I'd never really seen a Chrysler Airflow up close. They're really very lovely cars! Maybe the most pure example of Art Deco auto design that actually made it into production, at least in the US.
I love this non-round wheel on this Fury.
Kaiser had a lot of interesting styling affectations back in the day, but I think their attempt to bring Eddie Munster/Mickey Mouse-style widow's peaks into automotive design may be my favorite.
Want a little red Porsche with an open top, but aren't a fan of speed or handling? Boy are you in luck.
This lovely little Porsche tractor is a twin-cylinder air-cooled diesel, and that's sure to make you the star of any Porsche meet you leisurely make your way to on this lovely little workhorse.
Old Lambos are so handsome. It's such a clean, timeless design.
Let's end on this lovely old Bugatti. Because that color, and that everything.
There's also a pretty spectacular 1984 Porsche Gemballa Coupe, which I didn't get to see, but from the pictures appears to be a gold-and-maroon weaponized concentration of 1980s design so potent, it'll probably make Duran Duran's Rio album cover appear on your chest.
The full catalog is here. So, wealthy readers, get your asses to Burbank on July 31st so you can surprise your spouse with that Vector that will be exhibit A in the divorce!