Author Archives: Ron Kowalke

De Dion steamer sells for $4.2M


It takes about one minute to pronounce the name of the oldest known operating motorcar: 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos steam runabout, and it took about 19 more minutes on Oct. 7 for this historic car to reach a record selling price of $4,200,000. More »

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Collecting Curiosities: Whiskey on wheels

Ezra Brooks #21 sprint car decanter from 1971. Features a removable tail section with cork stopper.

In his decades of searching through automotive swap meets, antique shops and estate sales across the country, editor Ron Kowalke has come across many interesting items — both automotive and non-automotive related. In his new web-exclusive column, Collecting Curiosities, he will share his automotive findings — and focus equally on both the collectible subject and its investment potential (and/or pitfalls). Check out the first installment: Whiskey on Wheels. More »

Categories: Editor's Picks, Features | 2 Comments

Scenes from the Shakedown

Built in 1964 and drag raced primarily at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wis., this 1938 Fiat had a best elapsed time of 9.80 in ’67. In its current race trim, it features a Hilborn-injected 301-cid Chevy V-8 mated to a Hurst-shifted three-speed transmission. The Fiat’s rear bodywork has a Simpson parachute built into it.

Many of those who yearn for the simpler, more pin-striped days reflected in the 1950s and ’60s have an annual gathering spot in Symco, Wis., to relive those days of poodle skirts and flathead-powered deuce coupes. The event is called the Symco Shakedown, and the third annual show was held Aug. 12-13. More »

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Salvage Yard Ron wraps up rip rap

More on this fascinating flood prevention
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Salvage Yard Ron: Mystery yard of Matador, Texas

Closed salvage yard in Madator generates interest — and more questions
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Another yard falls victim to rural migration

Salvage Yard Ron inside Baughman’s Auto Salvage, Dover, Pa.  More »

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Briscoe Scrap: It’s NOT a salvage yard

Scrap Yard Ron visits Oklahoma yard  More »

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Hayes Auto Salvage: Scavenging in a Kansas quarry full of cars

Kansas quarry a perfect host for vintage cars

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Categories: Features, Salvage Yard Ron | 21 Comments

Dormant Wisconsin yard opens briefly for project hunters

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Kansas yard needs your help

Preserving inventory versus paying bills
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Categories: Features, Salvage Yard Ron | 5 Comments