ATCHISON, Kan. — A rare collection of cars from the 1930s will be up for auction in Atchison, Kansas, on Saturday.
In a town that prides itself on history and mystery, resident Clark Pregont solved one of the greatest mysteries of his longtime friend, Paul Adair.
“He was without argument one of the most interesting and fun people,” Pregont said. “Very few people knew he had the collection.”
When Adair died in November 2019, his family learned the former banker had a secret collection of rare cars.
“It’s a beautiful collection of a very specific group of vehicles,” Pregont said.
Pregont, on behalf of Adair’s widow, took on the task of finding his friend’s car collection. What he discovered were 21 Plymouths, Desotos and a Dodge all from the 1932 model year.
“He liked the six-wheel version, which is four wheels and two spare tires near the front fenders,” Pregont explained. “These are very elegant vehicles.”
The vehicles, never driven and hidden from view, were stored in four different locations including three storage facilities in Kansas City.
“He admitted to 10, and he just kept buying them and hiding them and, in the end, I found them,” Pregont said.
The rarest car in the collection is a four-door Phaeton convertible. Once owned by the Swedish embassy, it’s one of only six ever made.
“This really is a unique collection,” said Yvette VanDerBrink of VanDerBrink Auctions.
VanDerBrink said they already have about 300 car enthusiasts registered to bid on the cars on Saturday.
“[We have people from] Australia, England, Germany, all over the world,” she said. “It’s a chance for collectors to get those really rare pieces that they need to complete their collections.”
As for Pregont, he’s just glad he got the chance to do something this interesting to help a friend who never got around to driving his dream.
“Nobody ever lives long enough to fully execute the dream,” he said. “I miss the guy.”
The auction of the Adair collection, which includes are car parts from 1932, is being held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. The address is 8191 Pratt Road, Atchison, Kansas 66002.
Interested parties attending the auction in-person must bring a face mask, driver’s license and proof of funds. Find more information on online bidding and other details here.