10 Oct

Important 1912 Mercer Raceabout & Thrall Automobile Collection to be Sold by Dragone Auctions Oct. 18


Dragone Classic Motorcars is will be offering a vast array of extremely rare and exciting motorcars at their fall auction for 2014 on Saturday, October 18. The event will take place at the Dragone Classic Motorcars gallery in Westport, Connecticut.  This auction features a rare 1912 Mercer Raceabout, which is the second Mercer Raceabout to be sold this year, following the $2.5 million sale in August by RM Auctions in Monterey, California.  The event will also feature a 1935 Auburn Speedster that has been a one-family owned since 1954, several of the finest Corvettes, and the entire contents of the Mason Thrall Estate Collection.  “There’s something in this auction for everyone at all levels of the market,” said Manny Dragone of Dragone Classic Motorcars.

The Thrall collection carries a rich and diverse number of motorcars, reflecting all aspects of the collector car market.  Among the highlights are: a 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Landaulet with coachwork by Barker, previously owned by the Ellenville Auto Museum in New York.  This magnificent car is presented in original condition.  Also featured are several micro cars including: a Messerschmitt K200 and two BMW Isettas.  Collectors of the unusual will find delight with a 1931 De Vaux and a 1926 Moon.  The Thrall collection also features marques such as: Peerless, Packard, Hupmobile, Franklin, Graham, Oakland, Chrysler, and Studebaker to name a few.  For the muscle car enthusiasts “without a doubt, this is one of the most eclectic collection of motorcars we’ve ever offered,” said Dragone including a 1965 Plymouth Barracuda, a 1984 Oldsmobile Hurst/442 with only 657 original miles since new, two 427 Corvettes from the 1960s and a stunning 1969 Ford Shelby GT500 with a 428 Cobra jet engine.  Thrall spent an entire lifetime acquiring this most unusual assortment of cars.

The beautiful 1912 Mercer Raceabout is fully documented, with lineage going back to the 1940’s.  This Mercer is perhaps, one of the most original in existence with ties to names like Webster Knight, Edward Malley, Alec Ullman, and David V. Uihlein, Jr.  There’s also the 1935 Auburn Speedster that was recently cosmetically refurbished and presented in its original black livery.

For collectors of America’s sports car, the auction features some of the rarest and best Corvettes with a 1957 fuel-injected four speed, a 1959 with dual-quad carburetors, and a 1962 fuel-injected model.  “The quality, fit, and finish on these Corvettes is amazing,” said Dragone.  In addition, offered is a fully documented, rare aluminum bodied 1950 Jaguar XK120 that has been fully restored to its exact factory specifications.  This exquisitely styled body, along with its 3.4 liter dual overhead cam inline-six, set a world standard for what a performance car should be in its day.  Additionally, a wonderful piece of art deco history is being offered, styled by the great French industrial designer Raymond Loewy, an aerodynamic Hupmobile coupe from 1935; also offered, a Chrysler Airflow and a 1934 Brewster, all very rare and unique automobiles.

This will be the fourth sale since 2012 when the Dragone brothers began auctioning some of the world’s rarest and most unique classic cars found all over the globe.   On Friday, October 17th, there will be an all-day preview of the classics that will be for sale on auction day starting at 10:00am, followed by a cocktail party at 5:00pm to celebrate the following day’s event with classic car collectors, prospective bidders and friends.  This auction promises to “satisfy a spectrum of different automotive tastes,” stated Manny Dragone.

Dragone Fall Auction,
Classic Motorcars Gallery,
176 Post Road,
Westport, CT 06880
Saturday October 18, 2014 at 1 PM

02 Oct

Bonhams Auction of Preservation Cars Returns October 6th

BonhamsPhiladelphia PA – Bonhams, one of the world’s foremost automotive and fine art auction houses, will be returning to the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum for their third “Preserving the Automobile” Auction, to be held on Monday, October 6th. Preview days will be Saturday, Oct. 4th and Sunday, October 5th.

Bonhams’ focus for this auction will be to offer exceptionally fine and original automobiles for sale, providing collectors with the opportunity to purchase fully documented, original automobiles that have either been sympathetically restored or recently unearthed. Select automotive ephemera, spares and accessories will also be included allowing collectors a useful resource for accurate restoration of their cars.

