News & Car Culture

Over 700 Rare Vehicles from Ron Hackenberger Collection to Sell at Auction July 15-16

 
1954 Kaiser Darrin

An ultra-rare 1954 Kaiser Darrin — an American-made roadster. Only 159 were built. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

NORWALK, OH. — Hundreds of rare vehicles—most of them orphan cars—collected over the past few decades by Ron Hackenberger with the original intent of displaying them in a museum will be sold at auction this weekend, July 15-16 beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Online bidding has already begun, and live online bidding will be honored throughout the auction process to those who can’t attend in-person. The live event will run concurrently with the Sweet 16 AkzoNobel Blue Suede Cruise at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk. A $20 fee is required to enter the auction’s car lot.

The Hackenberger collection features nearly 250 Studebakers; rare delivery trucks and limousines; vintage European microcars; tractors; motorcycles; a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 that we’re pretty sure doesn’t time travel, and a smattering of American classics from the Big Three.

Before being moved to the auction lot, several of the vehicles sat in whatever place Hackenberger first parked them more than 20 or 30 years ago. Vehicle conditions vary from Ready to Cruise, to Needs a Major Makeover, depending on what the buyer’s intention might be.

Ron Hackenberger Collection Auction — Quick Facts

Auction Houses:

JF Marketing Auction & Real Estate LLC

VanDerBrink Auctions LLC

(Visit RonHackenberger.com for all auction-related information, including online bidding)

When:

Day 1 (Saturday, July 15) – Auction begins at 9 a.m. EDT (Doors open at 7 a.m. on-site for late registration)

View and bid on Day 1 vehicle lineup

Day 2 (Sunday, July 16) – Auction begins at 9 a.m. EDT (Doors open at 7 a.m. on-site for late registration)

View and bid on Day 2 vehicle lineup

Where:

Day 1 – Summit Motorsports Park (Online bidding at Proxibid.com)

Day 2 – Wolohan Lumber Yard (Online bidding at Proxibid.com)

If These Cars Could Talk

You’re not just buying a vehicle if you nab one of these cars, trucks, motorcycles, or tractors.

You’re buying a story. A specific Hackenberger memory, of which there are many.

Ron Hackenberger

Ron Hackenberger has never sold a collector vehicle in more than 50 years of acquiring them, but he plans to unload more than 700 this weekend. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

Walking among the hundreds of rare, vintage vehicles lining the auction lot at Summit Motorsports Park this week, Hackenberger, 81, could instantly recall the town and state in which he bought each one.

Some of those stories involve his grandchildren.

Others—like the one about buying his first Studebaker at age 16 in the 1950s—involve his grandfather.

“I called him ‘Pap,’” Hackenberger said.

And Pap played a significant role in the first car Hackenberger ever acquired—the first of more than 700 he collected over the past 50-plus years.

We wanted to know why Hackenberger had invested so much time in orphan cars through the years.

“In the late-‘40s and ‘50s, everyone drove Chevys, Fords, and Chryslers,” he said. “My good friend used to pick me up in his 1949 Studebaker. The next year, when I became 16, I bought a ’48 Studebaker.”

And that’s where Pap comes in.

Hackenberger, a member of Future Farmers of America, sold two steers for $500 to raise the money for his first car purchase, but when we went to get that ’48 Studebaker, he learned he only had half of what he needed.

When he returned home that night, his mother asked him whether he found a car, and that’s when he shared the bad news that he was about $500 short.

His grandfather—who Hackenberger was very close to, having grown up pitching horseshoes and playing checkers together—made him a deal. Pap told him he’d give him $500 to buy that first car if Hackenberger would chauffeur him to the local Moose lodge a few times per week.

“Pap died four years later, but for those four years, I’d always take him to the Moose to earn my $500,” Hackenberger said.

And so it Began

Hackenberger’s second car was a 1952 Studebaker Commander V8. His third car (and his all-time favorite vehicle, he said) was a 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk powered by a Packard 352 cubic-inch V8. The 275-horsepower vehicle was the fastest car built in America that year.

It was one of four Hawks Studebaker built for model-year 1956. Hackenberger, naturally, owns all four.

This 1968 Renault Mark II Electric car has never been driven. It’s, in some respects, “brand new.” It still has the protective plastic sheeting on the doors’ interior. (Images/OnAllCylinders)

Ron and his wife Eunice Hackenberger picked apples for a week to scrape together enough money to live on when they first moved to Ohio.

He turned in early career as a truck driver with one truck into a trucking company, which he leveraged to haul cars he found back to his Ohio home after making a delivery.

In between raising six daughters, Ron and Eunice would make trips together to secure vintage vehicles. Eunice once drove an old firetruck home to Ohio from near Bismarck, ND to support the effort.

“Eunice is an integral part of Ron’s collection,” said lead auctioneer John Froelich of Westlake, OH-based JF Auction & Real Estate, who has spent the past five months working with the Hackenbergers and VanDerBrink Auctions to prepare for this weekend’s massive sale.

“It’s in Ron’s nature to want to share these cars with others who love them as much as he does,” Froelich said. “You can’t find a better man in the world of cars today than Ron Hackenberger.”

What were Hackenberger’s criteria for selecting vehicles to buy?

He focused on vehicles “that you don’t see every day.” And the focus was to collect a bunch of rare and interesting vehicles to eventually display in a museum.

But, with his age advancing (he’ll turn 82 this fall), Hackenberger said it was time to “to concentrate on being smarter and not so stubborn.”

He expects every car to sell.

And other than one daily driver 1970 Chrysler Town & Country he sold not long after he bought it, Hackenberger has NEVER sold any of his vehicles.

Just one sale over the past 50 years, and more than 700 sales expected this weekend.

Another great story for Ron Hackenberger.

And a great opportunity for the rest of us dreamers to be a part of it.

Check out several of the cars that are available for bidding:

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  1. Pingback: Rare-Vehicle Auction from Ron Hackenberger Collection Yields $2M+ - OnAllCylinders

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