Ten-year-old Alys Mia Benloulou of Gatineau, Quebec, stood on the stage at the Toronto Collector Car Auction to give her car away. She took the microphone to explain to the packed crowd that the mauve and pink fully customized 1955 Lincoln her father Olivier had bought for her was being auctioned with all proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. “Someone close to me has cancer and this is what I want to do,” said Alys, who was dressed in pink, the symbolic colour for breast cancer awareness.
When the gavel dropped, the Lincoln hardtop with a lowered roof, smoothed body and dramatic pink and white interior – built by some of California’s best customizers – sold for $57,000 with 100 per cent of the money going to the fight against cancer.
The sale was part of the liveliest collector car auction ever held at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, with record crowds and record prices over the May 6 weekend.
A stunning 1956 Lincoln Premier convertible, one of only 2,447 built, crossed the auction block at $65,000. The eye-catching wisteria (mauve) colour with matching mauve and white interior was pure 1950s, when Ford and other manufacturers made cars that popped with pastel colours including dusk rose, amethyst and peach.
Plum Crazy Purple was the factory colour of the rare 1970 Plymouth Barracuda convertible with a powerful 440-cubic-inch engine topped with triple carburetors. Auction-goers went crazy over the car, with a winning bid of $160,000 plus 10 per cent buyer’s premium.
Rangoon red was the colour Scarborough service station operator George Massicotte chose for the 1964 Ford Galaxie XL hardtop he special-ordered from Toronto’s Piggott Ford in the fall of 1963. His son Allan Massicotte, who was born in 1964, attended the auction to see his father’s treasure go to a new owner.
George had ordered his Ford to go racing, with an R Code 425-horsepower, 427-cubic-inch engine coupled to a four-speed transmission. His friend and co-driver Barrie Poole set a national drag racing B Stock record with the car in 1966, covering the quarter mile from a standing start in 13 seconds.
Barrie Poole was on hand to drive the car over the auction block. It was the first time he had seen the car in 50 years. The rare Ford muscle car had been fully restored by Allan Massicotte and high-school friend Doug Hickey. “I had to complete the restoration for George,” Al Massicotte said before the sale. His father died in 1999 after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ferocious bidding saw the restored drag car hit an auction high for a domestic car of $185,000 plus 10 per cent buyer’s premium. The lucky bidder was Ernie Pompilio of Maple, Ontario. “I’m a Ford fanatic,” declared the proud new owner, who will add it to his impressive collection.
A rotisserie restored arbour green and Alaska white 1955 Mercury Montclair, one of only 111 built by Ford at its Oakville, Ontario, plant for the 1955 model year, ignited spirited bidding. Owner/restorer Alex McClure from the western Ontario community of Freelton, who had the car for 22 years, was a motivated seller. He saw his car bring a winning bid of $48,000 plus 10 per cent buyer’s commission. “I hate to see it go but family issues left me no choice,” the retired steelworker said.
Eight telephone bidders from as far away as Spain drove the price of a restored 1962 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL roadster in silver with red leather interior into the stratosphere. In competition with bidders on the floor, phone bidding spurred a winning bid of $150,000 plus 10 per cent buyer’s premium for the world-class sports car.
Pickup trucks were hot once again at the spring auction, with an unusual Hamilton-built 1958 International-Harvester A-120 model meticulously restored in its original tan colour hammered down at $22,000 including buyer’s premium.
Well bought was an award-winning 1936 Ford phaeton four-door convertible which sold for $60,100 with buyer’s premium.
A multi-award winning 1939 Ford coupe convertible in dark blue with tan top and leather interior hit the high scale with a winning bid of $121,000 with the buyer’s premium factored in.
Overall, high attendance, strong prices and a host of telephone bidders made for a very interesting weekend in Toronto.
Dan Spendick of Collector Car Productions, who has run Toronto’s spring and fall auctions for the past 17 years, is now adding a summer auction which will be held at the International Centre on July 22nd.
Alyn Edwards is a classic car enthusiast and partner in Peak Communicators, a Vancouver-based public relations company. [email protected]