The 2012 AACA NJ Region Annual Car Show

In 2012, the NJ Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) held its 59th annual car show on its traditional date, the first Sunday in May. The show was held in the parking lot of the Automatic Switch Company in Florham Park, NJ. The Region had been using this location as far back as anyone could remember, possibly since the 1960s. However, just a few years after these shots were taken, the Automatic Switch lot was no longer available and the Region was forced to find a new locale.

These photographs were taken with a film camera, and since I don’t have any record of digital pictures from this event, the ones below are the only photos I have of the show (see sidebar if you’re interested in details about the camera and film used).

At its peak, the NJ Region’s annual show was known to attract between 250 and 300 automobiles. Without knowing the time of day my photos were snapped, don’t be too judgmental about the ‘gaps’ in the parking lot. It may well be that I took my photos in the morning as cars were still arriving. Since I was in charge of setting up and running the PA system for the club at these shows, I had work to do and did not have the luxury of wandering the show field all day.

As the scanned photos are smaller than the digital photos you’re used to seeing here, you many find it especially helpful to click on each photo, then click on it again to enlarge it to fill your screen.


From this vantage point, we can see mainly cars from the 1960s and ’70s.


I don’t exactly recall the point of the doodled-up truck, but it may have served as an attraction for any children in attendance.


This out-of-focus shot features what look like Ford Model A’s.


1967 Buick Wildcat convertible


Mercedes-Benz 190 SL roadster


Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider


Detail of 1958 Mercury tail light


Detail of wood on a Chrysler Town & Country


Jump seats in what I recall was a stretched-wheelbase early ’50s Chrysler


Huppmobile (note the “H” on radiator shell and as hood ornament), early ’30s?


My friend Ron with his 1936 Packard convertible


The trophy table, awaiting the announcement of the day’s winners


SIDEBAR: The Ciro-flex 120 film camera and Kodak VC160 film

I’ve been collecting film cameras for about 15 years, and I actually take pictures with the ones in my possession. This Ciro-flex camera, made in Delaware, Ohio, is the only non-Kodak U.S.-made camera I own, and luckily, it takes the readily-available 120 film size, rather than the 620 film that Kodak forced consumers to use (Kodak made out because they were the ones producing the 620 film).

I bought the camera at the Rose Bowl flea market in California, I think in 2009, and paid $25 for it. It’s a dual-lens reflex camera. The top opens, and one gazes into a ground glass while holding the camera at about waist level. It can be manually focused, and both the aperture and shutter speed are adjustable. The focal length is set at 85 mm.

For these shots, I used Kodak’s VC160 film. “VC” stands for “vivid color” (as opposed to “NC” film, or “neutral color”). It’s a bright film, and while I’ve read that some photographers find the colors to be over-saturated, I like the look. The 160 in the film name refers to the film speed. When I was shooting 35mm almost exclusively, most film I used was either 100 or 200 speed, so the 160 is almost exactly in between.

Focusing the Ciro-flex is tricky. The ground glass is hazy, and you get a clear image in it only in the brightest lights. As you can see, the focus is better in some photos than in others. In a perfect world, I’d use the camera often enough to become more accustomed to it, when in fact I use this one sporadically. Overall, though, I greatly enjoy shooting with film, because it forces me to slow down the process, think before pushing the shutter button, and delivers photos with that old-world quality look which I just don’t get from digital.


All photographs copyright © 2023 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.


A Visit to the AACA Museum, Jan. 2023

Last week, two buddies and I made a long-overdue return visit to the AACA Museum in Hershey, PA. While “AACA” is in the name, this statement of clarification is on the Museum’s website: The AACA Museum, Inc. has been and remains an independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, not affiliated with the Antique Automobile Club of America.

A Plymouth Superbird is in the front lobby to greet you

I know very little of the story and don’t care to know the details, so let’s just say that there was a courtship which ended in an ugly breakup. In spite of the divorce, it was a happy surprise that my National AACA membership card gained me free entrance!

Not surprising that Carlisle events, and not AACA events, are displayed

My most recent previous visit there was almost six years ago, to fetch my ’67 Alfa Romeo after it spent the winter inside the Museum as part of its Amore della Strada exhibit of Italian cars. It was good to be back; it was also relatively quiet on the day we visited, so it felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Most of the vehicles on display were not the same as we saw in 2017. The Museum is known for rotating what’s on the floor, and the curators are also known for putting on special exbibits, all of which keeps it fresh for repeat visitors. This time, it was racing cars which were featured. Although I don’t count myself as a rabid fan of the sport, there was still plenty of history to be absorbed.

