NEW HAMBURG, Canada – The Chevrolet brand will take center stage in an online-only Automobiles, Advertising & Toys auction planned for Saturday, December 3 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., as a 1963 Corvette split window coupe and a Chevrolet Super Service dealer neon sign are the expected top lots. The auction will begin promptly at 9 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. All estimates quoted are in Canadian dollars.
All 241 lots in the sale are from the lifetime collection of the late Gary Archer, a renowned yet obscure collector who aggressively sought out gas pumps, petroliana advertising, automobilia, soda signs and toys, but who rarely parted with anything. “Anyone who knew Gary will tell you the same thing: nothing was ever for sale,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
Miller added, “When I stepped down into Gary’s basement for the first time, my jaw dropped. I saw the Chevrolet dealer sign and so many others. Nobody knew of this collection. This auction represents the best of everything he ever purchased, in one sale. The split-window ’63 Corvette had been stored in the same place since 1983. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Auto buffs are familiar with the 1963 split-window as one of the most coveted Corvettes out there. Archer imported his from the U.S. in 1983 and stored it in a dry, heated garage as an investment. Prior to that, the car received a cosmetic restoration that included a color change from saddle tan to red and an interior update that included new seat covers and carpets.
The non-running, non-tested circa-1970 350 c.i. engine is a replacement. The car was one of 278 produced with air conditioning, one of 629 with full tinted glass, and one of 3,742 with power windows. It retains the original Powerglide automatic transmission and period-correct knockoffs by Kelsey-Hayes. The car carries an estimate of $40,000-$60,000.
The Chevrolet Super Service dealer single-sided porcelain and neon sign, made in America in the 1940s, measures an impressive 42 by 49in. It does have some minor porcelain loss and a light uniform chalkiness creating a dull sheen and is estimated at $12,000-$15,000.
A round Supertest 1940s double-sided porcelain service station sign in the original ring, bearing the legend “Canada’s All-Canadian Company,” is estimated at $7,000-$9,000; while a Chrysler Plymouth double-sided porcelain dealer sign emblazoned with the words “Approved Service / Fargo” has an estimate of $4,000-$6,000.
An Indian Motorcycle prismatic sign, made in America in the 1940s from celluloid over embossed tin backed with cardboard and featuring the phrase “Genuine Indian Accessories / The Complete Quality Line,” is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
Ably representing the vintage soda signs on offer is an American Orange-Crush single-sided lithographed tin sign from 1948, embossed with the words “Feel Fresh! Drink Orange-Crush Carbonated Beverage” and also marked “B-942 Made in U.S.A. Stout 10-48.” It is estimated at $2,000-$2,500.
Completing the December 3 sale highlights is a still-functional French circa-1910s Georges Carette & Co. #50 lithographed tin toy car with its original painted driver and passengers, removable headlamps and luggage rack, original wheels and rubber, and estimated at $2,500-$3,500.
To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection, call Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. at 519-573-3710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., please visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.
The current rate of exchange is dollar CA 1 = 75 cents.
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