Saturday, November 12, 2011

The private car collection of Lee Roy Hartung was auctioned off

1936 Lincoln Zephyr custom sedan has an unusual dual nose and shows 19,600 miles on the odometer.
Credit: Tudor Van Hampton for The New York Times

The eclectic Lee Roy Hartung Collection of automobiles, motorcycles and memorabilia was gathered over the past 50 years by the Chicago collector.

Mr. Hartung dealt in scrap metal, sold used cars and maintained a hauling business that aided his hobby. After a garage fire destroyed an antique bicycle collection, Mr. Hartung in 1972 built a 10,000-square-foot barn on his four-acre property and spent the next several decades stuffing it with treasures

Mr. Hartung operated the space as a museum by appointment only. In it, he stored about 80 cars, 40 motorcycles, 100 bicycles and thousands of pieces of automobilia. He had what experts called one of the most complete collections of license plates in the United States

A 1912 Harley-Davidson Single-Cylinder Belt Drive, believed to be among the best 1912 examples in the world, brought $115,000.
original bicycles were highlighted by a like-new 1934 Iver Johnson, an Elgin Bluebird and a Schwinn Aerocycle, which individually sold for $5,175 each.

Lee Hartung Collection Auctions America by RM – Top 10 Auction Results

1. 1911 Flying Merkel Twin Belt Drive – $201,250
2. 1950 Veritas BMW – $195,500
 The 1949 Veritas was built by BMW and bodied by Spohn, the German coachworks company. It was believed to have been sent back to Spohn in the ’50s to receive tail fins and other retrofits to echo General Motors’ 1951 LeSabre concept car.
 3. 1950 Edwards R-26 Roadster – $143,750
4. 1912 Harley-Davidson Single-Cylinder Belt Drive – $115,000
5. 1911 Pope Model H – $83,375
6. 1909 Sears – $66,125
7. 1938 Indian Four-Cylinder Rigid Frame – $64,400
8. 1926 Henderson Deluxe Fire Department Motorcycle – $63,250
9. 1915 Harley-Davidson Single-Cylinder Two-Speed – $57,500
10. 1904 Fabrique-Nationale Four-Cylinder Shaft Drive – $55,200


  1. I was at the auction. It was a once in a lifetime event!

    1. You lucky guy! What stands out about it in your memory?