A C2 and C3 Corvettes share space


A constructive comment about the displays: I appreciate the Museum’s efforts to create dioramas for all the cars, and that space is somewhat at a premium. As a photographer, though, it was very challenging to take pictures that showed an entire vehicle while keeping other vehicles and distractions out of the frame. As a result, many of these snaps show most, but not all, of the cars.

A permanent display which was little-changed since our last visit was the Tucker Exhibit. A private collector, David Cammack, began collecting Tucker cars, parts, and memorabilia in the early 1970s. He eventually willed the entirety of it to the Museum. Even though I’ve seen it several times before, there are fascinating aspects of the Tucker story which are worth revisiting.

Part of the Tucker Exhibit

While wandering around the bottom floor (there are 3 levels), a Museum employee engaged with us and offered to take us back into a work area normally off-limits to the public. There, we saw some vehicles being prepped for their turn in the spotlight, and also learned that a regular troop of volunteers makes their way to the Museum to lend a helping hand with the cars. It sounded to this writer like a possible future activity in which to participate.

You need a big basement to house buses

For those who have been to Hershey and have not taken in a tour of the Museum, it’s worth the detour. It is located perhaps 10 minutes from Hersheypark Drive, and admission is $12, $10.50 for seniors, and as I mentioned above, free if you belong to the AACA.


After featuring TWO Subaru coupes last week, here’s another one!


The placard for this Saab stated that it was one of very few notchback coupes


A blown ‘vette


This one had the corner display to itself



I spotted the two DeLoreans side-by-side from a distance at first, and snapped the first photo while noting that one looked a bit lower than the other, and didn’t give it much more thought. I was a shock to get closer, read the placard, and learn about this previously-unknown prototype:




Hopefully you can see in these closer photos that the prototype shares few exterior body panels with the production car. The seats are different as well.



Of the 51 Tuckers manufactured, David Cammack ended up owning 3, and all 3 are here in Hershey.


Engines comprise a large part of the display. Tucker experimented with many different ideas before deciding on a water-cooler flat-6 engine. The engine in red is an experimental engine with hydraulically-operated valves. It looks like a service nightmare.



The majority of the Museum’s displays are on the main level (in this case, the race cars, the Tuckers, the DeLoreans, and assorted other cars). The top level is a mezzanine with some scooters but no cars. The lower level has historically been primarily taken up with buses. This visit was the first time that I can recall seeing so many cars sharing space with the buses.

Triumph GT6


1964 Studebaker Daytona convertible


Volvo PV544


1935 Terraplane coupe (which we all agreed was quite attractive)





Our behind-the-scenes tour included sneak peeks at these cars:


Step-down Hudson convertible


1966 Thunderbird convertible


Rolls-Royce, year and model not noted



It’s not just cars on display! In this hobby, everything is collectible.


All photographs copyright © 2023 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

Automotive Art & Architecture in Washington D.C.

My wife and I drove to Washington D.C. earlier this week to visit her brother, who has lived there for over 30 years. It had been a few years since we visited, and I was looking forward to a few relaxing days, taking in a couple of museums and strolling around his neighborhood. The last thing I expected was to find material for a blog post, but that is exactly what happened.

My wife wanted to see a quilt exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. However, before we got near any quilts, a full-size Ford grabbed my attention. A highly-modified 1969 Ford LTD, billed as “Dave’s Dream”, was featured on the main floor. It was cordoned off so that you couldn’t not get too close. It was the only car on display, and I can only surmise that the theme, in its own way, represents some slice of American History.

On an upper floor was a Richard Avedon photography exhibit. His black & white portraiture is stunning and striking, and part of the exhibit highlighted his start as a photographer for Life, Look, the Saturday Evening Post, and other long-gone weeklies. A nearby sitting area had actual magazines from the ‘40s and ‘50s available for browsing. I selected one at random and opened it, only to find a Willys Jeep ad, one I had never seen before. It was news to me that as early as the late 1940s, Willys-Overland was advertising the purported superior traction advantages of its Jeep.

