“Automotive memorabilia has been around as long as cars themselves. With America’s passion for these nostalgic items continuing to grow, Barrett-Jackson Automobilia Director Rory Brinkman believes lightning will strike twice in the same place in Scottsdale come January. The Ron Pratte Automobilia Collection helped make the Scottsdale 2015 automobilia auction the highest-grossing in history, shattering world records. Now, four stellar collections are combining for the Scottsdale 2016 automobilia auction, creating an offering Brinkman says is equal in importance to Pratte’s.
The collections of Gordon Apker, Art Redford, Jim MacKinnon and Richard LeRoy represent over 85 years of collecting and include more than 800 tin and porcelain signs, 40 restored pedal cars, over 100 neon signs, gas pump globes, service station displays, 35 restored gas pumps, soda collectibles, general store items and more. Incredibly, Apker and Redford are selling just a portion of their collections and have never sold any items from their automobilia collections before. “Collectors have been beating on their doors for years,” says Brinkman. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Apker, who also has an admirable car collection, says he started seriously collecting automobilia when he was in his mid-20s, although he was attracted to the motoring-related memorabilia even earlier, when he worked at a gas station. While he particularly likes automobile-themed toys, Apker has amassed a little bit of everything. He’ll be bringing some 20 pedal cars to Scottsdale, along with restored gas pumps, neon signs, station displays and more.
Apker is quick to point out that selling a portion of his collection doesn’t mean he’s stopping. “It’s hard to change my stripes,” he chuckles. “My favorite piece is probably the next one I’m going to try and find. I’ve always wanted an Aston Martin sign, but the factory takes them back and destroys them. I’ve never gotten one, and probably never will.” He says that over the years he simply bought what he liked, never thinking it would be “worth a darn dime,” but instead collecting things that reminded him of his past. “When I worked at the gas station, I had nothing,” he recalls. “I guess now I’ve gotten to the point where the American dream has been met. I like to go back and remember how it was. I don’t ever want to forget that.”
Excerpts taken from a post by Barrett-Jackson posted November 17th, 2015.