The 46th annual Labor Day weekend collector car auction in Auburn, Indiana, is underway with the star cars crossing the block today at the Auctions America sale.
I think I walked past all of the nearly 1,000 cars on the docket during my visit Friday to Auburn Auction Park and here I’m sharing the ones I’d most want in my personal collection.
That doesn’t mean they were the best cars on the grounds or the most expensive or even the most desirable to collectors. But this Delightful Dozen are the ones that caught my eye for one reason or another, which I’ll attempt to explain in the table below:
1933 Duesenberg Model J Franay-bodied sunroof Berline The big attraction this weekend in northeastern Indiana is the annual Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival and to do that event properly you need the right car. This is that car, a Model J with coachwork created in France by Franay for the car’s original owner, the flamboyant Mabel Boll, aka Countess Proceri and the Queen of Diamonds.
1935 Cadillac Eight seven-passenger sedan With room inside for seven people and a flathead V8 under hood, this big prewar Caddy should be the ideal vehicle for a road trip with the grandkids — and maybe even one or two of their parents as well.
1941 Graham Hollywood four-door sedan It seems that every year at Auctions America’s Auburn fall sale I fall for another Graham. This time it’s the ’41 Hollywood sedan, which is empowered by a 217cid Continental engine.
1961 Plymouth Fury convertible I kept coming back to see this car so it has an obvious attraction for me, in part because the top goes down, in part because of all of the styling details, from the grille to taillamps that look like red-lensed flashlights in the rear coves, and from the bug-eyed instrument panel to the unique oval steering wheel. Add in a V8 with “Sonoramic” tuned-ram induction and I think we’re ready for a road trip.
1959 Chrysler Windsor Town & Country station wagon Here’s another road trip-worthy Chrysler product. V8. Pushbutton shifting. Air condition. Power windows — including the one in the tailgate. One of only 977 produced in 1959 and with only 48,000 miles traveled since it rolled off the assembly line.
1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible This car is simply delicious, from its flathead V8 to its Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels and from its petite and rounded rear fins to its attractive Seafoam Green Metallic paint.
1970 AMC AMX This award-winning (American Motors Owners Association Heritage Cup) car is equipped with the “go-package” 390cid V8 engine with ram air induction. The AMX (American Motors eXperimental) was a Javelin-based but short-wheelbase two-seat muscle car from the late ’60s with production ending after the 1970 model year.
1966 Ford Mustang This fastback Mustang has been owned by the same family since it was brand new. It was restored, but retained its original (and straight) bodywork, 289cid V8 engine, automatic transmission and factory-installed air conditioning.
1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta convertible Rocket V8 engine (303.7cid) with HydraMatic gears, this car, from the Triple Crown collection, is one of only 458 such convertibles produced for the 1953 model year.
1956 Mercury Custom convertible Engine and transmission both rebuilt not that long ago and the car has undergone a complete frame-off restoration. Plus, I like the blue hue.
1973 Lancia Fulvia With a five-speed manual and four-wheel disc brakes, this Italian coupe figures to be a blast to drive. Consignor purchased it at RM auction in Monterey in 2000 and did a mechanical restoration and also added new seat covers from the same supplier Lancia used back when the car was brand new.
1970s Shriners ‘Little 500’ miniature Indy car Regular readers will know I was a Shriners children’s hospital patient, so it figured I was drawn to this mini Indy racer once used in charity ‘races.’
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.