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8/3/2018 5:15:00 PM
Classic Hudson collection being auctioned
THE 1917 HUDSON SHAW SPECIAL racing car will be sold Saturday when the Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum collection will be auctioned. The Shaw Special was raced by Horace Shaw of Rochester, New York. Submitted photo
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THE 1917 HUDSON SHAW SPECIAL racing car will be sold Saturday when the Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum collection will be auctioned. The Shaw Special was raced by Horace Shaw of Rochester, New York. Submitted photo
EARLY NASCAR RACER HERB THOMAS raced this 1952 Hudson Hornet during the 1952 and 1953 seasons. The famous car will be one of 69 Hudson cars sold at auction Saturday in Shipshewana. Submitted photo
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EARLY NASCAR RACER HERB THOMAS raced this 1952 Hudson Hornet during the 1952 and 1953 seasons. The famous car will be one of 69 Hudson cars sold at auction Saturday in Shipshewana. Submitted photo

Roger Schneider, Goshen News City Editor

SHIPSHEWANA — An extensive collection of historic Hudson automobiles will be separated and sold Saturday to the highest bidders.

The late Eldon and Esta Hostetler collected the cars for more than 30 years. They had the vehicles restored and often drove them. They donated a large part of their collection to the town of Shipshewana, where the vehicles were housed in the Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum at the Town Center.

In 2017, the Town Council sold the Town Center, and then earlier this year the museum board, which has a majority membership of Town Council members, voted to liquidate the collection, citing the high cost to maintain it.

The community’s loss of the collection will be the gain of car fans from around the world, said John Kruse, owner of Worldwide Auctioneers. His company will sell the cars.

“There has been phenomenal interest from all over the globe,” Kruse said. “We have people flying in from Europe.”

He added that collectors from most states will also attend or be represented at the sale.

“The Hudson enthusiasts will be there. But one of the exciting things is that some of the biggest car collectors in the world will be participating in the auction,” he added.

Those collectors will be individuals, but there will also be museums represented for a chance at picking up something for their own collections, Kruse indicated.

“Having known Eldon, I am pleased to know these folks are coming and these cars have a good chance to go to tremendous homes,” Kruse said.

Hostetler was the founder of Ziggity Systems in Middlebury, a company that manufactures feeding and watering systems for chickens.

MORE THAN 50

When the museum was closed,

there were 50 Hudson vehicles on display, Shipshewana Town Manager Bob Shanahan said. But Saturday’s auction will include 69 Hudsons, plus automobile memorabilia, such as gas pumps, signs and parts.

Shanahan said the Hostetler estate left five additional Hudsons to the museum that were not on display, and the Hostetler family will sell some of their own cars in a separate arrangement with the auctioneer Saturday. Asked how much money the town may realize from the sale of its 55 Hudsons, Shanahan said, “I have no idea.”

The town is guaranteed a minimum amount by Worldwide Auctioneers, he said, but he did not reveal that amount.

Kruse said the auction will bring together the Hostetlers’ collection one last time.

“It is really neat to see them all together,” he said, explaining the cars have been gathered this week at the museum so bidders can get a look at them. “A lot of folks know he donated a lot of cars to the museum but he continued to collect and kept them at what we call the ‘chicken coop.’”

AFFORDABLE OPTIONS

Kruse noted some of the vehicles in the collection are highly sought and will bring high prices, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But most of the cars will sell for far less.

“There are quite a few cars that we call affordable that will sell in the $15,000 to $25,000 range,” he said.

And there will be other bargains available among the many items of memorabilia, Kruse added.

Those who want to bid on the vehicles or memorabilia can register by sending an email to bidders@worldwideauctioneers. com or by calling 1-260-925-6789. Those who register Saturday before the 11 a.m. auction at the former museum, 760 S. Van Buren St., will need to provide financial information, such as a letter from their bank or current bank statements so bid limits can be established for them, Kruse said.

2018 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.






Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR


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