Classic Car Corner: Auction Time

  • Written by Tom Berg, Windermere

lucky aug 13AUCTION TIME: On August 31 and Sept 1, I was able to attend the Lucky Car Auction held at the beautiful LeMay Family Collection grounds at Marymount in Spanaway. I had entered my 65 Mustang in the auction so took it down there on Friday which allowed me to include a round of golf at the nearby Classic Golf Course. 

It’s always good to combine one’s interests whenever possible. I drove down again on Saturday which was the 36th annual open house put on by the LeMay family. I figured I would hang around my Mustang to tell potential buyers what a great car it was but actually ended up wandering around looking at the other cars, talking to their owners and trying to figure out which one I would most like to have as well as watching most of day one of the auction.  

On Sunday I once again made the long drive south because this was the day my car would reach the auction block. I was one of the earlier cars to come up and had managed not to buy anything so far. When watching the auction each lot seems to take a long time since they are trying to squeeze out as much as they can from the bidders. Most of these cars had reserves and a little more than half actually sold. When it was my turn on stage time really seemed to fly! I got a decent opening bid and it increased quickly to a price I could accept after I asked the auctioneer for a discount on his commission. After all the preparation and waiting time I did get a decent price for the car I really didn’t want anyway. Later when I went to sign some seller papers I met the buyers and they were the one couple I had actually talked to at my car earlier.   I had discounted them as buyers since she was an older lady and wanted an automatic and this was a 4 speed with a stiff clutch and a hot engine.   I hope she likes it. Had I hung out around my car and talked to people I may have gotten a better price. 

I had promised myself I would buy no more cars this year but since I now had one less car and some money burning a hole in my pocket I thought I could get a little more serious about buying another one. I bid on a nice 60 Studebaker, a beautiful 90 Jaguar with low miles, a great looking red 62 Thunderbird and a well worn Studebaker Avanti all of which fortunately went for more than I was willing to pay.

Not surprisingly  though I have accidently found a car with my name on it and my new-found dollars are long gone again. Now I’m in the midst of building another covered parking area at home. It was an all-together entertaining weekend and I will certainly be there again at the end of August 2014. 

After two of  my cheap vinyl carports collapsed during "Snowmageddon" and cost me a lot of repair $$$ in 2012 I bought a decent metal carport from Ron at R&G Automotive here in Woodinville.

I’ve now decided it needs some sides on it so I went back and introduced myself to the new owner Brad Dammen  (Ron’s now at home in his rocking chair eating Bon Bons). Brad does the same work as Ron but also specializes in high end paint jobs so welcome to the community, Brad. 

Classic Car Corner - Good Guys

  • Written by Tom Berg, Windermere

car1Catching up: This year, due to the resurgence of the residential real estate market, trips, hiking, golf and  life in general, I missed the early swap meets in Puyallup, missed the Monroe swap meet and had only been to one car show (Big Rock-Duvall in June) so it was time to catch up.

One Saturday I headed down to the "Good Guys" car extravaganza at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. They claimed to have 2500 vintage cars there and I believe it. Some were for sale but priced a little high for me and besides, I’m trying to reduce my old car inventory, not increase it. I must have missed seeing a few cars but I saw enough as well as a myriad of car parts. Good Guys is a national organization that puts on 20 huge shows a year throughout the U.S. and many of the cars were from other states and even Canada.  

This show is unique in that the car owners can drive their cars around the fairgrounds right through the crowd. I wonder how the insurance company likes that. The show uses up the entire fairgrounds and by mid-afternoon I was worn out, full of fair food and probably missed something but that was enough for one day.

Being a glutton for punishment, the next day I went to the Kirkland car show, a well respected show that I had never managed to get to. This show takes up all of downtown Kirkland and had about 90 percent fewer cars than the Good Guys show but was lots of fun since they were very nice, local cars and it was in Kirkland with the park at the lake and lots of good food. 

After awhile my grandson showed up and we had to look at all the cars again. Even though these were local cars there were many I had not seen before and I even saw a nice Diamond T and a great Citroen 2cv like the ones I had seen in Scotland. I hadn’t seen another one in decades. Put the Kirkland show on your schedule next year – it’s local, well run and lots of fun.

At the Kirkland show my friend Matt (to whom I had sold my 36 Chevy ) suggested I go to the car show in Juanita on the 24th so I grabbed my grandson and his favorite vehicle – my Toyota FJ40 – and went to Juanita.

This is a small show (less than 100 cars) in a convalescent care  parking lot and adjacent street but had some great cars. There were TWO Studebakers, two pre-war Lincolns and a nice 61 Corvette just like my 62.

I had a long discussion with the Vette owner and even saw him the next day as I was driving through Tuscany after my open house in my 38 Ford pickup. Yes, I use my old cars in my real estate business whenever I can. 

