Fifth Annual Fundraiser is a Fuel-filled Field of Dreams
SARATOGA SPRINGS – “So, lemme show you what I want…”
So stated Kimberly McConchie as we walked through the field outside SPAC on Saturday, September 25, where the Saratoga Automobile Museum had set up for their Fifth Annual Auto Auction. In addition to her support of charities such as Saratoga Bridges, and the Auto Museum itself with her husband Leigh, it must be revealed that Kim has a sweet tooth.
For cars. Of the dream variety, specifically.
And while in previous years, we followed her outbidding all pretenders for something banana yellow or sea foam green to satisfy her cravings, apparently this year, nothing but candy apple red was going to do it for her.
The day before, she had locked up this 1940 Olds; lookin’ pretty showroom-spiffy for an 81 year-old I must say. But this, apparently, was just an appetizer…
(I did attempt to point out how sharp a working photojournalist might look behind the wheel of this Caddy, and only six months till said working photojournalist’s birthday… I had no idea until that point that Kim was randomly prone to be hard-of-hearing, but apparently that must have happened, for we kept walking and she stayed focused on her target…)
… which was this 1950 Pontiac Silverstreak in full regalia.
And with determination not seen since Babe Ruth called his shot, Kim launched hers. “I’m going for it. They are going to want a lot, but I think I’m going to get it.” She said.
Having seen her in action at previous auctions, I knew I wouldn’t need to stick around till this baby was gaveled late in the afternoon. I knew what was going to happen. Her shirt told me…
Sweet tooth satisfied. Until next year.
Full Disclosure: Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Kim’s total tab for the two autos was in the $150,000 range, which is a very expensive playground that most people (including yours truly) couldn’t afford to play in. But, what makes this a fun experience to live vicariously through them on these days is that Kim and Leigh are two people that are as “regular guy and gal” as they come! They eat at sports bars, probably redeem their Advantage points – like that. This is just their thing. Plus, they are big benefactors to several not-for-profits as noted above.
And, in truth, the Saratoga Auto Auction always has several options available in the $10,000 and under range. You can certainly pick up some bargains (have you priced a new Camry lately?) particularly if you are mechanically inclined.
And it cannot be denied that there is a certain excitement to the auction ambience, even if you are just gawking with your hands in your pockets. This is akin to Fasig-Tipton – which is wall to wall on auction nights, or at any of the galas throughout the year that have live bidding.
One thing that they do very well at this auction, however, is the variety of vendors and their offerings. Food trucks like Curvy Girls serving Dill Pickle Egg Rolls? Motor Oil Coffee to rev up your cranial engine? Regional faves like the Pig Pit BBQ? Check, check and check. Even Artist Anthony Catalfano, supplying some gearhead artwork to serve as an accent point next to your 53 lithos and photos of Songbird and Seattle Slew. In other words, a notable unique mix. Overall, they do a great job on this event, and when the weather cooperates, like it did on this day, it is truly a must see on the annual calendar.
And now, ladies and gents – start your engines, and enjoy this gallery!
Arthur Gonick – September 26, 2021