Classic Automobile Museum Closes, Historic Collection on Sale

The 16-year old Tupelo Automobile Museum has announced it will shut down in the spring of 2019. Centrally located in downtown Tupelo, Mississippi, the 120,000 square foot site features a vast range of classic cars covering nearly 11 decades. Next year, an auction will be hosted there to make sure that the museum’s wide-ranging collection gets new homes. Bonhams will be in charge of the event.

The most junior vehicle in the collection is a first-gen 1994 Dodge Viper. The legend is in entirely factory specification. Furthermore, it has only 12 miles on the clock in its 24-year existence. So it could command a particularly high price.

Other historic members in the collection include a 1908 Glide that packs a separately mounted powerplant. It was among the first automobiles to have such a setup. Although not more senior in terms of production year, the ancestor of all automobiles is represented, with the presence of a replica of the 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen.

Having a rather strange look is a one-of-a-kind 1983 Camarovette. As odd as its name, the sprint car is literally a combination of a Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette. It features a 350 cubic inch engine, a 6-71 root blower and two dual 4-barrel carburettors. 16 port nitrous oxide injection is there to help speeding up the car’s acceleration. It also boasts an eye-catching multicolored paint job to make it look more incredible than a regular Corvette.

Bonhams has been appointed to host the auction, assisted by Wayne Carini, a master car restorer as well as an American TV personality known for his involvement in Chasing Classic Cars TV series. The auction is scheduled to take place on April 25-27 2019. It will be broadcast live, and the proceeds of the sale will all go to the charitable education foundation set up by Frank K. Spain, who is also the founder of the museum.

In spite of the clear historical importance of some of the classic autos in Frank’s collection, no reserve price will be set for the auction, so it will go absolute. And before the sale kicks off, people can still see all these classic vehicles as museum opens seven days a week until its shutdown in April 2019.

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