Leake Auction Company’s annual flagship sale is scheduled for June 7-10 at the River Spirit Expo in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The auction will span four days, starting with a special “customer appreciation” event Thursday afternoon, followed by memorabilia and vehicle auctions that evening.
Bidders and consignors also will be invited to a party Friday evening at the Hard Rock Casino Tulsa.
“We are thrilled with the line-up we are working on for our Tulsa auction,” said Richard Sevenoaks, general manager of Leake Auction Company, which is now part of Ritchie Bros.
The four-day format is being used because the docket includes 500 cars and Leake has simplified its sales with a single auction stage rather than its previous side-by-side stage format.
But that change, done late last year on an experimental basis, marked just the start of major changes for the auction company launched in the 1970s by Sevenoaks’ father-in-law, James Leake.
“We’ll look dramatically different a year from now,” Sevenoaks said in reference to Leake’s enfolding into the Ritchie Bros. company.
“That’s the fun part,” he added as he anticipates the changes and the promise they portend.
“Disruption is the key word,” Sevenoaks said, explaining that a member of the Ritchie Bros. board of directors was one of the founders of Uber, which helped launch the ride-sharing phenomenon.
“Take your existing model and disrupt it and make a new model,” Sevenoaks shared the advice offered at a recent Ritchie Bros. gathering.
He noted that back in the 1970s, Scottsdale, Auburn (Indiana), and Tulsa formed the “Big Three” of collector car auctions, then a fledgling enterprise. He also recounted disruptions that ensued: Dean Kruse doing multiple sales a year rather than the simple annual auction, Kruse and his deal with eBay, Craig Jackson and Dana Mecum adding television to the mix and turning auctions into bucket-list events, Rob Myers joining RM with Sotheby’s to bring a new audience to the car collecting hobby.
And now, he believes, the entrance of Ritchie Bros., a global and publicly rated company adding collector cars to its heavy industrial equipment auction coverage, and also bringing in the reach of its Iron Planet web-based auction and sales capability, marks the next such disruption.
Already, Leake has offered some collector cars at Ritchie Bros. equipment auctions — and with very positive results. There are plans to expand that program, to expand stand-alone collector car auctions both regionally and nationally, and to offer a much larger number of cars for bidding or buy-now purchase on the web.
In the meantime, there’s the Tulsa auction docket and auction.
“From a 2018 Dodge Demon, to a variety of Corvettes, Mustangs and classics, we are presenting a wide variety of vehicles,” Sevenoaks added. “There are 30-plus vehicles that will be sold without reserve, giving everyone the opportunity to start their collection or add to it.”
Among the featured vehicles is a 1979 Auburn 874 dual-cowl phaeton. And, yes, you read that correctly, a 1979 Auburn, a second-generation Glenn Pray Auburn, part of the continuation series cars by Pray, the school teacher who bought the rights to the Auburn brand in the early 1960s. Pray worked with Cord designer Gordon Buehrig and Uniroyal/U.S. Rubber to produce cars with therma-plastic (not fiberglass) bodywork.
The car being offered at the auction has a 460cid V8, automatic transmission, tilt steering column and air conditioning.
Other highlight cars include a 1965 Superformance GT40 MK 1 continuation driven only 850 miles, a 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1 from the Wilmes Collection, a 327cid/4-speed 1965 Chevrolet Corvette convertible, a 1939 Cadillac Series 61 convertible, a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 R-Code with 427cid Cobra Jet engine, a 1938 Lincoln Zephyr custom with 5.0-liter Ford V8, a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda convertible with a 426cid Hemi V8, and the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.