Details on the event are on the Bonhams’ site, located here.

The Simeone Museum is located at 6825 Norwich Drive, Philadelphia PA

01 May

Automobile Driving Museum: A Different Auto Museum Experience


May 1, 2014 – The Automobile Driving Museum, located one half mile south of LAX in El Segundo, CA, is a unique venue for auto enthusiasts. Not only is the Museum filled with over 130 vintage, antique and classic cars, it is the only museum that takes you for a ride in them. The Museum was established in 2003 in a vacant garage in West Los Angeles by two long-time enthusiasts: Founder Stanley Zimmerman and Curator Earl Rubenstein. For many years the two attended car shows, noticing “Look But Do Not Touch” or perhaps the clichéd “If you’re not naked, please do not touch my car” signs. This inspired their mission to not only preserve and interpret automobile history but also provide visitors with the opportunity to touch and sit in the cars and to actually ride in them. Moving to its present location in El Segundo in 2007, the ADM occupies over an acre of land and has 40,000 sq. ft. for automotive display, storage, repairs and restoration so that any vehicle can be prepared at will for the Sunday Ride Program, the raison d’etre of it all.


With a rotating collection of over 150 vintage, antique and classic cars available for display, visitors can experience the span of automotive history from 1886 (with a Benz Motorwagen) to the modern era. In between are a 1904 Schacht Auto-Runabout, Ford Model Ts and Model As and examples of long-gone nameplates, including Franklin, Overland, Durant and Hupmobile. There are also more recent special interest cars such as the Avanti and the DeLorean. The Packard brand makes up the core of the collection, with over 20 examples from a rare 1916 Twin Six (one of three known to exist) to the Packard Hawk of the swan-song 1958 model year. Most of the cars are located in a main display area and include examples of many other makes no longer manufactured such as Studebaker, Nash, Hudson, Kaiser and DeSoto. Virtually all of the cars are drivable and in continuous use on roads in the vicinity of the Museum. Some of the more valuable cars are parked behind glass in a vintage automobile “showroom.” On a recent visit these included a 1930 Weymann-bodied Stutz, a 1935 Chrysler Airflow, a 1937 Pierce-Arrow Town Car, a 1940 Packard Darrin roadster and a one-of-a-kind 1952 Packard concept car designed by Pininfarina. And this being Los Angeles, the ADM also has celebrity-owned vehicles that have belonged to such “golden age of Hollywood” luminaries as Howard Hughes, Errol Flynn and Jean Peters. There is also an unusual 1936 Packard Standard 8 Silver parade car that was built by the U.S. Government for Joseph Stalin. The ADM also serves as the official registry for cars built by Howard “Dutch” Darrin, famous for his custom Packards plus the Kaiser roadster that bears his name.


The ADM is host to many events throughout the year, both private parties and special celebrations and movie presentations.  In recent months the ADM hosted 50th birthday celebrations for the Mustang and the GTO as well as a Corvette Design symposium featuring designer Pete Brock.

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Entrance to the museum is free, but a $5.00 tax-deductible donation is suggested. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM, self-guided tours are offered on weekdays, docent-led tours are offered on Saturday and Sunday. The Ride Program is available on Sundays from 10 AM to 3:30 PM with a selection of three cars to choose from; children must be 10 years old or older to participate in the ride Program.

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The ADM was established to preserve automotive history, interpret its societal significance and provide visitors with the opportunity to ride in one of the Museum’s vehicles. For any auto enthusiast visiting the Greater Los Angeles area, the ADM is well worth a visit.

25 Mar

REVS Institute Opens to Public

All photos courtesy The Revs Institute.

All photos courtesy The Revs Institute.

Naples, FL, March 25, 2014 – The REVS Institute for Automotive Research, Inc., featuring The Collier Collection of over 100 automobiles built between 1896 and 1995, the ones that blazed technical pathways, redefined aesthetic standards, made history, and changed the world, opened its doors to the public on March 25th.

Since the Collier Automotive Museum was closed in 1994, the Collier Collection was carefully enlarged, many of the automobiles were conserved with cutting edge techniques developed at the Institute, the galleries were reinstalled with extensive interpretive materials to better reflect the mission, and the archive and research library were subject to major expansion and development. Over time, with its extensive library, outstanding periodical collections that date from the 1890’s and vast photograph and manuscript collections on all things automotive, the Naples, Florida automotive research institute has become a major resource for historians, researchers, writers and academics. National and international interest of The Revs Institute’s programs, resources and renowned motorcar collection has led to the opening of the Collection to visitors.

