Published: April 10, 2012
The season opener for the 2012 Indy Car Series was March 25 but racing collectors went into high gear a day earlier as Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper art and antiques auction on March 25 featured racing memorabilia from the estate of Clarence Cagle.
The top finisher from the Cagle estate was a 1909 poster from the inaugural auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 that roared all the way past its $7,000 high estimate to $24,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Absentee, floor, Internet and telephone bidders were all on the throttle during an intense bidding session that quickly saw the price skyrocket on this rare poster. The winner was bidding by phone.
For Ripley, the inclusion of this poster in the auction catalog created a personal connection. “As a fanatic admirer of Carl G. Fisher, an IMS founder, I could not imagine a more important piece of track memorabilia. I took a personal interest in marketing this poster and the final price illustrates that others found it just as appealing,” he said.
This was not the first time Antique Helper played host to an important auto racing memorabilia auction. In 2006, the company presented the Duesenberg estate and last June, Antique Helper joined forces with retired racer Jigger Sirois to sell his family’s racing memorabilia as a fundraiser.
Cagle’s relationship with Indianapolis Motor Speedway dates back to 1945, when Tony Hulman acquired the track from Eddie Rickenbacker. Cagle worked there for 30 years as track superintendent, later becoming vice president of Speedway Corp.
Items offered in the 500-plus lot auction included other race-related merchandise spanning Cagle’s career at the track. Bidders found pit badges, patches, belt buckles, books and programs, bolo ties, jewelry and Cagle’s own personalized Shriners bell helmet.
For more information, 317-251-5635 or www.antiquehelper.com .
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