If you're a car enthusiast, then Hershey, Penn., is the place to be this week.
RM Auctions will hold a two-day auction at the Hershey Lodge beginning Thursday. Nearby is the Antique Automobile Club of America’s annual Eastern Division Fall Meet, where collectors can find just about everything they need.
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The Hershey auction is vastly different from the atmosphere in Monterey, Calif., during several auctions in August. Many million-dollar vehicles are featured every year at Pebble Beach. This year, RM sold a 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale for $26.4 million.
At Hershey, it’s common for cars to attract winning bids that are much more affordable.
“It’s a different price point here. Hershey is a place for everyman collectors. It’s not limited to the word ‘Ferrari,’” Ian Kelleher, senior car specialist and managing director of RM’s West Coast division, said.
Kelleher added that most collectors travel to Hershey when they are looking for certain cars or parts. No matter what collectors want, they’re likely to find it at RM’s auction or the swap meet. Up to 200,000 people are expected to attend the events.
“These are enthusiasts with a passion for collecting,” he explained. “We have great diversity here. That’s what people love about Hershey.”
RM will feature a wide array of automobiles at its Hershey auction. Pre-war vehicles, including steam cars, are a popular category. Sports cars and pickup trucks will also make their way across the block. Even a 1930 Chris-Craft boat is set to be auctioned off.
The newest vehicle in attendance is a 2005 Ford Thunderbird 50th Anniversary Edition. RM estimates it will go for $30,000 to $40,000.
More than 160 vehicles will be sold on Thursday and Friday, according to RM. In 2013, the Hershey auction booked $9.6 million total with 90% of all lots sold.
Including AACA’s swap meet -- a gathering of 9,000 vendor spaces on 400 acres -- roughly 1,000 antique and collector cars will be offered for sale in Hershey.
“When you walk the swap meet, you always find somebody who knows everything about cars,” Kelleher said. “The attendance at the swap meet has always been a part of our auction. Since our first Hershey auction seven years, it’s always been standing-room only in the auction room.”