Crown Collector Car Auctions will present its inaugural The Florida Fall Classic sale on Oct. 14-15 at the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Fla. The all-indoor auction will be held in addition to the Southeast Street Rod Nationals, which will take place outdoors at the fairgrounds.
“What better way to unveil a new auction than in front of 30,000 [Nationals] attendees,” said Chris Tsonas, president of Crown Collector Car Auctions. He added that planning his auction to run in conjunction with the street rod show and swap meet offers “a great venue for car enthusiasts.”
According to Tsonas, the auction will feature more than 200 collector vehicles, all offered for sale inside the 88,000-square-foot Expo Hall. “Tampa is an area that I’m familiar with,” he said. “The west coast of Florida is home to some of the finest collector cars and trucks in the country, and Tampa has been abandoned [by the collector vehicle auction industry] since the demise of Kruse International.”
Cars already consigned to The Florida Fall Classic include one of two 1968 Mercury Cougar GT-E hardtops equipped with the 427-cid/400-hp V-8; ’67 Chevy Corvette convertible powered by the 427-cid/400-hp V-8 and equipped with air conditioning; a barn-find ’23 Indian motorcycle; unrestored ’19 Ford Model T depot hack that was parked for 60 years; ’41 Cadillac Series 62 convertible sedan that had $325,000 invested in its restoration and, according to Tsonas, “is ready for show at Amelia Island;” and, ’56 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria Skyliner hardtop with plexiglass insert.
Tsonas told Old Cars Weekly that his desire to start an auction company is due to the fact that, “Collector cars have always been a part of my life. I’ve gone to everyone else’s auctions, and, in doing so, have been thrilled with some and disappointed with others.”
Talking about the ups and downs of car auctions over dinner one night with his now-auction team of Brent Earlywine, Marty Hill and Kenny Garmin, the idea to launch Crown Collector Car Auctions was born. When asked about how he came up with the company name, Tsonas laughed and said, “I didn’t think Tsonas [T is silent] would work well. I own a jeweled crown and liked how it looked in a logo and that’s basically how it was selected.”
The auction will kick off with a “dozen or so no reserve cars,” including a 1 of 502 1981 Pontiac Firebird Formula coupe equipped with the WS6 package and sporting 21,000 original miles.
Looking forward, Tsonas said Tampa will be a mainstay of his annual auction schedule. He’s also currently working on firming up a spring 2012 sale somewhere in the Northeast. “I will reveal the location at the Tampa event,” he said.
For more information on Crown Collector Car Auctions and/or the Tampa auction, call 855-552-7696 or visit www.crowncollectorcars.com.
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