The next day we strolled around a nearby residential area. A road was closed for construction work. A crew was using a gas-powered saw to slice through the asphalt, then using a backhoe to dig. To my surprise, they were doing this directly alongside a Chevrolet Malibu which had ignored the “don’t park here because we’re going to start work soon” signage. The crew was so far along that even if the owner wanted to relocate the car, it would necessitate driving on the sidewalk.

The garage for this BMW had this lovely mural painted on its side. Can we presume that the owner would rather be behind the wheel of the bullet-nose Studebaker?

In the same neighborhood as the marooned Malibu and the post-war poster car was this ancient Dodge Caravan, its paint long-lost to the elements. The roof rack was supporting sawn-off tree branches. (Also make note of the steering wheel lock, as if this thing is a likely target for thieves.) My brother-in-law said that the townhomes on this block sell in the $2 million+ range. I am beyond creating any rationale for the existence of this minivan.


All photographs copyright © 2023 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.3

The 2014 Lime Rock Vintage Race Weekend

In 2014, for the first and (so far) only time, I traveled up to Lime Rock for their Labor Day Vintage Race Weekend and took advantage of the ‘Gathering of the Marques’, which allows owners of certain automobiles to put their cars on display. That year, I drove my Mazda Miata to the show, and although I still had to pay full price to enter, I was allowed to circle the track, find the Miata group, and park with them.

There were several special treats this year, including displays of Fiat 500s, Fiat Abarths, and a personal appearance from famed race car driver Sir Stirling Moss. As is typical for Lime Rock, some of the cars in the parking lot are just as interesting as the ones in the show, and the paddocks are open to allow spectators to roam freely (but no touching!).

Another unique element to my visit is that I stayed overnight locally, which enabled me to take in some racing action. Photographing speeding vehicles is an art unto itself, and one that I need to practice more. Nevertheless, I was able to fire off a few shots of cars at speed that I trust my readers will find of interest.


Lancia Flaminia


Fiat 2000 Spider Anniversary model


A pair of Alfas










Triumph TR-3




Blower Bentley


My dear friends Ann Marie and Dennis Nash, with their Bentley. They both have passed on.


Spitfires at salute!


Mercedes-Benz 300SLs; note tail light differences between coupe and roadster








All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

The Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg Club Annual Reunion, 2002

The ACD (Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg) Club supports all 3 long-expired car makes with a series of shows and events throughout the year. The Club’s Annual Reunion is traditionally held each Labor Day weekend in Auburn, IN. I’ve long known about this Reunion from articles in the car magazines I regularly devour, and in 2002, I somehow convinced my wife that we should take a vacation including stops in Corning, NY at the Corning Glass Museum, Cleveland, OH for a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum, and “since we’re so close”, a stayover in Auburn that just happened to land us there on Labor Day.

I had forgotten that I had these photos (taken with a film camera) and so I’m now sharing them on my blog for the first time. We were not registered for any events, so our participation involved entering the ACD Museum (an original ACD sales dealership) and wandering the nearby streets which were quite literally jammed with old cars.

Adding to the crowds was a Kruse auction running at the same time, so the automotive eye candy was not limited to the three featured marques. Nevertheless, my long fascination with Cords, combined with their abundance at the show, meant that most shots included them, with a few Auburns here and there (Duesenbergs were thin on the ground).

According to Wikipedia, the Cord L-29, introduced in 1929, was the first front wheel drive vehicle offered for sale to the American public. (However, a recent article in Hemmings Classic Car would seem to dispute that. The ‘splitting of the hair’ may come down to what is considered mass-produced. It’s also well-known that many racing cars which predated Cords were FWD.) The L-29 was somewhat traditionally styled so that its FWD underpinnings were not obvious. The succeeding model, the 810/812, was designed by Gordon Buehrig and was truly revolutionary, looking like nothing else on the road with its hidden headlamps, ‘coffin’ hood, and deleted running boards. These 2nd generation cars were built in convertible, phaeton, and sedan body styles for only two model years (1936-1937) before Cord went under. They are some of the most distinctive pre-war cars produced, and remain highly collectible among hobbyists today.




The stunning Art Deco design has been almost completely preserved compared to its original 1930s construction. A variety of vehicles are packed rather tightly within, including some non-ACD models (note the green ’56 T-Bird). A mezzanine afforded me the opportunity to take the overhead shots.







