Published: June 15, 2016
Review by Victoria Winslow,
Photos Courtesy Preston Evans
NEWNAN, GA. — “No one has had more fun than I,” said Preston Evans when asked about his experiences in the auction business. The items in his retirement auction confirm this statement — a fantastic collection of vintage motorcycles, stylish jukeboxes, nickelodeons, slot machines and a 1956 Cadillac from the movie Driving Miss Daisy were just some of the items featured in the marathon sale May 27–29.
“I would rank this sale right up there with my best sales ever and my greatest joy came from being with my friends from across the country. This auction was nonstop each day for a period of 12 hours each day with no reserves. The crowd stayed to watch the action,” Evans said.
“The offering of motorcycles won over those who have a love for bikes and prices stood up to expectations. A 1916 Pope brought $71,050, a Vincent Rapide sold for $55,000, a barn-find 1916 Indian in original condition went for $34,465 and a 1910 Yale did $33,000. Other bikes went for their fair value, with the exception of the Cushmans, which fell short of expectations. The most desirable bikes reached their expected prices and that saved the show,” he added.
Evans’ first auction was in an old, broken-down house filled with primitives and choice pottery. “I was scared to death, I think the noise from my knees knocking together was louder than my voice on the microphone,” he said, noting he almost quit after that but gave it another go and that sale was better. “I invited about 15 consignors to join me in the effort. All of them bought some of my very good offerings and something from each other.”
When asked about what prompted his decision to retire, the charming gentleman replied, “I’m 73 years old and in good health to do this auction myself.” He also recalled his appearance on the TV show American Pickers last year where he announced he would retire in the near future as a promise to his wife. “The show played three of four months after than and it has been aired many times since then. You might say I was forced to keep my commitment sooner rather than later. I did, and now all my accumulation has been sold… My wife is right beside me and that counts more than anything.”
“I’ve had some great buys over the years, I’m a risk taker and I’ve usually been good with making decisions, when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no.’ One of the best buys I ever made was many years ago when my wife and I went to do a house call, a lady selling some watches. I didn’t know a lot about watches, but I liked the ones she had. I bought three: one for $3,000, another for $5,000 and the last for $10,000. The last one I kept for about ten years and decided to sell when there was a big downturn in the stock market in the early 1990s. Took it to Sotheby’s in New York where they estimated it at $40/60,000; it brought $220,000. Now it’s time to relax more.”
There was strong interest in new-to-market collectibles in this auction. Gaming highlights included a vintage roulette arcade game that drew a $30,800 winning bid and a circa 1936 Paces Races game at $14,300. Musical boxes commanded respectable prices, with a 15¾-inch Regina changer with clock going out at $18,150, a 20-inch Regina changer selling for $18,700 and an Orchestral Regina fetching $9,900. Stylish Wurlitzer jukeboxes fared well, with a Wurlitzer 850 leading the category at $15,400, a Wurlitzer 1015 reaching $6,350 and a Model V Wurlitzer going to $6,325.
“The jukeboxes were not as strong as they were several years ago, but they held their recent expected prices well, with a few breaking the barrier that we expected,” Evans said. “We sold everything that we put off for auction and all at no reserve. Overall, the auction was a complete success.”
In other highlights, a beautiful Packard convertible in orange, black and ivory was a bargain at $60,500 and a swing arm clock with a scantily clad beauty attracted interest at $19,800.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, 770-502-0028.
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