Kirk F. White, the early Philadelphia-based Ferrari dealer who supplied cars that Roger Penske’s team raced and that Brock Yates and Dan Gurney drove across the country, died March 20. He was in his early 80s.
But while White’s Ferraris might be the first things that people remember about his long career in cars, perhaps his most important long-term contribution to the car community was being the founder of the modern collector car auction industry.
Back in 2015, The ClassicCars.com Journal published a four-part series on White’s staging of the first modern classic car auction.
“Ranging from small, local events to such extravaganzas as Arizona Auction Week and the mid-summer carfest on California’s Monterey Peninsula, classic car auctions have become a billion-dollar industry annually in the United States,” we wrote at the time.
“Which got us to wondering: When and where did this industry get its start? So we checked the archives, and asked some old timers, and here’s what we discovered.”
What we discovered was the story of Kirk F. White, which we shared in four installments:
White had moved from Philadelphia to semi-retirement in Florida, where he was writing an autobiography, Don’t Wash Mine. He shared completed chapters with friends and also through his Facebook page, where he reported recently that his book would be published, probably late this year, by Dalton-Watson Books.
The various chapters also are available on the Don’t Wash Mine website.