Vehicles were parked everywhere, and it was easy enough to take photographs. One got the sense that, like Bentley or Alfa Romeo owners, Cord owners are not reticent about driving their cars. If you reflect back to the vehicles seen in my post about the recent Glidden Tour, imagine driving a new Ford or Buick in 1936 and having a new Cord pull up next to you; the effect must have been paralyzing!












All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.


Lime Rock Park Vintage Race Weekend, 1990

I’m almost certain that 1990 was my first visit to Lime Rock Park in Salisbury CT for its Labor Day Fall Festival weekend. The tip likely came from a fellow employee at Volvo Cars North America. The racing photos prove that this visit was either the Saturday or the Monday of that weekend, as by local ordinance, there is no racing allowed on Sunday. My recollection is that I “took a ride” just to see what I might see, and I did indeed stumble upon something wonderful.

Judging by information on the website, the Vintage Racing weekend would have been in its eighth year in 1990, meaning we were there near the beginning of it all. Paying guests are allowed to wander throughout the paddocks, and my photos reflect an interesting variety of classic machinery, some of it quite valuable in 2022. For instance, the red Jaguar XK-120 would have been worth around $50,000 in #2 condition (according to my 1990 copy of Krause’s Standard Catalog of Imported Cars). My most recent copy of the CPI (Cars of Particular Interest) Value Guide shows that same car valued today at $165,000.  That Maserati 3500 GT Coupe is pinned at $15,000 by Krause in 1990; CPI says today’s value is closer to $225,000. Want to take a guess on the BMW 507? According to the respective value books, in 1990: $105,000. In 2022: $2.3 million. Among these 3, the 507 wins the ‘percentage increase’ contest. If only we had a crystal ball….

This initial visit lit a flame in me that burns to this day. Especially in more recent years, I’ve almost never missed a visit to Lime Rock during Labor Day weekend, although, as I’m not a big racing fan, my visits are almost always to attend the “Sunday in the Park” static car show, about which I’ve posted numerous times (2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017). While Lime Rock is not on the beaten path, it’s worth going out of your way for it if you have not been there.

Jaguar XK-120



Maserati 3500 GT




Fiat Abarths head for the track


Messerschmitt on trailer, probably in the car corral


Taking the checkered flag!


All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.




The 1990 Carlisle Import Car Show

It was shortly after entering the automobile industry in 1978 that I learned about “Carlisle”. It’s the name of a town in Pennsylvania, but to car buffs, “Carlisle” more specifically refers to the hobbyist flea market/car corral events which have been conducted at the Carlisle Fairgrounds since 1974.

At first there was Fall Carlisle in October, followed shortly by Spring Carlisle in April. Then came the additions: GM, Ford, Chrysler, Corvette, Import/Tuner, Truck. Auctions were added, as were winter shows held in Florida but still under the Carlisle name. You can read about Carlisle’s beginnings at this link here.

I attended my first Carlisle event in 1979, observing that the flea market offerings were about 90% in support of domestic cars, understandably so. When the Import Show was added sometime in the late 1980s, I was excited at the prospect of what might be there. Some photos from the 1990 Carlisle Import Show were included in my blog post about attending the 2008 Carlisle Import Show with my Isetta, the one and only time I brought the Isetta there. Going through my pictures, I decided that the 1990 show deserved a post of its own.

These snaps are of a decidedly different quality, and my faint recollection is that they were taken with a Kodak disposable camera, which were in vogue at that time. A deluxe version had a switch allowing panoramic photos, which was put to good use here as a way to capture a vehicular lineup. Note how spread out the cars are parked, and how much empty space is behind them. Compared to Spring or Fall Carlisle, this Import show was a much more lightly-attended event.


Those of you who think that my Alfa obsession is a recent phenomenon would be mistaken; here is a photo of a late ‘50s/early ‘60s Alfa Giulietta Spider, taken as it sat in a row of Italian cars. Note the Fiat 124 Spider on the right, and note all the empty rows in the background! I believe that hill is the beginning of what is known as the North Field.

What have we here, an Isetta?? In 1990, I had not yet begun my restoration in earnest, so I’m sure that I was thrilled to stumble across this. From this photo the car appears to be all there, although the red engine paint is incorrect. The sign in the window reads “Warning Health Hazard”.

