Popular Car Auction Kicks Off Under New Vision

By Jeff Neumeyer

September 2, 2010 Updated Sep 2, 2010 at 5:41 PM EDT

AUBURN, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- A giant attraction for Northeast Indiana every Labor Day weekend launched in Auburn Thursday under new ownership.

That new leadership rescued a 40-year tradition from the scrap heap.

We’re talking about the Auburn Classic Car Auction, where new is not necessarily better.

Jeff Neumeyer: " Look around the grounds and you’ll see everything from expensive Duesenbergs to popular muscle cars from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.

The Kruse family started this event in 1970, the first being held outside a Dairy Queen ice cream stand.

Financial troubles put the auction in jeopardy of collapsing, but RM Auctions out of Canada bought the grounds 60 days ago, made a bunch of improvements and now close to 1,000 vehicles are registered for sale this week-end.

Of course, not everybody who loves this auction comes with wallet in hand to buy something.

Ron Bailey from London Ontario brought his son down to give him an education.

Ron Bailey/London Ontario: " I'm stopping to show him what old cars were like. He doesn't get to see them much, so we're just trying to show him what they're all about."

David and Judy Fox live in nearby Berne, but this is their first visit to the car auction.

David Fox/Berne Indiana: " We're retired, like to see old cars. Some of these cars, a couple of them we used to have."

Rob Myers bought rights to the auction from Dean Kruse.

He says the notion that these kinds of cars don't sell in a tough economy is off base.

Rob Myers/RM Auctions: " There's still plenty of money in this world and there's still plenty of people interested in the old car hobby. It grows every day, the number of cruise nights, the number of car shows every week."

The schedule calls for cars to roll across the auction turntables starting at 11 a.m. each day through Sunday, at an event that's got a new lease on life.

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