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Sometimes people forget guys in his

line of work attend these events in

order to make new money, not new


Also, in this particular instance at

Bonham’s, he had a large, professional

size, video camera lens not more than

a few feet from him the whole time. I

understand the TV producer’s checks

probably don’t bounce (most of the

time), but you know what? It’s defi-

nitely not my idea of fun. To a guy like

me, it’s kind of convenient to be a no-

body to most everybody.

Southern hospitality reigns

supreme at Bonham’s, because for $20

not only do I get access to a great car

show featuring fantastic automobiles

for auction, I get a great tasting, ar-

tery-clogging breakfast, plus coffee

that is guaranteed to wake the dead.

After gorging cholesterol calories and

knockin’ back the mud-like caffeine, I

seek out the main reason I am at Bon-

ham’s: namely an ‘06 Ford GT (esti-

mated to sell for $325,000 - $375,000),

red with the white stripe package. It

turns out to be within dripping grease

distance from where I had just fin-

ished my morning food fest, so up

comes the camera to eye level and an

index finger still slick with butter

from handling two pieces of toast, and

I begin pressing the silver button –

click, click, click – because, well, that’s

what I am here for.

I wander into the tent where the

“hubbitta hubbitta, habbitta habbitta”

auction is now in full swing and who

should saunter on by with some good

eats to sit in the front row, why none

other than Mark Hyman and Peter

Klutt. We all know both of these two

guys from their television programs,

but when you watch them in action

during this “live” buying and selling

process, it doesn’t take long to realize

they are workin’ the floor. Both of

these gentlemen are experts at the

one-on-one, meet ‘n greets with

prospective clients, meaning practi-

cally everyone under the tent. Some-

day they are both going to pay dearly

for all that hand shaking by getting

the severest cases of carpel tunnel

known to modern medicine.

Sometimes they’ve got a cellphone

glued to one ear, chatting away with

one hand cupped over the other ear,

with now and then a raised eyebrow to

acknowledge acquaintances who stroll

past. This auction tent is one of their

many offices around the nation, most

likely the world, where they conduct

the very important business of buying

and selling exotic, classic, and muscle

cars for themselves or, more impor-

tantly, for clients.

Realize, Mark Hyman was work-

ing hard to develop Hyman Limited

Classic Cars into the well-respected

collector car operation it is today, long

before some producer came along and

whispered in his ear, “

Ya’ wanna’ be on


” Peter Klutt was bustin’ his der-

riere to build Legendary Motorcar

Company into the well thought of col-

lector car powerhouse it has become

long before some other producer

sneaked up on him to quietly ask,

Hey, kid, ya’ wanna be a star?

Successful entrepreneurs do not

just “pop out of the box,” they work

long and hard to create and maintain

a business that will provide for the

well-being of their own families, and

the families of their employees. While

I and others are at the auctions to just

enjoy the robust environment of the

auctioneers interacting with bidders,

or buy a car or two, Hyman and Klutt

are workin’!

That being said, I’m still ticked

that Mark lured Steve Bonney, ar-

guably one of the best domestic and

foreign car experts around, to work for

him in St. Louis. Steve used to have a

shop in Northern California and

worked on pert’ near every collector

car I’ve owned. Dagnabbit! I’ll never,

ever mention it again. Maybe.

Why am I pressing into the

stranger’s palm stretched out before

me three greenback Hamiltons to gain

entrance to the prestigious white tents

of Gooding & Company? Because I am

DNA pre-destined to pass through yon

magic portal to cast mine weary eyes

upon the beastly royalty so forsoothly

contained within (I took Shakespeare

in college), otherwise known as a ’64

Shelby 289 Cobra, gaveling at

$1,320,000, and a ’66 Ford GT40 Mk 1,

crossing the block at $3,300,000.

Meandering through the couple of

larger tents protecting the curvaceous,

enticing merchandise on wheels, con-

nected by what can best be called hall-

way tents, you can see the Gooding

folks have tastefully incorporated

Florida’s flora and fauna into their

auction house ambience. The food and

beverage court, as well as the huge

open ends of the tents housing the

cars, actually have beautiful plants

and trees shimmering in the slight

breeze, lowering the humid tempera-

tures to a humanly tolerable level.

And then, there they are, the royal

beasts basking in the bright sunlight,

shining brightly: the Ford GT grace-

fully adorned in a silvery blue color,

and the 289 Cobra brutally covered in


Spring 2016 67