There are lots of great cars  in Woodinville. Recently as I was walking to lunch I spotted a really nice 39 Ford pickup right in front of the Goodyear store. The 39 is virtually identical to my 38 and you just about never see them. Perhaps that distinctive oval grill is not appealing to some because the other 30’s and early 40’s trucks are much more common.  I’ll be visiting the owner of this truck to see the rest of his collection including a 36 Woolsey he’s re-building and I’ll give you readers a full report.

This weekend (last weekend as you read this)  I’ll be off to the Lemay Family Collection open house at Marymount in Spanaway.  This is the 36th year they’ve opened the grounds up to the public. It’s a great event and this year features an auction where I’ve entered my 65 Mustang and I’ll even have a bidder number this time so you never know what might happen at an auction.

Stay tuned ...

Kid & Driver - August 12, 2013

  • Written by Jackson Unruh & Julie Boselly


2013 KIA Sportage SX AWD - $32,400

20 City / 25 Hwy

Road Trip: Oregon: Tillamook, Lincoln City



2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD - $31,590

24 City / 30 Hwy

Road Trip: Sequim, Washington

Road Trip Review

The kid of Kid ‘n’ Driver is busy at summer camp so I let him off reviewing this time. Two summer road trips allowed us the opportunity to test out a couple of vehicles. The KIA Sportage and the Mazda CX-5 are stylish crossovers. Much of the two seemed similar in many ways so we’ll focus on the parts we felt differed.

As a shorter driver, I felt the KIA seemed to "fit" me better. I could easily reach all features and I actually felt as though I sat higher than in the Mazda. The interior measurements are indeed smaller in most areas compared to the Mazda CX-5. The cargo room in the KIA is 26.1 cu. ft. while the Mazda is 34.1 cu. ft. Those on the taller side may find the Mazda more comfortable.

The headrest for the front seats in the CX-5 leans forward which wasn’t comfortable for me, but again, the height (or lack of) could be why.

The back of the Mazda definitely fit more luggage. We are one adult and two kids so I would suggest the Mazda would be a better fit for a group of 4-5. I was concerned packing up the KIA but we managed to load everything in. I did put the rear seats down one day and loaded my bicycle in the back of the Mazda. It wasn’t incredibly easy like a larger SUV or van would be but it worked. We saw KIAs with bike racks, which I highly recommend adding on.

Anyone who has been on Hwy 101 knows it is windy, has multiple speed zones and is very dark at night. The KIA handled very well. The 2.0L Turbo Gas Direct Injection engine got us easily over the little Coast Range.

Both stereo systems were quite good. Most cars in this price range seem to come equipped with Bluetooth audio and USB inputs. Jack actually had a good playlist on his iPod so we listened to his music a few times instead of the radio. (NOTE: Oregon’s Oldies Radio station is the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.That was hard to accept). An optional feature on both cars is the navigation package. I was not fond of the GPS in the Mazda. They use the TomTom system and for some reason, I could not get it to find my destination so I ended up using my phone’s GPS out of frustration.

Both vehicle are in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) top-rated list.

Classic Car Corner - Scotland

  • Written by Tom Berg, Winderemere

Scotland Search: I was again urged by my dedicated readers to search afar for cool cars so off I went to Scotland in search of rare and unique vehicles. Since I had chosen to walk across the country mostly on paths and abandoned or rarely used roads my task was daunting.  

I hiked the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way stopping each day in small villages for the local pub and B&B, so only rarely saw any cars but was somehow successful in finding several unique ones. I first spotted a Morgan sport cars driving by but since they are still being made today and look the same as they did in the 50s I’m not sure of the vintage.  For the next six days I would see only the occasional Land Rover, Peugeot, Volvo or non-descript European cars I didn’t recognize. The country folk use alot of Land Rovers with canopies on the back. I never saw a pickup in my two weeks there.  It does rain in Scotland even more than here so I guess things must remain covered.

After a week I had hiked to Fort William, a good sized town and there were lots of cars to see. The only ones of interest were two Scimatars, one a convertible and the other a sharp looking hardtop. I had never heard of the Scimitar so when I got back I looked it up.

The Reliant car company started out in the 30s in England making mostly three-wheeled cars. They began making full size cars in the 50s and the Scimitar in the 60s and as many small car companies even though they made a good looking car they continued to struggle into the 90s when they finally folded.  There can’t be too many of these cars left and to see two in the same town was quite a coincidence.  

scotland bugattiAfter hiking a few more days along the Great Glen Way I arrived at Drumnadrochit (the home of the Loch Ness Monster) for the afternoon.   We didn’t see Nessie but parked in front of the local hotel was an early 30s Bugatti. I thought perhaps it was a modern reproduction because it was really nice looking for an 80-year-old car. I peeked at the front suspension which is very exposed in this type of car and saw that it had mechanical brakes, and since no one in his right mind would have mechanical brakes in a reproduction car I figured it must be the real thing. I was impressed. We then wandered out to the nearby castle and darned if I didn’t see another similar Bugatti. This one did have hydralic brakes so I wasn’t too sure of its vintage, but I felt it was probably an original car too.

