Eye Candy: Ron Pratte’s neon sign and gas-pump globe collection

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Right-eye blinks on 1950s 'Chevy Boy' neon and porcelain dealership sign, one of only two produced.

Photos by Larry Edsall

Earlier this month, classic car auction house Barrett-Jackson arranged for members of the automotive media to visit what ClassicCars.com associate editor Bob Golfen accurately described as Ron Pratte’s man cave.

Pratte, homebuilder turned car collector — and now moving on to other things that have captured his interest — erected a large, aircraft hangar-style building in a private air park in Chandler, Arizona, where he stashed his amazing collection of cars and automobilia, a collection that will be offered up for bidding in January at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction.

Forty-six of Pratte’s cars are being featured on this blog over the course of a 30-day period that concludes the day before the bidding begins.

However, the start of that bidding won’t involve Pratte’s cars. That occurs on Tuesday, January 13, when more than 100 cars from Pratte’s collection will cross the block. The rest — the stars of the collection — will be part of the big primetime Saturday show at Scottsdale.

Starting Saturday, January 10, Barrett- Jackson will focus three days on the auctioning of 1,500 pieces of automobilia coming out of Pratte’s massive man cave. That includes his world-class — perhaps even world’s best — collections of neon signs, gas globes and pedal cars.

Today, we take an Eye Candy look at some those signs and gas globes. In a few days, we’ll follow up with a look at some of the pedal cars.

 

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.