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Major classic car auction coming to Tucson

Citizen Staff Writer



Tucson will get a taste of big-time classic car auctions Feb. 27-28 at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave., where some cars are expected to sell for more than $1 million, the sponsor said.

The Greater Tucson Collector Car Auction is the first major classic car auction here. It will be put on by Kruse International, based in Auburn, Ind., which had one of the four prominent winter classic car auctions in Phoenix/Scottsdale alongside the high-profile televised Barrett-Jackson auction.

The Tucson auction will feature more than 300 cars, including a 1970 Plymouth A990 Hemi ‘Cuda and a 2009 Bugatti Veyron that could exceed $1.8 million, event sponsor Michael Moga said.

Other cars listed so far are a 1966 Ford Mustang, a 1971 Chevrolet Camaro, a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette and a 1934 Ford Coupe.

Moga, a Tucson resident since 1967, said he negotiated directly with Kruse owner Dean Kruse to land the auction for Tucson.

The Tucson auction is one of 15 collectible car auctions Kruse is staging this year. The list includes the Kruse Fall Auction each Labor Day in Auburn, Ind., which is the largest classic car auction in the world, drawing more than 5,000 vehicles and 200,000 attendees. The Labor Day auction is the fourth largest event in Indiana behind the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 and the Indiana State Fair, according to the Kruse Web site.

“We want to have our own high-caliber classic car auction,” Moga said.

Moga expects bidders to fly in from as far away as Florida, New York and Mexico City. He thinks there will be more than 200 registered bidders.

Tucsonans can be bidders, too, by paying a $100 bidder fee and being able to verify the source of payment.

Tucsonans can also put their cars on the auction block for $350 for a reserve (minimum) selling price or $250 as a nonreserve entry with no minimum selling price.

Spectators who just want to look at classic cars can get in for $10 per day and children 12 or younger get in free. The auction starts at 10 a.m. each day and runs until 6 to 8 p.m., depending on how sales progress during the day.

More information is available at www.kruse.com/auctions/tucson09.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to view extremely rare and exotic and collectible automobiles,” Moga said.

The Tucson Convention Center has put on car shows and auctions but nothing reaching this caliber, said Kate Breck Calhoun, TCC’s sales and marketing director.

“Because of the huge success with Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, we’re tapping into an incredibly popular phenomenon,” Calhoun said.

The Kruse auctions started in 1971 in Auburn, where the luxury Duesenberg cars were built, and later that same year Thomas W. Barrett and Russell Jackson brought Dean Kruse in to help start a collector car auction in Phoenix.

“(Kruse is) the originator of the collector car auction,” Moga said. “Kruse started Barrett-Jackson.”

Moga, a Salpointe Catholic High School and University of Arizona graduate, will auction some classic cars from his own collection, which ranges in size from 15 to 33 cars, depending on how much he’s buying or selling. In his stable, he has Corvettes from 1953, 1962 and 1967 and the 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda that will be auctioned.

“That’s the center of my collection,” Moga said about the Hemi ‘Cuda, a model that in past years has brought in a half million dollars at Barrett-Jackson.

Major classic car auction coming to Tucson

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