This was not a big village and I had just seen TWO 80 -year-old Bugattis and the only ones I’ve ever seen here were in car shows.

To top things off, the next morning as I was walking out of town the two Bugattis drove out of town together convincing me that they were the real thing.

In Drumnadrochit I also noticed a great but odd looking car in a carport.  Scots normally just park in the open but this was a very nice looking car and I somehow recognized it as a Citroen.

If I had ever seen one before it must have been decades ago so I wondered if they had started making these again since it looked new. I cogitated this question until a few days later in another village I saw another one drive by and it looked new also?  As soon I got back home I looked up my mystery Citroen and found that they had made the French Citroen 2CV from 1948 to 1990.

It was designed much like the Volkswagon in Germany as a people’s car that almost anyone could afford.  Designed to be durable and economic it featured an air cooled 750cc opposed cylinder twin engine that got high mileage with low horsepower.  These cars were slated for production in 1939, but the war interrupted those plans so they finally were available in 1948. Soon thereafter there was a 5-year waiting list for one so used ones were actually more expensive than a new one.

scotland citroenDuring their 42-year production Citroen made almost 9 million of these cars and their derivatives but I read that there are just 3,382 left in the British Isles and I was lucky enough to see two of them. These are really cool cars but very rare in the states so if you ever see one around here it might just be me!
Stayed tuned readers because you never know where I may end up next in my search for the rare and beautiful cars of the world.

Classic Car Corner - June 24, 2013

  • Written by Tom Berg, Woodinville

car2Wow — Finally found the time to abandon the real estate business for a weekend and took in two great events.

First, I spent a Saturday at the 7th annual "Big Rock Car Show" held in conjunction with Duvall Days this year.

I’ve been to all seven and the weather and cars were terrific.

For a little car show (200 entries) the variety is amazing and included an army tank with a dozen other Army vehicles of all sorts.

This event is put on by Roger Jones, the manager of the Safeway, in whose parking lot we all converged.

With Roger’s and Safeway’s efforts, this event has raised over $30,000 for the Prostate Cancer Awareness fund.

I took my freshly painted and ready-to-go 1947 "Coles Service" John Deere green Studebaker pickup and darned if I wasn’t the only one who had to be towed away at the end of the day. 

car1I had recently had a starter problem that I thought — and foolishly hoped — had been resolved but apparently not so.

The starter refused to do anything and this truck being an automatic couldn’t be pushed to start, so once again AAA came to my rescue and we hauled it off to Mike’s Repair for a new starter.

I think Mike is going to name one of his work bays after me. It’s actually not too unusual for tow trucks to get some business out of car shows.

Speaking of pickups, the best pickup award went to our local hero Greg Fazzio for his stunning 1950 Ford.

The best in show award went to an unbelievable 1938 "Sharknose" Graham convertible that simply defies description. You’ve gotta see it to believe it.

Another amazing vehicle was a 1935 Ford "conglomeration" that won the "not in my driveway" award. This car too was beyond description but in a very different way than the Graham. It must have had parts from 50 different cars all cut up and patched together, along with a trailer to match. 

Even though I had to tow my entry home, the Big Rock show continues to be my local favorite and I’ll be back next year hopefully with a vehicle that will start.

On Sunday, I was up again too early and off to the Lucky Collector Car Auction held at the Lemay Family Collection in Spanaway.

It’s beautiful location at the old Marymount School. They were auctioning off 20 or so old tractors from as early as 1917, most in need of some restoration.

Some seemed to me to be prime prospects for "yard art." Much of the rest were trucks from pickups to tow trucks to buses to fire trucks.

A spectacular 1941 Ford fire truck with all the equipment on it went for only $6,000. That was a hard one for me to pass up.

I also managed to resist a couple of old Studebaker trucks, a nice 47 Dodge flatbed with a really cool hand-operated dump box.

One that really was tempting was a 62 black T-bird convertible witih only 40 some thousand miles. It ended up being a no sale but most of the vehicles were no reserve. The weather was again great and my real estate car even made it there and back — no problem.

Well, it sure is fun talking to people that are passionate for the things I enjoy and writing this little blurb once a month gives me a great excuse to get out and chat with folks I might not get to meet otherwise. So if you are one of those people, just call me.

P.S: I would really  like to write an article on a local "barn find."

For those of you not hip to today’s car lingo: That would be a vintage vehicle that has been stored and ignored for a looong time. You can always contact me at my penthouse office next to the Woodinville 7-11.