BYRON, Ga. – Preston Evans of Preston Opportunities is very good at many things – like collecting and being an auctioneer – but he’s terrible at retiring. “I tried to retire,” he said from his home in South Georgia, “and it worked until I was motivated to get back in the auction ring. I found it impossible to sell all my collections in the time I spent trying to put together an event.”
That was four years ago. Since then, at least five important collections have fallen into Evans’s lap (including the estate of his longtime friend and fellow collector, Buddy Austin, recently deceased). Those items, plus Evan’s leftover inventory never before offered for sale, all add up to one thing: a major auction for all of it, planned for Sept. 5. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
The auction will be held at the Big Peach Antiques Mall in Byron, Georgia, 12 miles south of Macon, off exit 149 of I-75, at 119 Peachtree Parkway. Start times all four days will be 10 a.m. Eastern.
The auction is packed with antiques and collectibles in many categories. Offered will be toys, Western items, Popeye collectibles, advertising, movie posters, petroliana (gas station collectibles), jukeboxes, arcade games, magic memorabilia, trade stimulators, coin-ops, slot machines, Coca-Cola items, music boxes, cash registers, watches, clocks, pre-1899 guns and swords, Civil War items, scientific instruments, vintage cameras, vintage cars and motorcycles.
The vintage cars are worth noting up front, for their rarity and importance. They include the following:
– A 1939 Cadillac V-16 Series 90 convertible, one of only four made, a “barn find” that has been in storage since 1954, with 9,264 miles on the odometer.
– A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sport coupe hardtop, striking red, fully restored, with flawless trim and bumpers, a “Turbo-Fire” 283 engine, three-speed floor shifter and whitewall tires.
– A 1966 Jaguar XK-E 2+2 coupe, Series I, with a beautiful sounding 4.2-liter engine with triple SU carburetors, automatic transmission, covered lens headlights and wire wheels.
– A 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan two-door coupe, a “Hot Rod Lincoln.” recently restored, with burgundy paint, Ford flathead V-8 337-cubic-inch engine (152 horsepower) and a streamlined body.
Other cars include a 1953 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe Eight Custom Catalina with original paint, a 1948 Willys Jeepster, a 1950 Cadillac Series 62 sedan, a 1911 Willys-Overland Touring car and a 1928 Packard Model 526 five-passenger sedan. The cars are being sold as-is, in varying states of condition. A few have been lovingly restored, while others are awaiting a return to their glory.
Rare and vintage motorcycles and motorbikes, all from the Buddy Austin collection, will also be sold on Saturday. They include a Harley-Davidson Hummer motorbike, a Gulf motorbike and a Cushman motorbike. Bicycles will also come up for bid. Examples include a Monarch Super Deluxe, a Schwinn Stingray, an 1892 Victor, a 1958 Eljin, a Schwinn Phantom and many others.
In addition to cars, motorcycles, motorbikes and bicycles, the Saturday session will also feature advertising items, more Popeye collectibles, toys, petroliana, jukeboxes, arcade games, trade stimulators, coin-ops and slot machines, Coca-Cola items, cash registers, automata, pedal cars and more.
The Coke collectibles, many of them early and in superb condition, are second to none. They include rare and vintage coolers, posters, dispensers, clocks, mostly dime vending machines, buttons, ice chests and even a bicycle.
Slot machines will be led by a rare 5-cent slot made in the 1930s by Superior Confection out of central Ohio, with “Buffalo Nickels Only” logo. Also sold will be a Mills Jackpot Bandit, a Jennings Light-Up slot, a Poinsettia slot, a War Eagle slot, a Wolf Head slot and Little Duke slot.
Coin-ops will include an IQ tester, chewing gum and gumball coin-ops, and coin-ops titled The Target and The Races. Arcade games will feature Test Your Grip, Kicker Catcher, Rugger, 3-D Theatre, Personality Indicator, Power of Attraction, Penny Souvenir. Trade stimulators include Ball-Gum, Five-Card Draw, Free-Play, POK Reel, Vest Pocket and Horse Race Sweepstakes.
Jukeboxes – a category Mr. Evans knows a little something about, having collected them all his life – will feature Wurlitzer models 1700, 1800, 2104, 1015, 800 and 1080. Also offered will be jukeboxes from Rock-Ola, AMI and Seeburg.
Advertising lots to watch include signs by Royal Vacuum, Pepsi-Cola, AAA Auto Club, Packard, Hires Root Beer, Sun-Rise Beverages, Ebert’s Ice Cream, Merita Bread, Squirt soda and many others. Also sold will be a Ray-O-Vac clock, Marvin’s Crackers box and an RCA Victor display.
Petroliana is another hot collectible, and a must-have for the man cave. Lots on offer include gas pumps for Flying A, Texaco, Shell and Polly; a Gulf Gasoline globe; and signs for Fire Chief gasoline, Sunoco Gas and Cactus Tire Boots & Patches. Old barber shop chairs will also be sold.
Vintage and antique toys will be plentiful and will feature many toy cars, trucks and horses. Lots expected to do well include an American Railroad Express Agency truck, a Looky fire truck and a Strutco truck with box. A nice assortment of Dick Tracy collectibles will also be on offer, including a police car with siren, siren police pistol and G-Man gun silent alarm pistol (all in the original box), a Dick Tracy comic and Dick Tracy poster, a toy car and a G-Man toy gun.
Automata feature a group of three museum-quality figural examples from the early 1800s, with the original clothing. Two are blackamoor figures (one is playing a musical instrument, the other is smoking a pipe), while the third figure is feeding a pig. Other automata include an elephant-themed cigarette dispenser made in Berlin in 1949 and a 1930s-era Hollywood marionette figure.
Movie memorabilia will be headlined by an actual Edison projecting Kinetoscope. When Thomas Edison applied for a patent for a motion picture system over 100 years ago, it called for a camera called the Kinetograph (from the Greek for “motion recorder”) and a viewer called the Kinetoscope (from the Greek for “motion viewer”), an example of which is what’s being sold.
Other movie-related items include a stereoptical viewer and cards, a tabletop viewer, a Keystone camera, a stereopticon, floor model viewers, a Tom Mix projector with reels, and posters for the films The Miracle Rider (with cowboy star Tom Mix) and Junior Bonner (with Steve McQueen).
For more information email Preston Opportunities at email@example.com.
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