For the ninth year in a row, Worldwide Auctioneers, which is based in Auburn, Indiana, stages its annual Labor Day weekend collector car sale in its hometown. But not just in its hometown but in the historic L-29 Cord Building that for the rest of the year serves as the site of the National Auto & Truck Museum of the United States.
Except for its new display of pedal cars and the presence of the GM Futurliner recently included on the National Historic Vehicle Register, the museum clears out its main floor for this weekend to make room for the 60 or so vehicles that will be available for bidding today.
I previewed the docket Friday afternoon and found a bunch I’d love to take home, including one very unusual vinyl-roofed and historic Shelby Mustang.
1966 Shelby GT350 pre-production prototype Not only was this the first 1966 Shelby GT350, but it tested not only the vehicle concept but a vinyl-roof treatment that never was released for sale. Documented by the Shelby American World Registry, the car wasn’t a modified factory-delete car but a regular K-code Mustang that Shelby upgraded for testing.
1929 Stutz Blackhawk Roadster Formerly part of the acclaimed Harrah’s collection. It 241.6cid six-cylinder engine provides 85 horsepower. A dial allows the driver to change the pressure applied to the brake shoes to adjust for road conditions. The car also features a sun-dial radiator cap.
1920 Stutz Model H seven-passenger sport phaeton Here’s another Stutz, and it’s a mechanical twin to the Blackhawk except for its shift lever.
1955 Kurtis KK 500 Special Owned by the same family in California from 1957-1997, this racing roadster has competed in vintage events. Originally built with a Bangert body, the car was purchased by an Ohio steel company that modified the bodywork before it went to California where it raced, winning the American Road Race of Champions event at Willow Springs in 1957. That owner’s son converted the car to street-legal configuration until the consignor put it back on the track in 2013.
1957 Townsend Typhoon Mk II Frank Townsend of Tucson, Arizona, started with a 1949 Plymouth chassis and ended up with his first Typhoon sports car while he was still in high school. A second version followed and then Townsend did the Mk II, a sports racer with a tubular frame. The Oldsmobile V8-powered car raced in both NHRA and SCCA competition and received some modifications after a collision with a mesquite tree.
1929 Packard 645 Deluxe Eight sport phaeton by Dietrich A Classic Car Club of American 100-point Senior Award winner, this big Packard with coachwork designed by Ray Dietrich. The car reportedly has never been shown outside the Midwest, so there are plenty of concours yet to visit.
1955 Sears Allstate Cushman or 1961 Piaggio Vespa I’d be happy with either of these. The one in the foreground is the Allstate Cushman you could buy from the Sears catalog. The blue scooter is a 40 miles-from-new Piaggio Vespa that formerly was part of the Imperial Palace collection and has been owned by the same person for the past 20 years.
1953 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible Straight six, manual three-speed and restored and ready to cruise. And there should be a lot of miles left on this convertible, which shows fewer than 45,000 on its odometer.
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.