Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


I ENJOY PERUSING automotive auction catalogs. The best of them are mini histories of cars and auto memorabilia; they also evoke great reminiscences. As examples, here in Parts 1 and 2 today and tomorrow are tidbits from the RM Auctions’ catalog of the Ponder Collection, Marshall, Texas, April 2007. 

The Ponder Collection, RM Auctions, April 20–21, 2007.

The catalog has a hefty 373 pages of automotive treasures. These include 1111 lots of memorabilia (200 pages of them), 32 motorcycles (11 pages), and 51 automobiles (138 pages). 

Art Deco Bumper Car. This Art Deco car originally mixed it up at a European amusement park.

Lusse Auto Skooter Bumper Car. Estimate: $2500–$5000, with no reserve, as was the case of other offerings here.

I knew others of the Lusse family bumping around at the Fun Zone in Balboa, California, after which one, like the Ponders’ example, retired into a private collection.

This and the following images from R&T, April 1987.

This 1947 Lusse  Auto Scooter was the subject of an R&T Salon feature in April 1987, the same issue in which we comparison-tested six contemporary bumper cars also of Italian origin, these from Soli Giancarlo srl.

The Soli firm was in Regio Emilio, just down the road from Maranello, where other exotic macchine are fabricated.

R&T Bound Volumes, 1950-1999. The Ponder volumes appear particularly fine. By contrast, my collection is a bit raggle-taggle, if deeper: a few pre-1950, others through the early 1960s punch-holed in three-ring notebooks (bought years ago from a neighbor), others properly bound from 1965 to 2011, including duplicates when both Wife Dottie and I worked there.

The Ponder bound Road & Track magazines. Estimate: $6000–$9000.

 The Ponder Collection also offered Playboy magazines from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, with some late 90s (estimate: $6000–$10,000). And some 30 years worth of Automobile Quarterly books (estimate: $2000–$2500). I’ve got a bunch of AQs; no Playboys

Another Favorite Automobilia. Or should I say “Automobilium”? Auto modeler Ron Berkheimer fabricated an architectural model of the Ferrari of Beverly Hills dealership. RM described it as “a two-storey showcase featuring interior illumination, ceramic tiles, carpeted floors, a terracotta style roof, and Plexiglass floor-to-ceiling windows.”

Ferrari of Beverly Hills Model Dealership. Estimate: $3000–$5000.  

Wouldn’t it be fun to populate the building with Ferraris of appropriate scale?

Tomorrow in Part 2, we reminisce about Audrey Hepburn, an MG Airline Coupe, and the last of the Pur Sang. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022 

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