7.20.2019

A Night At The Museum/Three Days At The Auction


American Express, the credit card company, used to have an advertising campaign in the 1980s that said "Membership Has Its Privileges."  That's how I feel about Western Automotive Journalists.  I've been a member for nearly six years now and am Vice President of membership this year and next.  Beyond that privilege, though, are the experiences and events I enjoy because of WAJ.

Tomorrow, Mrs. TireKicker and I will be in Hillsborough on the San Francisco Peninsula for the 64th Annual Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance, the longest continually-running Concours in the world, a week from tomorrow we'll head for Monterey for the annual WAJ Media Day at the beautiful Quail Lodge, and this past week, we had a "regular" meeting in a very special place---the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum in San Francisco.




This is not a place anyone can go anytime.  Tours are available, by appointment only, Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The admissions charge is $15, $10 for seniors and members of the military and kids under 12 get in free.

We were there as guests of Mecum Auctions, which is featuring 29 of the museum's cars at its Monterey Auction August 15, 16 and 17.  The museum employs a staff of six to maintain its automobiles, so the opportunity to own one or more of these classics knowing its history and the care that has been lavished on it is very compelling.

Here are just some of the 29 cars in the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum Collection at Mecum Auctions in Monterey.  Click on each car for a more thorough description and additional pictures:

1941 Buick Roadmaster Convertible Coupe | R227 | Monterey 2019 | Mecum Auctions

Auction Lot R227, Monterey, CA 2019. The Academy of Art University Collection. Multiple AACA Senior Grand National winner . 320 CI inline 8-cylinder engine . Rated at 165 HP . 3-speed manual transmission . Independent front suspension with coil springs . Semi-floating rear axle with coil springs . 4-wheel hydraulic brakes .



1931 Cadillac 355-A Roadster | R228 | Monterey 2019 | Mecum Auctions

Auction Lot R228, Monterey, CA 2019. The Academy of Art University Collection. CCCA Full Classic. Estimated $200,000 invested in nut and bolt restoration. 355/120 HP L-head V-8 engine. Updraft carburetor. 3-speed manual transmission with reverse. Front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs. Vacuum-assisted drum brakes. Two-tone Red and Black finish.




1932 Ford Victoria Drauz | R234 | Monterey 2019 | Mecum Auctions

Auction Lot R234, Monterey, CA 2019. The Academy of Art University Collection. One-off coachwork by Drauz Karosserie of Germany. 2003 Pebble Beach Concours invitee. Multiple-time Concours winner. 2005 Dearborn Award winner with perfect 1,000 point score. CCCA Full Classic. Featured in Hemmings Classic Car and V-8 Times magazines.



1939 Talbot-Lago T150-C Coupe | R242 | Monterey 2019 | Mecum Auctions

Auction Lot R242, Monterey, CA 2019. The Academy of Art University Collection. CCCA Full Classic. Purported to be one of the last T150-Cs produced. Factory Talbot-Lago coachwork. Comprehensive restoration. 3,996cc OHV inline 6-cylinder engine. Rated at 148 HP. Triple Zenith Stromberg EX32 carburetors. 4-speed Wilson Pre-select transmission. 4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.



1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Sport Coupe | R426 | Monterey 2019 | Mecum Auctions

Auction Lot R426, Monterey, CA 2019. The Academy of Art University Collection. CCCA Full Classic. Comprehensive restoration. 280/150 HP L-head inline 8-cylinder engine. Schweitzer-Cummins supercharger. 3-speed manual transmission. 2-speed Columbia rear end. Rigid axles, semi elliptic leaf springs. 4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Side mount spares. Whitewall tires.



1948 Jaguar MKIV Drophead Coupe | R428 | Monterey 2019 | Mecum Auctions

Auction Lot R428, Monterey, CA 2019. The Academy of Art University Collection. of 4,420 3.5 Liter models produced. of only 376 produced with 3-position top. CCCA Full Classic. Body no. 1315. 3.5L inline 6-cylinder engine, engine no. SL3199. 4-speed manual gearbox, no SH1202. Two-tone Burgundy and Black finish. Tan folding soft top.



