Microcar Museum Up For Auction

microcar-museum

If you haven’t already heard, the largest collection of microcars ever assembled is going to auction tomorrow! Bruce Weiner has spent many years traveling the globe in pursuit of the most unlikely of collector cars and he has housed them in their own museum. We are actually sort of sad to see the collection broke up, but it could be a good opportunity to buy a late Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart! Take a look at RM’s catalog and let us know which ones you would go for.

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About Jesse

Jesse loves to hunt for old cars. He has owned quite a few himself, but realized that he couldn't buy them all, so he started this site to share his discoveries with everyone. More posts »

Comments

  1. BillR

    I was fortunate to be able to drive down and see the museum the last day it was open to the public. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Along with the cars there were thousands of models, antique auto signs, and auto related items. It would have taken several days to linger and take it all in. I got a peek at a storeroom in the back that had many unrestored micro cars placed on shelves. There were also several cars in the restored collection that were the only one of their kind known to exist in the world. It should be a very interesting auction.

  2. blindmarc

    Was hoping J. Leno might buy it.

  3. paul

    Gotta love Messurshmits.

    • johannesrolf

      Messerschmitt. First jet fighter aircraft was the ME 262.

  4. Jamie Wallhauser

    This collection in staggering and it has taken a special dedication to maintain it. However, it is understandable that the little cars should go off on their own now.
    And I want the Bond Bug. I think.

  5. Peter R

    It’s a shame to see such a unique collection being dissolved but that is what happens too often. Can’t really blame the owner who decides for a multiple of possible reasons that the time has come to move on.I’ve never even heard, much less seen, some of these cars. The few I am reasonably familiar with seem to have quite high estimates even if they are very low mileage or well restored. Regardless, as usual, the market will decide. god luck to buyers and the seller.

  6. Dolphin

    If you haven’t clicked on the start button for the video you should. Microcars are unusual, but be prepared for something you have never seen before (well, BillR has).

    Every time I see another RM special auction like this I think of RM’s very un-imposing, ordinary-looking world headquarters in Ontario, Canada. I used to drive by it every time I went to Detroit for the International Auto Show each January, but it was too cold and dreary to stop. Rob Myers has pretty much gone to the top in the collector car game, maybe not the most cars—that would probably be B-J—but I would say the best of the best and, on occasion, the must unusual.

  7. Richard

    What was that car in the video doing the burnout? Any details about it and/or what sort drivetrain was it running?

    • scot

      ~ @ Richard,
      the catalogue (pg 604) says ’59 Isetta “Whatta Drag”, and indicates it runs a 502 Chevy V8. modeled after a Mattel Hot Wheels die-cast toy.

  8. scot

    ~ i believe Bruce W. began accumulating this collection after selling off another group of vehicles he had collected. that statement, if true, gives me hope that the passion will remain with him, and allow another batch of these little gems.
    . interview with Bruce,
    http://youtu.be/703J9ehN_jE
    . the obscure and unusual memorabilia shown really drills home the point that i have missed some incredible automotive history.

  9. Dino7

    The drag car is lot 584, a 1959 BMW Isetta.
    502 ci Chevy big block, 2 750 cfm and BDS supercharger. 2 speed manual.

    http://www.handlewithfun.com/lot-details.cfm?SaleCode=BW13&CarID=r268

  10. Rancho Bella

    I guess I am not enlightened. Why collect all these cars then sell them off?
    Reminds me of the Alexander collection of Woodies…………what the point?…..is it because you can? you have nothing else to do?

    Signed,
    clueless in socal

  11. Charlie F

    An amazing collection, as will be Ralph Lauren’s and Jay Leno’s and other guys with cash to spare when they inveditably die and the cars get sold off. Harrah’s Museum in Reno, despite having been started with the gift of an incredible collection, has to beat the bushes for money to stay open and has had to sell cars. Having owned 6 cars that are “collectable”, and three at one time when I was young and single, I know what it costs to have them and keep them, and, really, how many can you really appreciate at one time? I now have ONE which is the right number. It is not museum quality, but it is highway worthy, I can get parts, I fix it. I drive it. I polish it. I drive it. I enjoy it. One exotic car, like one wife, is just the right number!

    • Larry

      Amen to that!!

    • Dolphin

      @Charlie F:

      I think your example of Harrah’s original collection getting downsized and then sold off bit by bit to keep the remaining, smaller collection intact after he died shows that the big collections are really the playthings of the super-rich who can afford museum buildings or warehouses and a fleet of hired hands to keep them going. Why? Because they can, and want to.

