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Phil DeRosa Estate Auction Report w/ Pics

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by notebooms, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. notebooms
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 2,075

    notebooms
    Alliance Member

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    This past weekend I attended the estate auction of Philip DeRosa, an old timer who died last year. Phil was a longtime contractor in the Bay Area who spent years collecting cars, tractors, antiques and history. His place was a beautiful spread in Los Altos Hills, CA-- just north of San Jose. While I never met Phil, i felt i got to know him fairly good as i spent hours looking through his stuff in the 19th century styled two story barn he built to store his stuff...

    I love estate auctions and i hate them. I love the hunt for treasures and i love to learn as much as i can about the history and the person who passed. It's a very personal experience to me. I tend to hate the antique resellers who are just there to score a biz deal, scrambling aggressively.

    Phil had a great collection of cars and a couple Indian motorcycles that were auctioned. Here's the results of some:

    1) 1924 Ford Model T Opera Coupe-- clean, running old restoration. No rust, ran good. I bid $1500 to see if i could get it for a steal (the last thing i need is another car right now, but that doesnt stop the addiction.) It sold for $4500 (sorry, didnt get a pic of this one.)

    2) 1920 Ford Model T Opera Coupe-- a new restoration and better condition overall than the one above. Sold for $5500....

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    3) 1926 Ford Model T Roadster-- beautiful. $7000 (picture shown on top of this page)

    4) 1926 Model T Roadster Pickup. Again, beautiful. $7500

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    5) 1919 Model T Touring-- i loved this one, as it had all the corny accessories from back in the 30's on it. $6500

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    6) 1920 Ford Model T Prospect Deluge Fire Truck-- top restoration, about perfect. This is one the the few that went higher than i thought it would. $34,000

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    7) 1928 Nash Touring Phaeton Model 360 Advanced 6. $35,000

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    8) 1929 Chevy Imperial Sedan $7,000

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    9) 1928 Buick-- $20,000

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    10) 1929 Indian 101 Scout-- I bid on this bike up to $11,000. It sold for $13,000 and i think i regret losing it.... Amazing condition and flat out one of the most beautiful bikes ive ever seen...

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    11) 1925 Indian Chief w/ Princess side car-- again, about perfect. $28,000

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    OK, so i wasn't really in the market to buy another car or bike.... and i didn't. Here's what i did pick up....

    - a box of spotlights and carriage lights for $50 bucks...

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    - Mr. DeRosa's work notebook. I'm going to continue on his tradition and use it w/ my work-- while keeping all his stuff in it. Antique scrounges weren't interested in this, so i picked it up for $5 bucks...

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    - Got a shelf full of old bottle jacks... about 15 of them for $12.50

    - A 1920-30' trunk w/ camping place settings (plates, cups, silverware, etc) for $200. Got an old flashlight for the camper for $12.50.

    - A 1950's unrestored gas pump for $10 bucks (the winning bidder flaked, so i got it the next day after the auction for cheap.)

    - Mr. DeRosa kept two boxes full of old newspapers from early 1900's to 1970's w/ headlines ranging from WWI to walking on the moon-- and everything notable in between. Again, the winning bidder flaked on paying, and i got both boxes full for $10 bucks today. I will love spending hours looking through this.

    Here's one box w/ the top paper being a 1918 Detroit News whose headline reports the Victory of World War I...

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    - my wife picked up some antique furniture for very good deals.

    - my buddy Billy picked up a cool steam whistle from an old factory, as well as some misc motorcycle parts. my buddy Notch picked up a bad ass ship lantern for his tiki bar.

    Thanks to English Dave (a32flathead) for pointing me to this auction.

    I had a great weekend exploring through this mans great collection. Rest in Peace, Mr. DeRosa. I wish i could have met you in person before you passed.

    -scott noteboom
     
    Dago 88, 6inarow, slv63 and 1 other person like this.
  2. Minewithnoshine
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 938

    Minewithnoshine
    Member

    Cool stuff there, I LOVE sales like that, thanks for the story!
     