1934 Lincoln KA Convertible Roadster | R429 | Monterey 2019 | Mecum Auctions

Auction Lot R429, Monterey, CA 2019. The Academy of Art University Collection. of only 75 KA Convertible Roadsters produced in 1934. CCCA Full Classic. Older concours restoration completed by marque specialist. 414 CI V-12 engine. Downdraft carburetor. 3-speed manual transmission with freewheel. Front and rear leaf spring suspension. 4-wheel mechanical drum brakes.



1934 Packard 1108 V-12 Sport Phaeton | R432 | Monterey 2019 | Mecum Auctions

Auction Lot R432, Monterey, CA 2019. The Academy of Art University Collection. Coachwork by Fran Roxas in the Style of LeBaron. 446/160 HP 67-degree L-head V-12 engine. Stromberg downdraft 2-barrel carburetor. 3-speed synchromesh manual gearbox. 4-wheel vacuum-assisted mechanical drum brakes. Finished in Beige with Red leather upholstery. Dual remote spotlights.



1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 43 Club Sedan | R436 | Monterey 2019 | Mecum Auctions

Auction Lot R436, Monterey, CA 2019. The Academy of Art University Collection. AACA Senior Grand National Award, 2002. Concours restoration completed in 1990 by White Post Restorations in White Post, Virginia. 366 CI L-head inline 8-cylinder engine. 4-speed selective sliding manual gearbox. Semi-elliptic front and rear leaf springs.



1962 Rolls-Royce Phantom V James Young Sedanca De Ville | R440 | Monterey 2019 | Mecum Auctions

Auction Lot R440, Monterey, CA 2019. The Academy of Art University Collection. James Young coachwork with sliding Sedanca roof, design no. PV22SD. of only produced in 1962. Featured in Lawrence Dalton's "Rolls-Royce: The Classic Elegance". Extensive cosmetic refreshening completed by Hooper Ltd. in London at an estimated cost of over $100,000.





Want to see the rest?  Just click here for the entire collection that will be part of the Mecum Auction in Monterey August 15, 16 and 17.

If you're not going to Monterey and want to see the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum, don't worry---there are plenty of incredible vehicles left.  We got a tour from CEO Rob Fisher.  Here's some of what you'll see when you visit:




That is a 1949 Delahaye Type 175 Coupe De Ville.   It's one of a kind, built for the 1949 Paris Auto Salon at a cost of more than $20,000.  It has a removable roof panel, lambswool carpets, 14-karat gold interior fittings and pushbutton doors. It was bought and restored by casino mogul Bill Harrah, who gave it to his new bride, singer Bobbie Gentry  The marriage lasted five months.  Thankfully, the car survives.





This is a 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Berlinetta Aerodynamica.  Built for Le Mans, there is still debate as to whether one or two exist in the world.  The one we're sure about is here, at the Academy of Art University Automobile Collection.





This is a 1933 Pierce Arrow Silver Arrow...a car so ahead of its time in 1933 that the advertising for it was "Suddenly it's 1940!"  The streamlined shape and V12 engine helped overcome its 5,100-pound weight well enough that one hit 115 miles per hour at Bonneville. They cost $10,000---during the Great Depression.  Only five were made and only three exist today.




An entrepreneur with a vision for a revolutionary automobile.  Before there was Elon Musk, there was Preston Tucker, who only managed to make 51 of his Tucker 48s before material shortages, unfavorable publicity and a Security and Exchange Commission investigation combined to put him out of business.  This is the third one built and one of the finest---previously owned by filmmaker George Lucas, who produced the Francis Ford Coppola-directed film from 1988, "Tucker: The Man and His Dream".

And there is so much more---so don't let the limited hours deter you.  Big thanks to Rob Fisher of the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum for a fantastic evening, which included dinner at the legendary House of Prime Rib courtesy of David Morton and John Kraman of Mecum Auctions.

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