Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Bob McDorman auction will be completely awesome, but completely sad at the same time

“Bunkie” Knudson's Harley Earl-built,
one-off '63 Corvette Roadster.
Photo: Mecum Auctions
 As a sentimentalist and a collector, I always feel a bit of sadness when I hear that the nation’s great car collections are pieced out and sold at auction. And for Chevrolet fans, one of the most significant collections was assembled by Ohio Chevy dealer Bob McDorman. His amazing group of cars will be sold by Mecum Auctions at his Canal Winchester dealership on November 6.

McDorman is well-known for owning one example of every year Corvette ever produced. And many of those are exceptionally significant cars. Twelve of those Corvettes have serial number 1. Some of them are special-order, GM-built, one-offs, like Bunkie Knudsen's 1963 Sting Ray, and his wife Florence’s specially modified “Pink Pearl” car. These cars are ridiculously awesome, with all kinds of Bill Mitchell design touches inside and out.

Bill Mitchell's '64 XX Styling Concept.
Photo: Mecum Auctions
 Among the 150-or-so cars to be sold will be several Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars, including a ’48 Chevy convertible, a ’55 Chevy Bel Air convertible, and Camaro Indy Pace Cars from ’67, ’69, ’82, and ’93.

And if you like celebrity provenance, there will be Corvettes that were formerly owned by the likes of Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton, George Strait, and John Mellencamp.

The Bob McDorman collection is one of those things you always hear about. It is just so impressive, it’s impossible to ignore it. McDorman has been a Chevrolet dealer since 1965, and is a true die-hard fanatic. He has sort of built-up and sold his Chevy collection before, but at 78-years-old, it’s unlikely that he’s going to be able to do something like this again. It’s just one of those things that is beyond comprehension, and will be lost forever once then final gavel drops.

1954 Bubble Top Corvette
Photo: Mecum Auctions
 In addition to the Corvette and Chevy collection, there will be a bunch of memorabilia and signage crossing the block. With 45 years in the business, McDorman amassed an incredible collection of this stuff.

I know I usually write about Kansas City events here, but this was such an interesting collection of cars, I thought it was worth stepping outside the box for. Also, Sam Murtaugh from Mecum Auctions hooked me up with some excellent photos of the cars that will be sold. I’ve included many of those pictures in the slideshow below*.

Ultimately, several people will have the opportunity to own some very special cars when this event is over. But this is the last time anyone will see this unbelievable collection all assembled at one place ever again.

To learn more about this sale, or to see the full list of cars, visit

* Clicking on the "baloon" in the bottom left corner of the slideshow reveals the photo captions, should you want to read them.

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