  3. Trashed & Hammered
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 589

    Trashed & Hammered
    Member
    from HR,Oregon

    Thanks for sharing that Scott That was a nice read. I felt like I was there with'ya.
    All I ever get is scrap metal or random junk from the streets of L.A.
    Looks like you made out great. Trout
     
  4. good stuff,that roadster pick up would make a nice hot rod!
     
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  5. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,987

    fab32
    Member Emeritus

    Was that a Fordson tractor in the picture of the T RP? Do you remember what it went for?

    Frank
     
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  6. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,057

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    Neat sale thanks for sharing. Wow, the T's and 29 Chevy went cheap. They were cheaper than some "hot rod project" prices! At those prices, it's no wonder restored cars get turmed into hot rods ( with stock drivetrain's sold off ) as it's cheaper than scrounging parts. Must make the restorers cringe.
     
  7. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,965

    Shifty Shifterton
    Member

    I like that you're continuing the notebook. Neat thread
     
  8. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,187

    publicenemy1925
    Member
    from OKC, OK

    Gotta pic of the gas pump?
     
  9. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,701

    Abomination
    Member

    Freakin RIGHTOUS!!!

    :D

    I actually like going to these events for the same reasons you do, Scott. :)

    ~Jason
     
  10. blacufo
    Joined: Sep 13, 2006
    Posts: 400

    blacufo
    Member

    Great write up and pics..thanks
     
  11. fiat128
    Joined: Jun 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,428

    fiat128
    Member
    from El Paso TX

    Just curious, do you know what the Fiat 1100 behind the Nash went for?
     
  12. notebooms
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 2,075

    notebooms
    Alliance Member

    The Fiat behind the Nash went for about $5000. Supposedly Phil had this completely restored for his wife to drive, she didnt dig it, so it sat in perfect condition.

    -scott noteboom

     
  13. notebooms
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 2,075

    notebooms
    Alliance Member

    Yeah, that one was a 1919 Fordson, with a tiller. Went for $750 bucks. He also had a 1925 Fordson in better shape that went for about $1000 and a 1950 Ford 800 that went for about $1200.

    -scott noteboom

     
  14. notebooms
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 2,075

    notebooms
    Alliance Member

    By the way-- this guy had such a huge collection of parts, i dont even know where to start. This auction had about 1,000 items in it and took 2 days to get through. i'll post a pic of the gas pump shortly-- i'd love help I.D'ing it-- it's a Gilbert & Barker / Gilbarco-- looks 1950's.

    -scott noteboom
     
  15. Damm.....I love those little Fiat's, wondered what it would fetch.

    Glad you made it up there Scott, looks like you got some nice scores....

    Now, about my commission.... :D
     
  16. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king
    Member

    Great job on that story; I'm glad you posted. I don't normally like old restored stuff but that Nash was gorgous; about took my breath away when I scrolled down to it. Indian very nice too, unusual color.
     
  17. James427
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,740

    James427
    BANNED

    I would have bumped that bid on the 27 T roadster by a grand at least. Never have any cool estate sales like that around me.
     
  18. blacufo
    Joined: Sep 13, 2006
    Posts: 400

    blacufo
    Member

    just taking a second look at the auction advertisement, the guy even had a 69 Chevy wagon with a 427 in it. Wonder if that was a factory special order or not, how much did they get for that i wonder.
     
  19. Rusty Springs
    Joined: Dec 3, 2007
    Posts: 54

    Rusty Springs
    Member
    from SouthTexas

    Thanks for your report, great pictures, these are always fun, most of the time I don't have the money to buy, but it's a fun day......
     
  20. notebooms
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 2,075

    notebooms
    Alliance Member

    yes, it was a factory special and was cherry. went for under $10k.

    -scott noteboom

     
  21. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,701

    Abomination
    Member

    Anything moderately cool in that stash?

    That's the part I found the most compelling! :)

    ~Jason

     
  22. notebooms
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 2,075

    notebooms
    Alliance Member

    Most of his parts were all pre-1930's. To be honest, i don't know much details about those era's-- so can't identify the best in the lots. Note also that there was no hotrodding or custom stuff going on. This guy was a purist.