With very few and deliberate exceptions, all of the Institute’s cars are operable and many travel around the country for vintage races and concours exhibitions. Porsche, Automobility and Vitesse exhibitions occupy the main floor and significant racing cars are shown on the second floor.

Porsche: Designed to Excel

From the Porsche: Designed to Excel exhibit.

The REVS Institute holds probably the finest collection of rare Porsche road cars and racecars outside of Zuffenhausen. Of special note is the first racecar Porsche developed: the 1953 550-01 Coupe, which predictably won its first race. Also featured is the Le Mans-winning 917K fielded by Martini Racing in 1971 with driver Helmut Marko, among others. Briggs Cunningham’s personal 356 coupe, which he drove while a student at Yale University and appropriately painted dark blue, is also on display.

Automobility: The Car, The Road & Modern Life

REVS’ history of the first century of the automobile begins with an 1884 Pope Columbia tricycle, which features innovations such as a differential that appeared in later cars. Early touring cars are represented by a Brass Era Model T and a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. Gary Cooper’s stunning 1932 Duesenberg SSJ stands out among the luxury cars, and VW Bug, Mini, 2CV and Trabant round out the “People’s Cars.”

Vitesse: Sports Motoring & Motoring Sports


Red sports cars—an Abarth Simca, a Porsche 904 and an Alfa Romeo Guilia TZ—enliven the main lobby. An early Mercer Runabout, a Mercedes SSK roadster, a Hispano-Suiza skiff-bodied car with an open chassis beside it, a Stutz speedster, an MG K-3 Magnette and a brace of rare Bentleys are sported in the Vitesse Gallery. Cunningham’s racecars occupy their own gallery with the 1950 Cadillacs fielded at Le Mans, the famed “Le Monstre” aluminum-bodied car, a C-3 Vignale-bodied coupe, the C-4R and C-4RK, the famous O.S.C.A. that won Sebring and the “birdcage” Maserati. A freshly restored Scarab racecar which won Best in Show Concours de Sport at Amelia Island last month and a pair of Ford GT-40s are accompanied by the ultra-rare Corvette Grand Sport coupe, which, one of only five built, won its class at the Monterey Historics last year along with the prestigious John Fitch Excellence Award.

Revs: Racing Cars & Racing Men

1914 Mercedes Grand Prix Car

1914 Mercedes Grand Prix Car

A 1914 Mercedes, one of the three surviving cars that gave Mercedes a one-two-three sweep of the French Grand Prix just prior to the outbreak of WWI, kicks off the Museum’s gallery devoted to the history of the racecar. A 1913 Peugeot 3-liter that raced at Indy, a “barn find” Bugatti Type 35-S, and a Delage grand prix car are in good company with such Formula One powerhouses as a front-engined Vanwall, a 1963 BRM world championship winner, the first rear-engined Type 43 Cooper that won its first race in Argentina and Dan Gurney’s Eagle Westlake, the only American car to win a Formula One event. The gem of the collection is a 1939 Mercedes W154 grand prix car, the only operable example of the eight extant. Many the car engines are displayed independently to demonstrate the technological developments over time.

Welcoming guests to the museum’s reopening, Scott George, vice president of The Revs Institute for Automotive Research, said “There has been an ever-increasing number of requests for tours of the automobile collection, and we will now be able to accommodate those eager to learn more about the cars we hold in our Naples facility.”

“We hope that increased access to The Revs Institute’s collections will further enhance people’s understanding of the automobile as one of the most significant creations of the 20th Century,” George added.

The Revs Institute will be open each week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be reserved both online and via phone. The rarity and significance of the cars is underscored by thoughtfully laid out exhibits and didactic plaques beside each car. The cars are not roped off, providing easy visitor access. Knowledgeable and enthusiastic docents in each gallery answer questions about the cars, enhancing the visitor experience. The Institute is compiling a guidebook to complement the viewing experience. The REVS Institute is a “must see” for any car enthusiast and well worth the visit to southwest Florida. For more information please visit http://www.revsinstitute.org or call (239) 687-REVS.