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Use it or lose it: We tour the incredible Andrews Collection before it hits the auction block

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alliedFather-son duo will slim down the fleet to a more managable, and drivable, size

We trekked down to Fort Worth, Texas to tour the Andrews Collection before the bulk of it goes under the auctioneer’s hammer, expecting to see cars. And we did, but not until after Paul Andrews showed us his incredible assemblage of automated music machines. Fittingly for a man who made his fortune in the electronics industry, he operated all of these towering, early 20th-century player organs remotely, and gleefully, via iPad.

We quickly discovered that Paul and his son Chris are knowledgeable about what they collect (whether cars or vintage organs), passionate about obtaining the best and—most importantly—eager to actually use what they’ve got. That can be tough when you’ve got 90 or so cars spanning all eras kept ready-to-run in an enviable showplace/working garage.

The Andrews Collection has been several decades in the making. Paul spent evenings wrenching on a Corvair in the early 1970s, the Chevy serving as after-hours stress-relief as he built his fledgling electronics company into a booming enterprise. It wasn’t until after a fling with wooden boats, however, that Paul and Chris turned their attention to cars in a big way.

It’s slated to shrink to less than a tenth of its peak size May 2, when much of the Andrews’ remaining cars head to RM Sotheby’s one-day sale. In addition to 78 vehicles, dozens of pieces of automobilia (and a few of those organs) will cross the block without reserve.

This isn’t the first time the Andrews have trimmed their holdings, taking their collection from its peak down to roughly 90 vehicles a few years ago. Less-collectable vehicles went first, leaving “a great collection of good cars, or maybe a good collection of great cars,” in Paul’s words — including everything from a 1910 Pierce-Arrow Model 48-SS to a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina. Yet Paul’s hesitant to call it a great collection of great cars.

He’s too modest. Though the Andrews’ stable lacks laserlike focus, we find it easy to relate to Paul and Chris’ generalist tastes. We spent a few hours just browsing the well-curated garage, head spinning, trying to figure out what to take a closer look at next. Dual-Ghia or Shelby Competition Cobra? Bentley Continental R Type or Cunningham C3? Imagine the stress trying to choose the perfect car to drive on a pleasant afternoon…

Ferrari 400 Superamericas by Pininfarina Andrews Collection RM Sothebys auction

The 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet in the middle and the 1963 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico on the right, both by Pininfarina, will be auctioned; the 1960 250 GT SWB Berlinetta on the left is a keeper. Photo by Graham Kozak

Obviously this isn’t the first prominent collection to be sold more or less wholesale; we’ve often pondered what spurs collectors to send their prized cars, accumulated over many years, to the auction block. In the Andrews’ case it was the desire to keep only the perfect cars to drive—and then drive them regularly in events like the Colorado Grand (you can see one of the Andrews’ Duesenbergs in in the gallery here) —that steered them as they winnowed down their fleet.

Their target was 10 keepers; they eventually settled on an even dozen, including a Chip Foose-styled ’32 Ford, an Aston Martin DB4 Lightweight (a Ferrari-beater, Paul tells us) and a stately, well-preserved Cadillac Series 62 sedan.

Also making the cut: A ’55 Chevy that’s a re-creation of Paul’s high-school ride. The first hot rod Chris built, on the other hand—a mean 1932 Ford pickup nicknamed “Loose Change”—goes to the highest bidder. That Pebble-winning Benz? Turns out it wasn’t much of a driver. It went a few years ago.

1963 Shelby 289 Competition Cobra 1965 Mustang GT350-R

1965 Shelby GT350-R or 1963 Cobra? Why not buy both? Photo by Graham Kozak

Chris, well-acquainted with the ins and outs of keeping such a collection operational, is eager for auction day to come and go. Paul seems more reluctant to see some of the cherished cars off. We can’t blame him. Take the streamlined 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Town Car by Bohman & Schwartz. It’s impossibly grand, a gigantic machine from a titanic American marque that—despite its birth in the art deco era—wears flowing, sinuous, almost art nouveau lines.

It’s significant, well-documented and valuable. It’s also a town car, originally built for wealthy owners who’d never touch the steering wheel. So it’s going across the block.

The use-it-or-lose-it logic applies, believe it or not, to a red 2005 Ford GT—a near-perfect driver’s car Paul couldn’t stop praising. So why sell it? This particular example of the increasingly collectible GT is pristine, with a mere 800 miles on the clock.

In case you needed any further proof that the Andrews are bona-fide car guys, Paul says he might eventually track down a higher-mileage example he can drive the wheels off of, guilt-free.

For more information on the Andrews Collection auction, or to register to bid, visit RM Sotheby’s at rmauctions.com

Chris and Paul Andrews Collection RM Sothebys auction

Chris and Paul Andrews, two really cool guys who happen to be selling most of their amazing car collection. Photo by RM Sotheby’s

Graham Kozak Graham Kozak – Graham Kozak drove a 1951 Packard 200 sedan in high school because he wanted something that would be easy to find in a parking lot. He thinks all the things they’re doing with fuel injection and seatbelts these days are pretty nifty too. See more by this author»

Original Article: AutoWeek http://autoweek.com/article/car-life/use-it-or-lose-it-we-tour-incredible-andrews-collection-it-hits-auction-block

 

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