The 'Verde Classics Museum Collection Auction' consisted of 75 cars and almost 500 lots of related road art and automobilia from the personal collection - and former museum - of Fran and Ron Green. All lots were being offered at No Reserve, with admissions donated to US charities, The Wounded Warriors Project and Home for Our Troops.
American classic convertibles from the 1950s and 60s dominated the lots on offer, but the Green's collection also comprised a few rarities, like a Sbarro BMW 328 replica, Dodge Li'l Red Express pickup, supercharged Studebaker Avanti and an ex-Florida Highway Patrol Ford Crown Victoria police car.
In front of a standing room only crowd which consisted of hundreds of prospective buyers, a 1962 Dodge Polara 500 convertible set the bar early, selling for US$58,000. This was followed soon after by a 1970 Aston Martin DBS coupe (one of the few non-convertibles from the auction), which sold for US$75,000.
The next big dollar unit was a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a 360hp 327 V8, which sold for US$97,000 (AU$94,470 approx.). Three lots later, what would prove to be the auction's top seller crossed the blocks - a 1961 Chrysler 300G convertible. From the golden era of Chrysler's 'letter series' full-size performance cars, the 300G was a multiple AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) trophy winner, and arguably one of the finest of its kind.
Of course, being a letter series 300, the '61 convertible featured a powerful engine and was loaded with options. In the case of this car, that meant a 413ci twin carb Cross Ram V8 engine that produced 375hp, push button automatic transmission, a power convertible top, power brakes/windows/steering/antennae, whitewall tyres and more.
One of only 338 produced in 1961, the condition and concours-winning pedigree of the 300G convertible saw is reach a final sale price of US$130,000 (AU$126,600 approx.). This easily eclipsed the US$77,500 (AU$75,470 approx.) made later by a 1962 model 300H convertible.
Second-best seller behind the '61 300G was a 1967 Volkswagen 13 window microbus, which went for $US100,000 (AU$97,390 approx.), followed by the aforementioned '62 Corvette. Fourth-best seller was a 1957 DeSoto Adventurer hardtop coupe. The popularity of 50s-era DeSotos like this has increased in recent years, and the lot on offer was one of the most stunning examples of what was arguably the most attractive year for Chrysler's mid-level brand.
Fitted with a 3456hp 345ci V8, automatic and factory air, the white & gold Adventurer also boasted power steering, power windows and power brakes. One of the most unusual features of the DeSoto Adventurer interior was the Benrus clock mounted in the steering wheel boss, which was present and operational on this vehicle. Final sale price for the DeSoto was an impressive US$92,500 (AU$90,100 approx.).
Other good results included US$89,000 (AU$86,670 approx.) paid for a 1957 Buick Caballero 4-door hardtop wagon, US$81,000 (AU$78,880 approx.) for an immaculately-restored and heavily-optioned 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible, and US$70,000 (AU$68,170 approx.) for a 1959 Chevy Impala convertible equipped with a triple carb 'Tri Power' 348 V8, automatic, power everything, dual antennas and whitewalls.
The Greens were thrilled with the success of the auction and grateful for the chance to share their collection one last time with bidders and the public on the preview day before the auction.
"We were very pleased with the auction results that took place this weekend at our museum," Ron Green stated. "Our expectations were either met or exceeded every step of the way. Mecum did everything they said they would do and then some, and we couldn't be happier."
Total sales for the special one-day auction event reached US$3,784,520 (AU$3,7905,385 approx.).
For complete auction results, go to www.Mecum.com
Images: courtesy Mecum Auctions.