Private collections going to up for sale have become an important part of the docket for Mecum Auctions’ major sales, and that includes the big annual motorcycle auction early each year in Las Vegas.
For cars, the major collections tend to be offered at the major Mecum events — early in the year at Kissimmee, Florida; in springtime at Indianapolis; in summer on the Monterey Peninsula in California; and in autumn in Las Vegas.
More than two dozen collections are being offered up for bidding May 15-19 at Dana Mecum’s Original Spring Classic auction at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Some have very creative names — The 17th Street Garage Collection, The Collection from Charlie’s Travels, The Best of Show Collection, The Cornhuster Collection — but most simply carry the collector’s name.
For example, The Reggie Jackson Collection, with the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame player and New York Yankees World Series hero parting with 19 of his cars.
“As with most collectors of substantial means,” Mecum notes in its news release, “Jackson’s collection occasionally outgrows his available space, and a need for some pruning arises.”
Jackson is no celebrity come-lately to the collector car hobby. As a child in Pennsylvania, he and his family would have contests to see you could provide the most details about cars that drove past their home, and it wasn’t just year, make and model; know the displacement of the engine or the specific name of a car’s color and you might get a glass of Kool-Aid or half a popsicle, Jackson said in an interview two years ago with the ClassicCars.com Journal.
When he got his first major league contract, Jackson used his signing bonus to buy a 1967 Pontiac Catalina, 421 with a 4-speed.
Now in his early 70s, Jackson remains a hands-on collector, a few years ago he was selling a couple of cars at an auction and was personally washing and detailing them so they’ve be ready when the bidding began. Walk through his big garage/workshop in northern California and he’ll tell you the history of each of his cars, often opening a hood to point out some specific feature or open the glovebox and show the notebook in which he recorded maintenance details.
Baseball fans know Jackson as “Mr. October,” but hundreds of young people in the Bronx known about the Mr. October Foundation that each year sends a group of them to summer STEM school at Georgia Tech.
For details on the Jackson cars going to auction, see the Mecum website.