Cars from the Harold Coker collection going to Hershey sale | RM Sotheby’s photos by Darin Schnabel
RM Sotheby’s has announced that nearly three dozen cars coming out of the collections of two prominent classic car enthusiasts will be offered for bidding at the auction house’s annual Hershey sale, scheduled for October 8-9 in conjunction with the AACA Eastern Division Fall Meet.
“It is quickly becoming tradition for RM to offer incredibly interesting private collections at Hershey” Gord Duff, RM Sotheby’s car specialist was quoted in a news release. “Similar to the fascinating A-to-Z Collection at our 2014 event, both the Roy and Coker collections represent very special groups of highly sought-after early automobiles, assembled by two men for whom the AACA represented a lifelong community.”
Inside Richard Roy’s collection, which includes an airplane
Those men were Richard Roy and Harold Coker.
Roy attended the AACA’s annual gathering in Hershey, Pennsylvania, for nearly four decades. He lived in Branchville, New Jersey, and his collection focused on cars with ties to Sussex County, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and especially, as RM Sotheby’s put it, “cars of particular originality or peculiarity.”
Roy purchased his first car in 1949, when he was 17 years old, and that 1929 Chrysler Series 75 roadster, nicknamed “Blossom,” is among the 25 cars from the Richard Roy Estate Collection being offered at the Hershey sale.
“While he drove and showed his earliest acquisitions at club events, after the mid-1960s, access to his garage remained limited to his favored local community groups and select car aficionados,” the RM Sotheby’s news release notes. “His family estimates that no more than a few dozen people saw the collection for an extended period. RM Sotheby’s is proud to finally unveil Richard Roy’s lifetime of collecting to the public, where it will be offered entirely without reserve.
The auction house adds that highlights of the Roy collection include:
Richard Roy’s 1929 Chrysler ‘Blossom’
- An “extremely original” 1922 Mercer Series 5 Sport, formerly part of the Fredrick Crawford Collection.
- One of 10 surviving examples of a 1923 Mercer Series 6 Sporting, formerly part of the Bill Harrah and Alfred Ferrara collections.
- A “remarkably well-preserved” 1916 Pierce Arrow Model 38-C-4 five-passenger touring, formerly owned by A.K. Miller.
- A 1908 Holsman Model H-11 touring that was the first automobile sold in Sussex County.
Also being offered are 10 cars from the Harold Coker Collection. Coker’s passion for classic cars led him to leave his job with BFGoodrich to launch the Coker Tire Company in 1958 to provide tires for the collector car community. Coker built his own classic car collection by buying one car nearly every year for five decades.
Among the Coker cars going to Hershey are:
1909 Petrel from Coker collection
- A 1905 Thomas Flyer Model 25 side-entrance tonneau believed to be the only example to have survived intact.
- A 1907 Thomas Flyer Model 4-40 four-passenger runabout, a sister car to the winner of the 1908 New York to Paris race.
- A 1911 National Model 40 Speedway roadster, a twin to the car that won the 1912 Indianapolis 500.
- A 1903 Columbus Electric folding-top runabout believed to have been owned by silent movie star ZaSu Pitts.
- A 1909 Petrel 30 HP roadster believed to be the only surviving example.
A year ago, the Hershey sale featured the Jeffrey Day Collection and John Moir’s amazing A-to-Z car collection and generated more than $14 million in sales. The 2015 sale will include some 150 automobiles and selected automobilia.