A large part of the success of these early Import shows must be credited to club support, as this photo of Volvo P1800/1800S models makes clear. I count 8 of them here, but am unsure if Irv Gordon’s car was among them.

A potpourri of German and British cars, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Morris, and Jaguar.

Qu’avons-nous ici, des voitures françaises, toutes des Citroën

More Volvos, this time, mostly 122s.

This is the only known photo in my collection of a Volvo 1800 convertible. It’s a bit ungainly with the top up. As you may know, this is not a factory convertible. Most, perhaps all, such conversions were done by a Long Island dealer, Volvoville. They ran ads for the cars in the back of many of the car magazines of the day. It is also interesting to note the 700-series wagons in the back, which in 1990 would have been no more than about 5 years old.

Three very different Triumph sports cars, from left to right: TR4, TR3, and Spitfire.

Jaguar E-Types (also known as XKEs) have always been desirable and worth preserving, going back to their launch in 1961. This is a Series I model (1961-1967), as evidenced by its covered headlights and above-bumper front turn signals. Note the VW bus lacking side windows behind it, most likely originally intended for commercial use.

It looks like a downsized two-seat Thunderbird, but its official name is DKW Auto Union 1000 Special Coupe. My copy of the Standard Catalog of Imported Cars 1946-1990 states that this model DKW (Das Kleine Wagen, German for The Little Car) was introduced on our shores in 1958, with a 2-stroke 3-cylinder engine, displacing 980 cc and producing 50 HP. List price was $2,495, which may sound pricey when many full-size American cars were starting around the $2,000 mark. However, if one wanted something with sporting pretensions, T-Birds and Corvettes were $1,000 more. Perhaps the closest competitor to this car would have been the VW Karmann Ghia coupe, priced at $2,445. DKW and Auto Union eventually became Audi.

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.


Alfa Romeo Club Dealer Visit & Tour, Oct. 30, 2022

The New Jersey Chapter of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club (AROC) sponsored a combination dealer visit/drive event on Sunday October 30, 2022, which saw a significant turnout of older Alfas along with some newer vehicles. The dealership, Alfa Romeo of Englewood Cliffs (NJ), located on Route 9W, graciously opened its doors to us on a Sunday morning, providing coffee and breakfast treats while we owners took advantage of the opportunity to mingle under sunny and unusually warm late October skies.


The size of the group was impressive; aside from six Spiders, there were five Bertone Giulia Coupes, a Milano, a 4C, and modern Giulias and Stelvios. A Fiat 500 Abarth rounded out the Italian entries. As the owner of a GT 1300 Junior, it was most interesting to me that there were four 1300 Juniors present, 3 Coupes and a Spider, incredible given that the model was never officially imported to the U.S.



After our morning soiree, some of us joined our tour leader Scott Klion and followed him in his red Giulia on a scenic ride up the Palisades Parkway and around Storm King Highway in NY, ending with a lunch at the charming Painter’s Tavern in Cornwall-on-Hudson. I’ve always admired how Alfa owners love to drive their cars in a spirited fashion, even if I in my 90-HP Junior struggled to keep up! My wife and I had a long ride back home from the restaurant, but it was good to get out, put some miles on ‘Junior’, and see some of my old Alfa friends again.


1300 Junior Spider


Spider in nero


Series 4 Spider in rosso


Argento Spider


Spider in Inglese Verde


Hard to tell, but this Spider is dark green


’73 GTV, with GT 1300 Junior in nero behind it



GTV in rosso



Your scribe’s GT 1300 Junior in Muschio Verde (musk green) next to a Spider


This ’68 GT 1300 Junior in Bluette was recently restored


Rosso Milano, the only Busso V6 there


A 4C in a shade of blue I’ve not seen before


A current-generation Giulia


Fiat Abarth


All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.




Sunday Morning Cars & Coffee, Oct. 23, 2022

On Sunday, October 23, 2022, we once again took advantage of a spacious parking lot adjacent to a Dunkin’ Donuts facility to host our own Cars & Coffee event. No driving was included in the plans, and we had a small but enthusiastic group of eight people (plus two VCNA retirees who were surprise guests) willing to mill about on what turned out to be a beautiful autumn morning.

