WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – On Saturday, October 14, Milestone Auctions of Willoughby (suburban Cleveland), Ohio, will transform its premises into a motorhead’s dreamscape, as it presents the Charlie Schalebaum Legacy Collection of fine automobiles, automotive art, and antiques. The nearly 500-lot auction – with highlights that include two Rolls-Royces and three Mercedes-Benzes – represents the crème de la crème of a collection amassed by the dealer and car enthusiast known far and wide as “the king of Hershey.” Absentee and Internet live bidding are available through LiveAuctioneers.com.
Charles Schalebaum Jr, who passed away last May, didn’t give himself the royal title by which he was known in the trade – it was bestowed upon him by classic car fans who always looked forward to visiting his tempting booth at the Hershey Car Show.
“Charlie was one of the most respected antique dealers and collectors of his time,” said Milestone Auctions co-owner Miles King. “He was known as ‘King of Hershey’ for his large, always high-quality display of automobilia and other rarities from around the world. He had an infallible eye for great things, and we know collectors are going to jump at the chance to acquire rare and wonderful pieces from his personal collection.”
How many prestige automobiles could one man own? Schalebaum didn’t feel there was a limit, as long as each one was maintained to perfection. His garage housed two 1981 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertibles: a stunning classic blue-over-silver example (shown above) with black interior and only 15,000 miles, auction estimate $15,000-$25,000; and a pampered white-on-white version with a modest 50,000 miles on its odometer, $10,000-$20,000. “These coach-built cars are the height of luxury, and you won’t find a Rolls anywhere that has been better cared for than these two,” King said.
Schalebaum also owned three Mercedes-Benzes – two elegant sedans and a jaunty maroon convertible. His dark blue 1999 S500 is in virtually brand-new condition, with only 6,076 original miles. The average retail for this beautiful car when it first came to market was $87,500. Its auction estimate is $20,000-$30,000. Charlie’s 2001 S600 sedan (shown at top of page), classic black with a tan interior, is as gorgeous and well kept as any car buyer could ever desire, and it has clocked only 40,257 original miles. Originally retailing at $114,000, it comes to auction with a $15,000-$25,000 estimate. For top-down motoring, the Schalebaum collection features an exceptional 2005 CLK320 with 54,900 original miles. Super clean and straight, and exhibiting spectacular paint from always having been kept in a garage, this roomy convertible packed with power options will cross the auction block with a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.
The automotive lineup features vehicles to please every motoring mood, including a 1954 Chrysler Imperial Crown Sedan, 1960 Morris Minor Traveller Woody, 1972 Volkswagen Bus, 1948 Studebaker Regal Deluxe Champion convertible in Balsam Green Metallic paint, 1989 Chrysler TC by Maserati convertible with 15,000 miles, and a 1976 Volkswagen Rabbit Custom Limousine that was built as a joke for NFL great John Madden.
A 21-ft Chris-Craft Continental with super-sleek jet fins (above) is one of the most desirable of all wood boats – “and of course, Charlie owned one,” King said. “Only 96 of these boats were built in 1961, the sole year of their manufacture, and perhaps a dozen have survived. Charlie spared no details in restoring his Continental, using original materials.” Turnkey ready for its next water adventure, the craft even comes with a tandem-axle trailer. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000
Miles King predicts a packed gallery of eager previewers for the automobilia collection, which encompasses paintings and sculptures; automotive porcelain and bisque figures, Lalique hood ornaments, early auto-racing programs, photos, posters and memorabilia (including Indy 500); drivers’ helmets and trophies, license plates, antique car accessories, and much more.
While automotive pursuits were Charlie Schalebaum’s main passion, he also had a deep interest in historical memorabilia, antique advertising, folk art and figural objects; and virtually any type of curiosity. “His collection is so vast and eclectic, it would be quite a chore to count the categories,” King said.
Among the many antiques to be auctioned are ocean liner and other nautical memorabilia (RMS Queen Mary, USS Maine, SS United States); an Egyptian tapestry and mummy sarcophagus panels; casino relics, vintage trunks, alligator bags, cigarette cases, canes, salesmen’s samples, a lion weather vane, carved-wood American Eagle, 17th-century wedding chest, Charles Lindbergh items, dolls and toys; archives of original art from famed New Yorker artist Garrett Price and automotive artist Dexter Brown, an elephant trade stimulator, and a Sammy Davis Jr archive.
Milestone’s Oct. 14, 2017 auction of the Charlie Schalebaum Legacy Collection will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information, call 440-527-8060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.