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Head West, Lou: The Auto Gallery Museum Auction


The saying goes, “Boys and their Toys." It seems that boys who played with cars when younger, well the toys just get bigger as they get older. This is true for Louie Savaglio. He grew up behind a body shop and loved going over there and watching them fix those cars. He was 14 years old when he bought his first car, a 1953 Chevrolet.

Louie was one of three kids and well, “the wild child” of the family. There wasn’t anybody who was going to tell Louie what to do and he was more of a leader than a follower. This is a good trait for a businessman, but as a kid in school, it can be lessons learned. Quite often he was skipping school to hang out with friends or the body shop and messing with cars. Like Louie says, “He wasn’t a Boy Scout!” Louie was always looking for that angle to make money. He was always buying, selling and working to get money for racing. He raced cars at area dirt tracks in a modified. He also hung around the Chicago area and well, it was tough, but he learned the ropes.

The fun stopped when he was about 20 and got drafted into the Navy and was a boiler tender on ships. A hot job, but he got his GED while in the service and learned more skills as a mechanic. Louie’s dad was a barber. Lou liked the cars. He came back from the service and worked at the body shop and it was there that he learned about “quality cars” and how to look at cars and see if they were put together well or in good condition.

This is where he started his love for the Mercedes models. He saw in the body shop how they were put together, and a real classic and quality car. He’s had many Mercedes models, but his favorites are the 1968 280SL which was the first Mercedes that he bought. He has owned some Gulwings and other models, and still has several in his private collection.


Pretty soon, he thought, he’s settling down. He was older and like cars, he went looking for a “quality” wife. He fell in love with Patrice and started a family. The kids came along fast, and he started a classic car business. Along with raising six kids, they started the Auto Gallery Museum, and eventually moved in 1989 to the location today. They have sold cars all over the world and people have come to know that Louie and Patrice sold “quality” cars.

The Auto Gallery Museum is filled with gas and oil memorabilia, along with Coke and other signs and collectibles. Lou and Patrice also built an old-fashioned town in the museum for parties. The museum is also full of quality cars. The Savaglios have decided to relocate to Colorado Springs, Colo. Patrice is already setting up the home and they are working on purchasing a new location. But instead of moving everything, Lou and Patrice are going to sell it all along with the real estate and start fresh. The real estate will be offered online through Rick Levine at It’s a great location.

The Auto Gallery Museum Liquidation Auction will be June 6 at the museum in Spring Grove, Ill., on HWY 12. It will be conducted onsite and also online by VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC starting at 9 a.m. with some parts and shop equipment, then jumping right into the wonderful collector vehicles, which include a beautiful 1962 Mercedes 190SL Roadster, RARE 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder with Beck Body #62 that is a James Dean clone that was used in the Movie “Crash”. There is also a Rare 1967 Sunbeam Tiger that is on the Shelby registry. There are also American Cars like a 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS, 1950 Pontiac sedan delivery, 1987 Buick Grand Nationals, Corvettes and more.. There is something for everyone with Messerschmitt, BMW Isetta, and much more. There are collector motorcycles and a 1980s modified race car.


After the collector cars will be several hundred porcelain, painted tin, signs along with gas pumps and more. This is a wonderful auction and everything must go! There are only four lots that are being sold subject to reserve, but all the rest and signs, etc., are NO Reserve. Everything must go and Lou would rather sell it than move it.

For more auction info, call 605-201-7005 or You won’t want to miss this sale. Most all lots will be available for online bidding also, so there’s no reason to miss buying a piece of this wonderful collection. For pictures, inventory and more, see

Lou is going to have one last hurrah, and will be racing in a vintage race at Indy in June. Come on out to the auction and see how he did and pick up one of these “Quality” Classics.

Yvette VanDerbrink
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC
The Lil’ Nordstrom’s Gal


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