The Richard “Tubby” Houston Collection
By: Yvette VanDerBrink
You hear the saying all the time, “You can’t take it with you!” But for Richard “Tubby” Houston, he sure tried. Tubby was born in Oklahoma and was always a car guy. His first car was a ‘38 Chevrolet Coupe. That set of wheels granted him his freedom.
He eventually married and the kids were not long behind. Living a life right out of a country song, they lived in a trailer out in the country. His son Rick reminisced about all the kids packed on top of each other in that hot trailer.
On a trip to town to buy some tires, Tubby stopped to visit with one of his friends. His friend stated he was going to move and sell his house. Tubby was always a dealing man and said, “Well, what you want for it?” He bought the house on the spot; went home and told the family, “pack’er up, I bought a house.” It was a brick house on the edge of town, a real house. His wife was happy with the move, but not so happy with the wheeling and dealing side of Tubby. She understood that would always be part of Tubby’s personality. Tubby was also a hard worker. He started an asphalt paving company in 1974 and worked up to almost his death.
Tubby always had a trailer hooked to his truck and made a point to try and bring something home every day. He loved GMC pickups and Ford cars and trucks. He would make a deal while working on a job and load it up, drive it home, and proudly display his new purchase in the front yard. Rick, his son, said, “it was like bringing a deer home after hunting. People would stop and try to buy it or ask about it.” To Tubby, he loved to talk about cars, and this was his way of luring in conversation and maybe another deal.
Rick eventually began working with his dad in the family business. He was always a bit frustrated with Tubby because he would make a habit of trading jobs for more automotive treasures. Rick would say, “Dad, I got bills to pay. We can’t keep traded work for cars.” The cars and pickups kept piling up, and Tubby started buying more real estate to house his acquisitions. Occasionally, the city zoning would get on him about the cars and he would simply buy another piece of real estate to spread the collection out. Tubby would sell some cars and occasionally, but rarely, sell car parts. But if you asked him for a price you’d better pay that price and right away. For if you wanted to “think about it” you were wasting his time. If you came back the next day or even just 1 hour later it wasn’t for sale anymore.
Tubby would go to auctions, swap meets, and with his business, was able to scope out most of the surrounding areas around his home for vehicles and parts. Over his 72 years, he accumulated over 500 vehicles. Tubby still had a trailer hooked to his pickup on the day that he died. He still had dreams of buying more. His family is now working on the vast task of settling the estate and will sell a large portion of Tubby’s collection. The collection has something for everyone including: Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, and more. Cars, pickups, and rare vehicles such as a 1950 Ford Woody wagon, 1950 Ford convertibles are part of the vehicles up for sale.
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC will sell Tubby’s collection May 19th, 2018 at 10AM in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The collection will be sold NO Reserve and there is everything from pickups, cars, trucks that are for rod, restore, and parts. Bidders will also be able to take parts and leave the bodies. There are also drivers, survivors, and many project vehicles. Preview will be May 17th & 18th, 2018 from 10AM to 6PM each day. The auction kicks off on-site in Stillwater, Oklahoma with online bidding also available. For more info check the website www.vanderbrinkauctions.com or VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC 605-201-7005, See you at the Auctions.
Yvette VanDerBrink- Auctioneer
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC