PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Every era of the motorcar was represented at auction – as well as automobilia, even license plates – at the Simeone Auto Museum in Philadelphia. The racing sports cars ranged from the early 1900’s to the late 1990’s.
The motoring team at Bonhams automotive and fine art auction house was spread out among the 65 vehicles, as enthusiasts whet their appetites bidding on very collectible antique license plates.
“They make a really good display. And, we’re all a bunch of nuts,” said Jeff Francis, who came up from St. Petersburg, Florida to add to his collection. “One of the plates in the number one collection is a leather plate from Connecticut, which was pre-1905.”
One guy bid over $50,000 for a lot of nearly 30 plates, all of which had only a #1 on them.
Bonhams specialist Eric Minoff says all of the cars are in the spirit of the Simeone Museum.
‘”A greater focus preservation and cars that hew to their original specification,” he said.
The smattering of cars had values that ranged from a few thousand for a fixer upper project to over a million dollars for a perfectly restored Rolls Royce. Kevin Fernsler of Wilmington has been restoring sports cars for decades, and he turned his attention to a 1968 Porsche 912.
“They make nice investments, besides being nice to look at, and fun to drive,” he said. “You know, some people go horseback riding, some people go fishing, we like taking cars on the back roads.”
He recalls a recent spin in a 1953 MG.
“I can come back with a smile on my face,” Fernsler said, “and lower blood pressure…sometimes.”