The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

June 7, 2014

Bidders line up to bid on antique cars, parts

ENID, Okla. — Hundreds of car lovers braved the threat of rain Saturday to bid on pieces of history.

Some were there just to take pictures of Oliver Jordan’s impressive antique car collection, and some came to find parts for their own projects.

Shortly after the auction started, the first large bid came in. Two eager competitors out-bid each other until an International car hauler with an intact crane reached $1,050. The truck, like many on the lot, was completely covered in rust and had years of debris littering the interior.

But for people like Ben Brady of Topeka, Kan., it doesn’t matter much.

Brady had slogged through mud and crossed an ad hoc cinder block bridge to reach a field of carefully stacked miscellaneous parts. He pulled out a tape measure, eyed an unusually shaped glass pane and scrawled the numbers on a sheet of paper.

He aims to restore a ’41 Dodge coupe, and he needs a rear window.

“It’s oval and curved like that right there, and so it’s kind of a hard piece of glass to find or get made,” Brady said. “I’m looking at a little ol’ car over here and it doesn’t have a back glass, but I’m just buying it for a parts car, anyway.”

He joked that he hoped it would rain again that morning to drive off his competition, but the weather was favorable throughout the morning.

The auction has received national attention for its size and rarity of items. Jordan ran a salvage yard after World War II and amassed a collection of more than 200 cars, according to VanDerBrink Auctions LLC.

The auctioneer’s website said the sale was ideal for those restoring or fabricating parts for hot rods, rat rods and classic cars.

Jordan died in 2004, at the age of 95. His wife, Ruby, passed away last year.

So many people showed up for the auction that vehicles were lined up for a mile on both sides of Southgate and Leona Mitchell Roads. Local police and sheriff’s deputies patrolled the congestion and threatened to write tickets for those parked too far out in the road.

The bidders came from across the country, though there were some locals in on the action.

Pawnee resident Kelly Schauf drove to Enid in hopes he would find parts for his project, a 1935 Hudson Terraplane sedan. He picked up a bar that had headlamps on either side, but shook his head. There didn’t seem to be any parts from that particular car, but he vowed to keep looking.

“If we can find parts that we can massage and make them work, you know, that’s what we’re looking for,” he said. “If there’s something that’s close, maybe we can do a little fab work on it.”

Most of the cars sold Saturday were pre-War Fords, but Jordan also kept rare autos. VanDerBrink Auctions showed an all-aluminum body ’39 Lincoln, a 90-year-old Rollin Touring and two Cords from the 1930s.

“You’ve got a lot of stuff here. It’s taken a lot of time to collect all of this,” Brady said as he moved on to look at pile of quarter panels. “It’s not in the best of shape, but it’s parts and pieces. And that’s what we look for — those rare pieces. Sometimes you have to buy a whole car for a couple little pieces.”

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