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RM adds Crawford Museum cars to Hershey auction

RM Auctions adds second day to Hershey, Pa. event.
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1949 Belanger Special Indy Roadster.(Photo: Darin Schnabel)

The extra day will accomodate the sale of 24 vehicles from the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum plus over 400 lots of memorabilia from a prominent East Coast collector. Over 100 motor cars are expected to be sold overall during the two day event Oct. 8-9.

Returning to the Hershey Lodge, West Chocolate Avenue & University Drive, the auction will coincide with the famed AACA Eastern Division Fall Meet. A full day preview will commence on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 9 a.m., with all the auction action getting underway from 12 noon – 8 p.m. On Friday, doors open at 9 a.m. with the auction commencing at 2 p.m.

“The Crawford Auto Aviation Museum is regarded as one of North America’s premier automotive collections. We are honored to have been selected to present a series of automobiles from this property of the Western Reserve Historical Society at our upcoming Hershey event,” said Ian Kelleher, President and Chief Operating Officer of RM Auctions.

“Each lot has been carefully preserved and many are coming to market for the first time in a number of years after long-term display, resulting in strong early interest amongst serious collectors,” he added.

Headlining the consignments from the Crawford collection is a 1949 Belanger Special Indy Roadster. This important racing car is known to have some early Indianapolis racing history and is presented in its blue and gold 1949 livery, the way it was raced in the Indy 500 by Duane Carter. It has a fascinating history that even includes the motion picture To Please A Lady, starring Clark Gable. Formerly owned by the famed Harrah’s collection, it has been part of the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum, a collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society since 1991 and offers a rare opportunity to purchase a unique piece of Indy racing history.

Also on offer and expected to draw considerable interest is a extremely rare and desirable 1928 Front Wheel Drive Miller 91 Engine, originally owned by the Mike Boyle racing team. Boyle driver, Fred Comer, constructed a unique and unusual intercooler of 72 half-inch copper tubes, each approximately nine inches long, for the engine. This important piece of automotive history was acquired by Mr. Crawford during the 1930s. It was prominently displayed at the Thompson Auto Album from the late 1940s through early 1960s before gifted to the Western Reserve Historical Society by Mr. Crawford in 1964. It is arguably one of the most important Miller artifacts to come in the market in decades having been in single ownership since the 1930s.

Other highlights include; a 1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, formerly owned by Bill Mitchell, former head of Cadillac design; an all-original 1973 Jaguar E-Type with just 11,000 miles from new; a 1976 Cadillac Brougham, used by Milton Wolf of the Austrian Embassy; and a well-documented 1930 Bugatti Type 44 Touring and a 1919 Locomobile Type 48 Series 5 Sportif, both of which have been on long-term display at the Crawford. The selection of cars slated for the Hershey auction follows the recent sale of two other important cars from the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum at RM’s recent Monterey event – a 1966 Aston Martin DB5 and a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe, both of which attracted spirited bidding and well-exceeded their original pre-sale estimates.

In addition to the motor cars, the event will feature over 400 lots of memorabilia from a prominent East Coast Collector. Carefully amassed over the past two decades, the collection includes everything from rare and iconic original neon and porcelain signs, through to automotive badges, mascots, specially commissioned artworks by renowned automotive artists including Ken Eberts and Tom Hale, and a plethora of automotive models and toys.

As a prelude to the auction, RM will again team up with the AACA and the AACA Museum as the presenting sponsor of this year’s Night at the Museum event, to be held October 7th, 2009 at Hershey’s AACA Museum. With all proceeds supporting the AACA family, this gala fundraising evening – featuring an exclusive charity auction and guest presentation by renowned automotive journalist, David E. Davis, Jr. - will be an engaging celebration of the automobile and the collecting hobby, and a great start to this year’s Hershey Meet week.

For further information on RM’s Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey event, visit

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