This is my dream car. I go to this auction every year just to search out Hemi ‘Cudas.
Every Labor Day weekend since 1971 there has been a collector car auction in a small town in Indiana called Auburn. If you have an interest in collector cars this is the place to be.
As usual, there is some interesting history to the auctions beginnings, and the town itself. But, that will be another post.
This is the largest collector car auction in the world. Though, I suppose we need to wait for this year’s numbers to come in before we claim that.
There is a $15 admission, parking is free. Kids 12 and under are free. You’ll want to wear comfortable shoes, the activities cover 235 acres of land.
When you enter the gates, there are tents immediately in front of you. Those tents hold the cars that have already been auctioned.
In the first tent last night we saw a Maserati.
And more than a handful of Mustangs from the 1960s
My intent was to photograph the cars with the signs that told about them, but, apparently I wasn’t close enough to be able to see many of the words later, and the lighting kept messing me up.
After you’ve wandered the tents, you head indoors where there are more cars, waiting to be auctioned.
Cars like these
As you keep walking through these giant rooms, you will notice it is getting louder. You are getting closer to the actual auction. In a giant room are two spinning displays, with a car on each. Bleachers surround the center, and big screens display photos of the cars, as well as the current bid. When the auctioneer calls “sold”, the spinning stops, and 3-5 people, all wearing white gloves, so they don’t put fingerprints on the car, rush up to push the car down the ramp so the sound of a 1,000hp engine doesn’t drown out all going on inside.
Just outside the auction arena is the food court with the types of food you expect at almost any outdoor event. Elephant ears, corn dogs, twisty fries.
Then, you are at the other vendors. Have you ever felt you needed a giant, neon, Pontiac sign? Do you have $2000 spare to spend on it? You came to the right place. What about an old gas pump?
You can venture out of the first set gates on the far side, this is where you will find the car corral. This is basically a 900 parking spot, used car lot for really cool cars. If you want to pic up a ’79 Trans Am (great choice, I used to have one) you can probably find one here.
Maybe you’ve had your eye on a Roadrunner? Or a Duesenburg. You can find those here too. The cars in the car corral won’t be going up for auction. You bring enough cash and you can leave with the car you’ve wanted for years.
There is also a car parts swap meet outside the car corral, in case you leave with a project.
This year they also have helicopter rides for $30. And, on Saturday and Sunday they are having a monster truck show, free with the price of admission, as well as free monster truck rides for the kids.
As you can see from the pictures I’ve chosen, my heart is with American muscle, from the last 60s, early 70s. But, there is a lot more to see here. And, learn, because many of these owners are very proud of their cars and know the history, from the factory until they put the last mile on last week. I’ll leave you with some more pictures.
- $15 admission, kids 12 and under and free. There is a $50 pass that gets you in all weekend.
- It only goes on over Labor Day weekend. There is another, somewhat smaller auction in the spring.
- Kids are welcome, but they need to know not to touch the cars. The owners will flip out if they see it.
- Gates open at 8am, auction starts at 10am.
- Plan on spending 3 or 4 hours, and that is just to walk the entire grounds. If you want to watch the auction or browse the swap meet, you’ll be there longer.
- Parking isn’t too bad, but it is in a field. So, if it’s been raining you might want to be careful where you park.
Just a side note, Auburn is not a very big town. It has a population of about 13,000. An estimated 300,000 people come into town to buy, sell, and look at the cars. Traffic can be a pain. Usually there is NO traffic, unless you count the cars lining up behind the tractor waiting for a place to pass, and this is a weekend where you can count on traffic jams.