The Dunkin’ Donuts on MacArthur Blvd. in Mahwah did its usual fine job in serving us bagels and coffee, and plenty of Sunday morning visitors were distracted enough by our vehicular lineup to break their routines and come over for a chat.

Cars in attendance included two Corvettes, a Chevy Nova, two Porsche 911s, a Mercedes-Benz turbodiesel, a well-preserved and rarely-seen Volvo S70, and your author’s Alfa Romeo. Interestingly, the imports outnumbered the domestic entries (3 Chevys versus 3 Germans, 1 Swedish, and 1 Italian), something we normally don’t see at our gatherings.

We may try to squeeze in one more driving event before the weather turns inhospitable for the winter. If not, we shall see what 2023 will bring!

1961 Corvette (C1)


1967 Corvette (C2)


1967 Alfa Romeo


1972 Nova


’80s Mercedes-Benz 300D


’80s Porsche 911


21st century 911


Volvo S70 sedan


Nothing but nothing looks like the back end of a C2 coupe


All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.



RM Sotheby’s Auction, Hershey, PA, Oct. 2022

A fixture for many years as an element of the AACA Fall Hershey, PA car show, RM Sotheby’s Hershey auction is conducted at the Hershey Lodge, a few miles away from Hersheypark. There, they have ample room to erect several tents, and the vehicles can relatively easily be driven (or pushed) in and out of the building as each one’s turn comes up to cross the block.

In recent years, RM has specialized in offering American cars at Hershey, and a large percentage of those have been pre-war (before World War 2). Since concluding my week with the Glidden tour last month, I can’t seem to shake this exciting notion of pre-war machinery being used for touring purposes. I’ve also been keenly interested in taking some measure of the supply and demand (that is, selling prices) of these older vehicles.

Some in the hobby continue to cling to the notion that collectors’ interest in any particular era of cars directly correlates to the age of the collector. Put another way, there are those who believe that there is greatly diminished collector interest in vehicles over 70 years old, as those who would remember them as new vehicles from their youth are all but gone from this earth. (This is also why some believe that automobiles from the ‘50s and ‘60s have diminished in value, as the oldest of the Baby Boomers who remember them from their own youth have begun to pass.)

My own observations discount this theory. I’ve rambled on before about the possibility that collectors are starting to view cars from the earliest days of the automobile as similar to paintings and furniture, meaning that they are being collected as much for their intrinsic and historic value as they are for their value as driving machines.

This year’s RM auction was a two-day affair, as has been the custom. As I was in town for only one day, I was witness only to Day Two at the Hershey Lodge. The vehicles on the ground were all due to be auctioned that evening; it appeared that the Day One auction cars had already been moved elsewhere. Of the ten cars mentioned below which caught my attention, six are pre-war, and five of those six sold, some for hefty amounts. (Vehicles which were offered at No Reserve are noted below.) Full results from Hershey can be found at Prices shown below include buyer’s premium of 10%. I have sorted the lots this time in model year order (except for the Fiat which did not sell, covered at the end).


Lot 340, 1902 Oldsmobile Model R curved dash runabout

Black with red trim, black upholstery, wire wheels, blackwall tires. Website claims half-century with current owner’s family. Car was pushed into and out of the building for the auction.

SOLD for $38,500

I had incorrectly presumed that this was a re-creation, as every “curved dash” Olds I’ve ever come across has been such. If this is truly a 1902 automobile, then it’s 120 years old, and that alone is remarkable. Given its historical significance, I’d say that under $40,000 sounds like a bargain.

Lot 353, 1903 DeDion-Bouton

Yellow body and wheels, wood fenders, black upholstery. One year newer than the Olds, yet has a steering wheel as opposed to the Olds’ tiller. Car is smaller than it might appear in photos. Website claims that DeDion-Bouton was the world’s largest car manufacturer in 1900.

SOLD for $46,750 (no reserve sale)

“Only” 119 years old, but looks to be in great shape. What is it worth? On this day, it was worth just under $50,000. I’d fathom a guess that it would fetch more at a European auction.


Lot 385, 1914 Thomas K-6-90 Flyabout

Red paint, wheels, and upholstery, black folding top. Brass trim in and out, wicker basket out back. Dual unmounted tires on right side. Big car on 140-inch wheelbase. Website states that “6-90” in model name indicates 6-cylinder, 90 horsepower engine, also claims that car was rebuilt with custom coachwork in the 1980s.

