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John Coker selling family’s automotive collection Oct. 6


Award-winning 1948 Nash Ambassador Super Two-Door Coupe, complete 100-point restoration. Conveys with full collection of trophies. Est. $30,000-$60,000. John Coker Ltd. image

OAKDALE, Tenn. – A Tennessee family’s 350-lot collection of classic cars, petroliana, automotive toys and country store items will make its auction debut on Oct. 6 in a no-reserve onsite auction conducted by John Coker Ltd. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Three consecutive generations of the Goldston family contributed to the collection, a sideline interest that arose as a natural extension of their petroleum- and automotive-related business holdings in Roane County, Tennessee.

“The Goldston family operated a Gulf gas station for many years before Gulf was acquired by BP, and their automotive garage, which is one of the last of its kind, is still thriving. The Goldstons wisely chose to hold the auction onsite, near the junction of two major interstates (I-40 and I-75), to make it easy for larger items to be transported,” said auctioneer John Coker. “One of the Gulf signs, which itself is 52 inches in diameter, is affixed to a 32-foot steel post. With items of that size, it would have made no sense to move them to the auction house.”

Many award-winning classic cars and other collectible vehicles will cross the auction block, starting with a fantastic 1948 Nash Ambassador Super 2-Door Coupe (above). With many first-prize wins to its credit, including the blue ribbon at the Nashville Grand National, it has undergone a complete 100-point restoration. It could sell in the $30,000-$60,000 range.

Sharing anticipated top-lot status is a 1932 two-door Chevrolet (below). It, too, has undergone a 100-point restoration and boasts a literal showcase full of car-show trophies. Its estimate is $30,000-$60,000.

Award-winning 1932 Two-Door Chevrolet, complete 100-point restoration. Conveys with full collection of trophies. Est. $30,000-$60,000. John Coker Ltd. image

“Both the Nash and the Chevrolet are creampuffs – truly flawless,” said Coker. “Each will open for bidding at $10,000 and will transfer to their new owners complete with their respective collections of 15 to 20 trophies,” Coker said.

The motoring lineup continues with a perfect 1976 Chevrolet Corvette 350 Automatic with only 39,000 miles; and a like-new 1985 Mercedes 380SL convertible with hard top, 89,000 miles, estimate $10,000-$15,000. A complete big-block car, a 1962 Buick Electra convertible in need of full restoration will open for bidding at $500, while a 1961 Studebaker Lark in good condition but in need of minor restoration will open at $1,000.

1987 Chevrolet Jerr-Dan roll-back wrecker, used only for hauling show cars. Est. $10,000-$20,000. John Coker Ltd. image

Both a 1951 Chevrolet 1-ton flatbed or stakebed truck with dual rear wheels, in running condition, and a Cushman three-wheel delivery truck that runs well, will start with $1,000 bids. An unusual buying opportunity, a multiple-award-winning 1987 Chevrolet Jerr-Dan roll-back wrecker used only for hauling show cars has a 454 gas (as opposed to diesel) automatic engine and has clocked only 66,000 miles. Also in the mix is a zippy 1970 Honda Passport motorbike.

1970 Honda Passport minibike, only 4,029 miles clocked. Est. $500-$1,000. John Coker Ltd. image

The auction includes eight fully restored vintage gas pumps (Gulf, Sinclair, Texaco), two unrestored pumps, and another in “as found” condition. “Some of the pumps even show the price of gas at 29 cents a gallon,” Coker noted. Additionally, there are kerosene pumps on original bases, and an oil-vending machine with a roll-up door.

Sinclair Dino Kerosene pump on original base. Est. $400-$700. John Coker Ltd. image

There are many porcelain automotive and petroliana signs advertising Quaker State, Goodyear and Firestone Tires; various Gulf products, and, in Coker’s words, “anything else you might have seen at a service station during the 20th century.

Quaker State Motor Oil sign, 24in diameter. Est. $200-$400. John Coker Ltd. image

There’s a 4-foot-long double-sided Coca-Cola porcelain sign, circa 1940s, that’s untouched and still strapped into its original shipping crate from New Hampshire.”

Six-foot-long double-sided porcelain Coca-Cola sign, circa 1940s, still strapped into its original shipping crate from New Hampshire and never opened. Est. $400-$800. John Coker Ltd. image

In addition to the aforementioned 32-foot Gulf sign, the auction features a 25-foot Texaco sign, which has been lowered for display across a basketball court. Another gem is a round Texaco sign, with a red-star logo, that advertises aviation gasoline.

Among the other fixtures and miscellaneous items are a small and very nice 1940s/’50s four-head Coca-Cola fountain with a built-in icemaker, two amusing vintage condom machines with original keys, a roadmap cabinet, 5-cent and 6-cent stamp machines, petroleum-related advertising thermometers and clocks; and primitive-looking tire-changing equipment.

Approximately 125 vintage pressed-steel automotive toys will be offered, representing such brands as Buddy ‘L,’ Structo and Tonka; as well as two early pedal cars. Antique and novelty items include a Stromberg-Carlson oak with brass wall telephone, and a 5-foot NCR oak floor-model crank (non-electrified) cash register, circa 1910-1915, with drawers that start at floor level.

Structo pressed-steel ‘Structo Farms’ stakebed truck with trailer, est. $200-$400. John Coker Ltd. image

A long oak church pew had its origins at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, a desolate, maximum-security Tennessee prison that closed in 2009. For the classic car collector seeking a unique hood accessory, there’s an eye-catching pair of 1950s Texas steer horns.

John Coker’s unreserved Oct. 6, 2018 auction of classic cars, petroliana, country store and vintage automotive toys will begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Contact John Coker Ltd. at 865-475-5163,

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