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Shuttered MI museum to auction remaining stock

Cadillacs, Maseratis and more up for bids April 17
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This 1984 Cadillac limousine was driven 1,200 miles before it was
parked by Ralph Levine.

A custom made Cadillac station wagon, a Maserati Quattroporte once belonging to the owner of a Triple Crown contender, and a meticulously restored 1929 Mack truck are among more than 125 amazing vehicles being sold April 17 in Michigan.

The vehicles are part of the Ralph Levin collection that were on display at his now shuttered R-11 Auto Museum in Burr Oak, Mich.

The Miedema Auctioneering & Appraisal, Inc., will conduct the live and online auction at the Bryon Center in Grand Rapids beginning at 10 a.m. Cars in the collection will be offered without reserves or minimums.

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This 1966 Maserati Quattroporte was once owned by thoroughbred
horse owner/breeder Hilary Boone.

According to Miedema C.O.O. Scott Miedema, the R-11 Museum once held some 300 collector cars, of which over 125 have now been given to Miedema for auctioning.

The R-11 Museum was closed last year when Levin’s recycling company fell on hard times. Miedema explained that Levin was owner of Sturgis Iron and Metal, a 68-year-old business, that met the fate of a lot of scrap metal operations. “The price of metal surged, then dropped almost over night. Companies were stuck with yards full of metal,” he said. Faced with huge inventories and no buyers, Sturgis filed for bankruptsy in 2009.

“The cars were not a part of that bankruptsy, but they were part of the Sturgis Iron and Metal assets, plus Sturgis Iron and Metal owned the building where the museum was located,” Miedema explained.

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This 1966 Cadillac station wagon was custom made for Ralph
Levine, but was parked with just 1,300 miles on it.

Miedema noted that the auction will offer collectors some great buying opportunities. The Cadillac station wagon is one of a kind. “It was one that Ralph Levin designed for himself. He put 1,300 miles on it, then parked it.”

A gray Cadillac limousine met the same fate: “It was driven 1,200 miles, then parked.”

Low mileage cars were common in the Levine collection. “He’d buy one, and quickly move on. His collection tastes were just wide and varied,” Miedema added. “Some people collect only one thing, like muscle cars, but he collected whatever his heart wanted.”

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This 1948 Lincoln Convertible is one of only 452 ever made.

Other cars of note in the auction include:
- a car from the first “Fast and Furious” movie, starring rapper Ja Rule: a Honda Acura Integra with reportedly over $100,000 worth of aftermarket parts.

-Unverified at press time: a car from the movie "Cannonball Run". “I haven’t seen the verification yet,” Miedema said, “but the molds go with it. It’s built with Corvette parts.”

-A Maserati Quattro once belonging to the owner of the winning thoroughbred, Spectacular Bid. Hilary Boone’s horse won two of the three races in the Triple Crown.

- And, a 1948 Lincoln Convertible that Miedema described as “an awesome car. It’s one of only 452 ever made and it is restored in just mint condition, with a back seat full of trophies.”

Other cars going on the block include Merecedes, Rolls Royce, Viper, a Hummer Limo, TA, BMW and more.

For more information about the auction, contact Chuck Ranney at 1-800-527-8243 or email To view photos and descriptions go to

Open house dates to preview the vehicles: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday April 13th-15th from 12 noon to 6 pm, Friday April 16th from 9 am-7 pm, and Auction Day April 17, beginning at 8 a.m. There is a small fee for admission, with proceeds going directly to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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This 1914 Ford Huckster Depot Hack is one of the older vehicles
in the collection.

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