Sales offer vintage rides, real estate, collectibles
By John Altdorfer
Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012, 9:20 p.m.
Updated: Sunday, September 23, 2012
A vintage and antique auto sale, a family-style estate event and a web-exclusive sale offer bidders plenty of choices and decisions in the coming weeks.
Mark Ferry Auctioneers
Sock hops and soda pops might be the order of the day Saturday as Mark Ferry Auctioneers sells a fleet of classic autos from antique roadsters to vintage muscle cars. These retro rides are road-tested and set to roar off the lot of Ageless Autos in New Stanton.
After retiring from his Hempfield-based food-distribution business about 12 years ago, Dave Reese started collecting cars from yesteryear because he didn't want to get under foot of his wife. Now, at the age of 72, Reese admits it's been a great ride, but he's ready to put on the parking brake to spend more time with family, especially his seven grandkids. Along with the cars, he's selling the Ageless Auto building, a structure affiliated with repairing, selling and restoring cars since the late 1920s.
Truly the leader of the pack is a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air HT. As the first born of the so-called second generation of the Bel Air line, the 1955 model debuted with a drastically redesigned body that sported the first signs of rear fender fins. Thanks to a total restoration, this model has a just-off-the-showroom look with its two-tone India Ivory and Dusk Rose paint job. Every component of the 265ci V-8 engine is rebuilt to original factory specs. Equipped with a two-speed Power Glide transmission and showing just 50,214 odometer miles, this Chevy is ready to see the USA.
One of the premier muscle cars of the 1960s, the Chevy Malibu earned its racing stripes during back-roads drag competitions and on NASCAR's oval tracks, where it crossed the finish more than two dozen times during the '60s and '70s. The 1969 Malibu up for grabs here comes to the starting line with a rebuilt 350 V-8, 255 horsepower engine that can still blow away the competition. With new factory AC and a cool Glacier Blue finish, this street rod is ready to rumble.
A black 1932 convertible Ford Hi Boy graced the pages of the 2002 Snap-On Calendar. Reminiscent of the yellow deuce coupe in George Lucas' “American Graffiti,” this revved-up roadster is tricked out with a Ford V8, a black exterior with candy flames on the front fenders, gray leather interior and a genuine rumble seat for a true California hot-rod experience.
Among the other autos in the sale are a 1939 Ford two-door street rod, 1940 Chevy Master Deluxe Tudor sedan, 1981 Chevy C10 Silverado pickup, 1972 Chevy Nova, 1929 Model A Ford Rumble Roadster and a 1950 Series 23/120 Packard. All cars are on sale without a reserve price.
In addition, auto memorabilia such as gas pumps and advertising signs round out the sale, which also features a 10-cent Coke machine, a large collection of Pennsylvania license plates from the “oughts” through the 1980s and a selection of automotive-related neon clocks.
To catch a sneak peek of the autos, the sale preview is from noon to 8 p.m. Friday. The sale starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the real-estate auction at noon. Details: 724-432-5580
Constantine & Pletcher
Let's call it a family affair as Dan Pletcher, of Constantine & Pletcher in Cheswick, will preside over the estate of his grandmother during an Oct. 6 on-site sale in Indian Head, Fayette County. With their 96-year-old granny closing in on the century mark, the Pletcher clan decided it was time for her to downsize the family homestead — a large farmhouse with a four-car garage — plus several tracts of land totaling more than 50 acres in the Laurel Highlands.
While Pletcher admits to mixed emotions to selling the home and land where he played Wiffle Ball with relatives, his main job remains the same in this sale as in any other — to achieve the best results for his clients. In this case, the consignors just happen to be nearly 60 aunts, uncles, cousins and other kin. Though it's a reunion of sorts, family ties didn't necessarily guarantee a done deal for Constantine & Pletcher. Even with the inside track, Pletcher had to prove himself as family members contacted other auctioneers for competitive bids, a move that didn't faze Pletcher.
“I'm a realist,” he says. “They were just doing their due diligence. It's still a business relationship. I'm looking forward to doing a good job.”
Top selling points in the sale are the parcels of land, which include a 39-acre plot along State Route 711. As the saying goes, location, location, location plays a huge rule in the real estate sales, as most of the land is within 10 miles of Seven Spring Mountain Resort. Bidders can vie for the land alone, mineral rights or the land plus the mineral rights.
Pletcher's grandparents — Amanda and her late husband, Kenneth — proved to be successful entrepreneurs as general-store owners during the 1930s and '40s and operators of the Valley Drive-In during the 1950s. The personal items reflect those dual careers with memorabilia from the store, such as a corner cupboard, and posters announcing upcoming films at the outdoor movie theater. From the home itself, oak furniture stands out with a porch swing, grandfather clock, an early-American dry sink, a dining room with eight pressed-back chairs and a bedroom set.
Along with their business pursuits, the Pletchers collected antiques of all sorts. The firearms include a Savage model 99 rifle and Harper's Ferry musket sure to be the big guns. For more relaxed pastimes, there's a vintage Brunswick pool table. A pair of antique horse-drawn buggies, many pieces of Depression-era furniture, an antique apple-cider press, coffee grinder and other household items will be up for bid.
Previews are from 9 to 11 a.m. on Oct. 6, followed by the sale, at 2163 Indian Head Road, Indian Head, Fayette County. Details: 724-275-7190
Time to head to the web again for BHD Auction's upcoming Internet-only sale, Friday through Oct. 11. With merchandise from estates in Treesdale and Pittsburgh, the online auction brings forth a mix of Asian rugs, local pottery and other collectibles.
Even if the sale doesn't dazzle with a Tiffany lamp or five-figure diamond necklace, it will serve up a diverse blend of goods that will fit most budgets. Without a doubt, the biggest item in the sale is a genuine 1955 Atlantic Gas company billboard at nearly 15 feet by 10 feet. Much like a giant jigsaw puzzle, the sign comes in large panels that need to be carefully assembled to reveal a scenic view of what is most likely a mid-1950s canary-yellow Chevy 210 station wagon motoring along the Martha's Vineyard shoreline. A reminder of the carefree days of driving without a thought about fuel economy, this piece is a pleasant drive down memory lane.
Owner Brian Detch hopes to get a lot of mileage out of the Atlantic billboard. But he knows he'll cover a lot of ground with the selection of Oriental and Asian rugs. Among the collections bidders will find Longaberger designer baskets, classic lighters from Zippo, walking canes, dinnerware, glass and pottery from Fenton and other local manufacturers and another batch of industrial brass whistles, gauges and fittings. Details: www.bhdauctions.net or 724-816-0683
John Altdorfer is a contributing writer to Trib Total Media.
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