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Monday, September 21, 2015

Eclectic Collection of Classic Cars Up for Auction


Pierce Arrow roadster

Grant Quam was an Iowa real estate entrepreneur with a zest for collecting eclectic classic cars. His philosophy was he never wanted to buy a car and be passed by a similar one driving down the street.
That’s what makes the upcoming auction of his car collection unusual. Among the cars being auctioned off is a 1936 Pierce Arrow Roadster. It is one of only three ever made.

1920 Peerless Roadster photo

Officially known as the 1936 Pierce Arrow Country Club 2-door Roadster, Quam bought the car (pictured at top) from a bank after its previous owner fell victim to the farm financial crisis that plagued Iowa in the 1980s. The car has been stored in climate-controlled spaces since then.
Yet, it hasn’t been babied. Quam used to drive it extensively on road tours around Iowa. He even once took it to upstate New York and back. On that trip it was involved in what was described as a minor traffic accident that resulted in an $18,000 paint bill as part of the restoration.

The 1920 Peerless Model 56 4dr 4 Passenger Roadster pictured above spent many years in the Harrah Collection of William Harrah, owner of Harrah’s Club in Reno, Nevada. According to the auctioneer, it has been not seen in public since 1984. It still has the original white rubber radiator hoses it came with on its V8 engine.

Kissel speedster photo

Another unique vehicle in the collection is a 1925 Kissel Model 75 Gold Bug Speedster. It, too, has been stored in climate-controlled conditions since its acquisition in 1999. It was the last car Quam would acquire before his death in 2007.
The Kissel has been fully restored twice over the years and has won numerous concours awards. One of its rare elements is its V8 motor and manual transmission. The former was an option only offered for a limited time.

studebaker golden hawk photo

The 1957 Studebaker Supercharged Golden Hawk Coupe is allegedly one of only eight to have the optional continental kit installed. It features a 289-cubic-inch V8 with an automatic transmission and is being sold at no reserve like most cars in the collection.

One special element of this auction is you can watch Quam discuss his car collection thanks to an Iowa Public TV documentary from the 1990s. Clips are available through the auction website of his observations on the various cars in his collection for an oral history.
The sale is being run by VanDerBrink Auctions. It will take place Sept. 26 in Boone, Iowa, near where Quam housed his collection.