Last fall, and after seeing the success Barrett-Jackson had with its high-end Salon Collection/5000 Series, Leake Auction Company added what it called its Platinum Series to showcase select cars for its classic car sale in Dallas.
“It was wildly successful,” said Richard Sevenoaks, Leake president, who noted that six of the 10 Platinum vehicles sold, along with rights to the E.L. Cord auto company trademarks. As a result, the company posted more than $10 million in sales at the auction, which had a record 76 percent sell-through rate.
Leake opens its 2015 auction calendar February 20-21 at Oklahoma City, and it again will offer a select group of special vehicles, though it is changing the name from Platinum to the Jimmy Leake Salon Series in honor of the company’s founder.
“We’re going to change the name,” Sevenoaks said. “The Jimmy Leake Salon Series has more of a ring for our local people who knew Mr. Leake.”
Jim Leake (the family’s name is pronounced “Lake”) grew up along Route 66 in Oklahoma, became fascinated with the cars going past the farm, and was determined to own such vehicles. And he did, so many of them that in 1964 he staged one of the first classic car auctions in the country. Eight years later, Leake staged another sale, which launched the auction company that bears his name. He also operated The Antiques Inc. Car Museum for many years.
Sevenoaks said that at each Leake auction, around 10 cars will be selected for the Jimmy Leake Salon Series, adding that those cars will be unique or limited-production vehicles, high-line cars or something “out of the ordinary.”
At Oklahoma City, they include a 1977 Aston Martin V8 coupe, a 2009 Ferrari F430 F1, a 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider, a 1970 Dodge Challenge R/T Hemi, a 1930 Buick Model 60-64 roadster, a 1963 split-window Chevrolet Corvette, a stainless-steel-roofed 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, a 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, a 1990 Ferrari Testarossa and a 1965 Cobra Daytona coupe tribute.
“We don’t get very many McLarens or Lamborghinis,” Sevenoaks said. “Testarossas are red hot right now.” He added that ’57 stainless-roofed Caddys are among his personal favorites, “so I get to stick that one in there.”
The Oklahoma City sale will offer some 450 cars.
Sevenoaks pointed to several customs, Pro Street cars, a group of 1969 Chevrolet Camaros, a bunch of Corvettes, and several Toyota FJ40 Land Cruisers and a 1973 Ford Bronco, the 4x4s “very popular 15 years ago in the high school parking lots.”
There’s also a 1976 Buick Century station wagon bedecked with a piano keyboard design that was used in the recent movie about Liberace, Behind the Candelabra, and a 2011 Local Motors Rally Fighter wearing Oklahoma State University colors and pulling a custom-made BBQ smoker.
Sevenoaks said a football fan bought the Rally Fighter at Barrett-Jackson, brought it home and did the OK State design and added the smoker, which is put into use at football-game tailgating parties. The owner is selling the unit so he can build another one, Sevenoaks said.