SOLD for $594,000

Who says no one will pony up for a 1914 Whatever? Not I. Of course, Thomas is a brand with a significant early history. Six-hundred large bought this one, which, compared to modern supercars which sell in the 7-figure range, might make this one understandable. Everything’s relative.

Lot 352, 1921 Napier T75 Speedster

Green paint, yellow wire wheels, black upholstery. Swoopy open body with two rows of seats. Website states that this is one of only 120 cars built between 1919 and 1924.

SOLD for $52,250

I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of this brand before. In researching the car, it should come as no surprise that I have not. It’s a British marque which only built cars for six years, and only churned out 120 units at that. Like the DeDion-Bouton, I would imagine that the Brits would have paid more had it been auctioned across the pond.


Lot 408, 1934 Ford

Dark green body, black fenders, light green wire wheels, wide whitewall tires, tan interior. Rear-mounted spare tire. Website claims upgraded to 12V electrics, and same owner since 1984.

SOLD for $36,500 (no reserve sale)

A very attractive closed-body Ford which appears to have been restored close to its original appearance. This was the second-to-last car to cross the block on Thursday, which may have depressed the price a little.


Lot 364, 1956 Continental Mark II

Green metallic paint, full wheel covers, wide whitewall tires, green and white interior. Green steering wheel is a shade which clashes with the rest of the interior. Immaculate engine compartment. Difficult to find fault.

SOLD for $96,250

Compare this to the Mark II I spotted in the Hershey Car Corral just a few short miles away, and you begin to understand the difference in value based on the costs associated with doing a complete and correct restoration on one of these. Price paid was fair for the condition, but driving it will devalue it.

Lot 401, 1956 VW Beetle convertible

Brown paint (sign on car calls it “Sepia Silver”), VW wheel covers, whitewall tires, dark brown top, tan interior. An old Bug, as distinguished by the low-mounted front signal lights and small rear window. Website claims 23,666 miles shown are original.

SOLD for $71,500

This was one of those over-the-top restorations that looked better than new. I was around plenty of new Beetles in the ‘60s and ‘70s and none of them ever looked this sharp. In today’s market, there are plenty of deep-pocketed individuals willing to spend this kind of money for an example of the People’s Car.


Lot 384, 1959 Chrysler 300E convertible

White paint, wire wheels, wide whitewall tires, tan top, tan leather interior. Sign on car claims that of 140 built, this is 1 of only 27 which survive.

SOLD for $75,000

Some call the 300 Letter cars the original muscle cars. I disagree, because I think the definition of “muscle car” encompasses a smaller (intermediate) body with a big engine. Rather, these 300s are often called big brutes. By 1959, the Chrysler styling had gotten a little fussy, but there was a lot to like here. It’s difficult to refer to 75 grand as a good deal, but for the Mopar enthusiast, this was.



Lot 391, 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Coupe

Blue metallic, M-B wheel covers, blackwall tires, light brown interior. 3.5L V8, automatic, factory sunroof. Sharp looking Benz with prominent grille, wraparound rear glass, vestigial fins.

SOLD for $88,000

A beautiful and rare Mercedes, for about the same amount of money as a mid-sized Mercedes-Benz SUV would cost new today. The difference is that this one will hold its value.


Lot 377, 1912 Fiat Type 56 Touring

Dark blue, blue wooden wheels, brass radiator and headlights, wood windshield surround, black leather interior. Website claims this car was built by American Fiat, a subsidiary of the Italian parent company, and was actually manufactured in Poughkeepsie, NY! The website further claims that the car was restored in the 1990s, including an upgrade to hydraulic brakes.

NOT SOLD (high bid not recorded; pre-sale estimate was $700,000 to $900,000)

Photographs cannot convey the impression that this vehicle had on me. It’s huge, and so full of small details that one could spend an hour just constantly circling it, taking it all in. I was smitten with it, maybe because it’s a Fiat, maybe because I’ve never seen such a large Fiat! Whatever one’s interest is in collector cars, this one could easily serve as a centerpiece, whether the collection’s focus is pre-war, American-built, or European-branded. I loved it, but even if I could afford it, it wouldn’t fit in my garage!

All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.