A few weeks ago we were asked to appraise cars from the collection of of David V. Uihlein Sr. in Cedarburg, Wis. There were eight cars from an unrestored Model A phaeton to a Model A hot rod to be evaluated. They included a spectacular Mercer raceabout, two wonderfully patina-ed Bugattis, a remarkable Hispano-Suiza H6B once owned by an Afircan prince, a Cragar-Bagley racing car and a Model A panel truck. There were additional vehicles, but these were the only ones we assessed. Later we found that six of the cars are going to Dana Mecum’s auction in Monterey, Calif. You can see pictures of most of the car we saw at: http://www.mecum.com/auctions/group_consignment_list.cfm?AUCTION_ID=CA0811&GROUP_ID=10065
Though I was the first editor of the Old Cars Price Guide, I found it more than challenging to put prices on such cars once you see them face-to-face. These were all great machines and if you ask three experts how much any one of them is worth, you’ll likely get three answers. In fact, the three answers may not even be close to each other. We called upon historians, auction reporters, club registrars and racing gurus to help us give the cars “a number.” We reviewed two years worth of actual auction results. We checked multiple price guides. We used the Internet.
Although we did our very best to be accurate and honest and detailed, we still wonder what each car will actually bring when the gavel drops.
One thing we truly learned from our appraisal was that Mr. Uihlein was an outstanding enthusiast and car collector. As we stood there among the wonderful slices of automotive history he had gathered together, we could feel the presence of a man who had 10W-20 in his veins. This is a collector’s collection and we were proud to be involved with it.