HomeCar CultureLifestyleMuseum cars being sold to fuel founder’s other passion

Museum cars being sold to fuel founder’s other passion


Among Dick Burdick’s passions were cars and community, and the late car enthusiast’s  collection is being sold to provide for a community that, like his business, extends around the world. 

Three cars from Dick’s Classic Car Garage — an Auburn, a Cord and a Duesenberg — were sold at RM Auctions’ recent Labor Day sale in northeastern Indiana for a combined $1.23 million. Next week, 18 more cars, and a delightfully eclectic assortment they are, will be offered at RM Sotheby’s annual sale at Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Funds from the sale of the Burdick Collection will go to the Richard L. Burdick Foundation to support charities and scholarships.

Hershey, Museum cars being sold to fuel founder’s other passion, ClassicCars.com Journal
Pre-auction estimated value of 1916 Hudson racer is $75,000 to $100,000

 “It was my husband’s most sincere wish to create and maintain a private non-profit foundation that would be both beneficial and impactful in our local community, across the country and around the globe,” Johnnie Burdick told the San Marcos (Texas) Record earlier this year. “We intend to honor his vision by using the proceeds from the sale of the Museum’s assets to further the Foundation’s charitable intent.”

Richard L. Burdick died in late February. He was 88. While working for duPont, he developed a heat-transfer system that he turned into Thermon Manufacturing, a global company based in San Marcos, Texas. His community involvement included activity channeled through the Rotary Club and Boy Scouts of America, again expanding to work on a global basis.

He also collected cars, in 1982 founding the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History and in 2009 Dick’s Classic Garage. For 25 years, he competed in The Great Race for vintage vehicles, taking Grand Championship honors five times.

Hershey, Museum cars being sold to fuel founder’s other passion, ClassicCars.com Journal
1931 Packard has pre-sale estimate of $180,000 to $240,000

Dick’s Classic Garage museum is scheduled to close at the end of this year, though six of its vehicles will be featured in an exhibition, American Dreams: Classic Cars and Postwar Paintings, in the spring of 2019 at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio. 

Among the 18 cars from the Burdick Collection on the Hershey auction docket is the 1916 Hudson Series H Super Six car that won The Great Race in 2000. 

Other vehicles from the collection going to auction include a 1927 Ford Motel T coupe that was Burdick’s first collector car, acquired in exchange for five rolls of Thermon heater cable; a 1917 Milburn Electric Model 27 Brougham; a 1951 Kaiser Deluxe Golden Dragon sedan with “Dragon skin” upholstery; a 1921 Stanley 735B 7-passenger Touring; a two-owner 1901 Oldsmobile Model R Curved Dash runabout; and an AACA national prize-winning 1931 Packard Custom Eight roadster.

Hershey, Museum cars being sold to fuel founder’s other passion, ClassicCars.com Journal
1917 Milburn Electric estimated at $25,000 to $30,000 on the block

In addition to the 18 cars, the museum’s 1917 Packard Liberty L-12 aircraft engine is on the auction docket.

RM Sotheby’s annual Hershey auction is scheduled for October 11-12 at The Hershey Lodge. For more information, and to view the full docket, visit the RM Sotheby’s website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
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.


  1. If you follow the link to Sotheby’s auction there’s an article about the "two-time LeMans winning" Ferrari 250/275P. The real underwrite of the story is the Bill Harrah Syndrome, i.e. that after a major collector passes away it is inevitable that his or her collection will be atomized and monetized, all with the "best interests of the family/investors" in mind. And that’ll be the Feberge Egging of this car, that being you’ll see it even less than you did before and someone will pay some exorbitant amount of money for it…

  2. Is the 1929 LA Cord on the sale list? We inherited the original title, pictures and history of the owners of this car. I rode in the rumble seat in the back when I was young. My Father built a garage custom for Fred Butler and helped him restore the car.


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