Friday, March 25, 2011

Unusual classic car auction sparks impromptu office field trip to Merriam

A couple of co-workers and I were sitting in our little Overland Park cubicles Friday morning, minding our own business, when we heard of some carbon monoxide contamination over in Merriam. And sure enough, we followed the colorless, odorless cloud to the normally vacant Merriam Plaza, where First West Auction Company was holding an antique, collectible, and classic car sale in the stillborn Circuit City building.

It was actually a pretty fun little field trip. There were a couple dozen interesting cars on display. Some of them were really awful, but there were a few that were surprisingly incredible.

On the negative side, there were things like a rusty old ’69 Chevelle that would take a big pile of cashola to make it into anything, some crapbox Volkswagen vans, and an ’81 Firebird Formula that was cursed from birth with the ugliest shade of turd brown ever to be sprayed on a car body. Those were the cars parked outside.

But once you went into the store, you were greeted with some really nice rides; many of which transcended this venue.

The stars included a white ’56 Thunderbird that looks very close to the one the mysterious Suzanne Somers drove in the 1973 George Lucas film American Graffiti, an appealing turquoise ’59 Corvette, a stunning ’69 Camaro Indy pace car convertible with a 396-c.i. big block, and a brand-new, still in the wrapper 2002 Camaro SS 35th anniversary convertible.

In a room full of muscle cars and hot rods, I’m surprised to say that one of my favorites was a big, old 1930 Buick Series 61 Sedan. This car was 100-percent original, and had an absolutely fantastic 81-year-old patina. The auction bulletin said “Needs Restoration,” but it would be a crime against nature to restore one hair on that car’s head. Unfortunately, a sign in the windshield said it had a cracked engine block. I don’t know if anyone could fix that one, or if you’d have to find a new block, but it would be priority one to get that unmolested piece of history back on the road while making as few changes as possible.

There was also a large section of the building dedicated to antiques and collectibles. I don’t know a whole lot about that stuff. It looked like a bunch of weird Indian art and costume jewelry to me. And it smelled funny over there. But there was at least one table with some factory and aftermarket ‘30s/’40s/’50s hood ornaments and radiator mascots, and there were a few pedal cars under a counter.

There really was a lot of stuff there, and we watched them spend a good five-to-ten minutes selling an oil desk lamp for $16.00. I’m not sure if I would have the patience to sit through a sale like that for very long.

Anyway, around here, you win something that you didn’t have to spend any money on, didn’t have to bid on, and don’t even have to leave your desk to receive. I submit to you below a slideshow of the most interesting cars and trucks that were being offered for sale at this unusual event. Sold!

1 comment:

  1. Small unknown auction. Bet some of them went at bargain prices. Thanks for posting some great pictures. I really enjoy them. Livin' the dream!