    -scott noteboom

     
  23. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,701

    Abomination
    Member

    Ah, the purists... gotta love 'em. :)

    ~Jason


     
  24. Jobe
    Joined: Oct 19, 2004
    Posts: 1,248

    Jobe
    Member
    from Austin, Tx

    $7000 for that 1929 chevy? wow, seems really cheap...that would be fun to drive around town in!
     
  25. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,965

    Shifty Shifterton
    Member

    Looks like 2/3 of the cars & bikes were very good buys.
     
  26. DEROSAGIRL
    Joined: Apr 19, 2005
    Posts: 297

    DEROSAGIRL
    Member

    Great thread. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely show my dad when he comes by this week..he'll enjoy seein this one for sure along with the pics.
    My dad collects and saves everything from newspapers, menus, pics of theatres, diners, buildings, cars, etc., and has a huge collection. Keeps saying he's going to start getting rid of this stuff while he's alive to see who will enjoy it next. He is heavily involved in Pittsburgs Historical Museum. Thrives on this stuff and LOVES history.
     
  27. Gary Faules
    Joined: Oct 8, 2017
    Posts: 13

    Gary Faules

    Scott,

    I saw this post some years ago and read and reread every word. Since then I have returned from time to time to read follow up comments but each time I found myself unable to comment because of the tears that flooded my eyes.

    You see, not only did I know Phil personally, but he was more of a father than a friend during my early days at Stanford. I spent many days, even years, sitting in Phil’s barn and home listening to stories I could actually write a book about and many of his stories resonate in my mind even today, some of which became life’s lessons that have guided me to this day.

    I drove every car Phil had often in the Los Altos parade and various other functions including Stanford’s concourse DeElegance. The stories that accompanied each car/bike regarding how they were acquisitioned, restored and so on were often as special as the vehicles themselves.

    I will not discuss the politics as to how everything was sold at such low cost but I will say it was a travesty, one that makes me cry. Phil would roll over in his grave if he knew after he and his wife worked so hard acquiring AND truly appreciating all that they had. But I will tell you there are stories about several of those cars that was unknown during the sale. For example, the 1928 Nash Touring Phaeton Model 360... this car was owned by none other than Florence Nightingale Graham (December 31, 1878 – October 18, 1966), who went by the business name Elizabeth Arden, was a Canadian-born American businesswoman who founded what is now Elizabeth Arden, Inc., and built a cosmetics empire in the United States. By 1929 she owned 150 upscale salons across the United States and Europe. Her 1000 products were found in the luxury market in 22 countries. She was the sole owner, and at the peak of her career, she was one of the wealthiest women in the world. This car was from her Australian estate (thus the right hand chauffeur drive). It’s value was worth hundreds of thousands alone.

    One car I don’t see in your photos is Phil’s 1928 Packer Club coupe which was the same color and it included such an amazing story, one I cherish and what a lovely treat to drive.

    Of all of Phil’s cars, hands down, his favorite was the 1920 Model T Opera Coupe.

    I love that you now have Phil’s notebook. That too made me cry. Had I not been in Africa during that sale I would have bought it. It too holds cherished memories for me. Be careful with the box of items you purchased because Phil was well known for finding and obtaining very rare items, often looking ordinary to even collectors but usually special or rare. I feel so happy that some of you noticed Phil’s appreciation for all that he loved and his passion. He grew up poor but amassed a great deal of wealth because of hard work and intelligence. What an amazing man. Thank you for your post. Gods speed Phil.

     
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  28. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,586

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Yep, shoulda ponied up for that 101 Scout.
     
  29. notebooms
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 2,075

    notebooms
    Alliance Member

    Gary Faules,

    Thanks for sharing your connection to Phil, his history, as well as some of your own.

    I just talked to Phil's leather work notebook that i acquired at that auction and it just told me that it wants you to have it. Who am i to not listen? :)

    Send me a PM here, or reach out to me at notebooms at me dot com so that I can get it to you. I live and work in downtown San Jose and am totally happy to get it to you...

    BTW: It was nice to pull up and re-read this story I loved spending the day at Phil's place, and wish i had the honor of meeting him under different circumstances....

    -scott
     
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  30. notebooms
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 2,075

    notebooms
    Alliance Member

    yes..... i totally regret not getting that Scout. it's still the most beautiful cycle i've seen :)

    -scott
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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