      That’s all fine, and it can provide the rest of us with some fun times seeing all those great cars in one place. But once the rich guy is gone, or loses interest, or gets into ‘financial difficulties’, the cars inevitably get dispersed because there’s almost never another person in the wings who has the same vision and is willing to pay the costs to keep the collection going. That’s fortunate, in a way, because then lots of other car guys get to own them.

      I understand your rationale for having only one collector car: enjoy it to the hilt without the hassles of the extra costs and logistics needed for a bigger collection. I might quibble about the number—2 or 3 seems better—but in any case, it should be a pretty small number….unless your name is Harrah, Lauren, Leno, or Henry Ford.

      Every once in a while these guys can do good things with their cars. I remember going to a display of about 15 of Lauren’s best cars at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts about 25 years ago. Lots of Boston’s elite art lovers had snits because cars—CARS!—were being shown in their museum. But Lauren agreed to have his cars displayed there to show them that cars could be wonderful sculptures.

      And we know what has happened to the prices of the best collector cars of the sort that Lauren owns over the last 25 years.

  12. Dale

    I thought the auction estimates were high. Watching the live auction, not the case, many are going for MORE!

  13. brian stig,

    so sad, another museum being sold off, like the P50, fiat multipla,bond cars, berkerley,
    I own 8 fiat cars, saved from being broken up/scraped/ bought because i wanted one,
    range from a wreck to 3 road worthy, wonder whether to sell them but, think again, no wonder i don`t have much spare cash!

    • FRED

      BRIAN I AM DOWN TO TWO CARS THAT I HAVE KEPT.THE REASON I DON’T HAVE MORE IS BECAUSE I CANNOT TAKE CARE OF THEM THE WAY THEY SHOULD BE. I KEPT THE TWO THAT MY SON SHOWED THE MOST INTEREST IN BECAUSE HE IS THE ONE WHO HAS TO KEEP THEM THE WAY DAD DID.I HIRED A KID WHEN I WAS UP AND RUNNING WHO TOOK CARE OF MY HEAVY EQUIPMENT AND MY CARS. THEN I BOUGHT AN AUTO BODY REPAIR SHOP TO BRING MY TOYS FROM BECOMING END TABLES TO MAKING THEM WORKS OF ART FOR ME TO ENJOY. AND I DID. I WAS UP TO EIGHT AT ONE TIME BUT I NEVER DID GET MY ’50 MERC LIKE SLY STALLONES IN THE MOVIE COBRA OR MY FRIENDS ’62 CORVETTE THAT I HAVE SLAVED AND DROOLED OVER SINCE I WAS 13 YRS OLD.I DON’T THINK MY HEALTH WILL EVER BE WELL ENOUGH TO TAKE CARE OF CARS LIKE I DID AND MY SON ENJOYS DRIVING THE TWO I HAVE LEFT BUT HE DOESN’T HAVE THAT DRIVE OR PASSION TO HAVE MORE THAN THE TWO .IF HE DID MY COLLECTION MIGHT STILL BE GROWING INSTEAD OF DWINDLING.MAKE SURE YOU DRIVE ‘EM LIKE YOU GOT THEM FROM AVIS RENT A CAR AND CARE FOR THEM LIKE YOU DO YOUR WIFE AND KIDS AND YOU WILL BE A HAPPY GUY .DRIVE ON MY FRIEND DRIVE ON

  14. Rancho Bella

    FRED!…………all caps and run on sentences?……….really? enough!

    • RogueInLA

      @ Rancho Bella;

      Fred has explained before, without searching back, due to health issues it’s difficult for him to type, much less capitalization, IIRC, a stroke has left him typing with one hand? His comments are interesting, rather see them all in caps and sans punctuation than not at all.

  15. AMCFAN

    Fred, I always enjoy what you have to say as well as the many others. If you want to use all caps fine with me

  16. Dolphin

    I just got an email from SCM about this auction and the results were:
    - total sales = $9.1 million
    - High sale = 1958 Messerschmitt F.M.R. Tg 500 “Tiger”,top speed 78 mph, sold at $322k

    Small cars, BIG money.

    • Jesse

      Wow, it is astounding to think that such little cars could bring such big money. And here I thought I might be able to pick up something small for cheap! Guess not. Thanks for checking on that for us though.

  17. Jesse

    I just went back and browsed through the auction results. Looks like most of the items surpassed the auction houses estimates and then some. Wish I would have had the smarts to pick up as many little cars as possible 10 years ago. I remember a guy across the street who always had a few Isettas sitting in the yard. Bet I could have picked a few of those up cheap. It also makes the Taylor-Dunn Trident we featured back 2011 look like a bargain now!

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