SARATOGA SPRINGS — A sleek 1951 Nash-Healey Series 25 Roadster - the first post-war sports car from a major American manufacturer, a classy 1931 Ford Model A – which features a classic “Ah-Oo-Gah” horn, and a 1958 red-and-white body hardtop which famously performed on the silver screen will be among the hundreds of cars at the fourth annual Saratoga Auto Auction in mid-September.
Billed as “an auction experience unlike any other,” the 2020 Saratoga Motorcar Auction takes place the Saratoga Automobile Museum Sept. 19.
“We’re going to have between 250 and 300 cars, and there will be three different bidding platforms,” says Bill Windham, auction director for the museum.
Perhaps the most notable, if not the most outright notorious is the 1958 Red and white two-door Plymouth Fury hardtop with automatic transmission and red vinyl and cloth interiors.
“Christine. The movie car,” Windham says, simply.
Bearing “her” famous CQB 241 license plate, Christine is burned into the memory of millions of cinephiles and book-lovers alike - screaming across street corners, battering architecture to fiery structures of rubble, and coming back from the dead in the 1983 film directed by John Carpenter, and the Stephen King novel that bears her name. In both book and film, she is vengeful, doesn’t take kindly to being disrespected and in every way lives up to her “Fury” name.
“This here is the best car I ever owned. Bought her in September 1957,” says Roland D. LeBay, an old man with a bad back introducing himself as a character in King’s novel, while reminiscing about the first time he laid eyes on Christine. “Brand-new, she was…red as a fire-engine on the inside.”
When Carpenter set out to make the film and match the vehicle King had placed as the lead character of his book, he reportedly placed ads across California searching for models of the car, eventually securing more than a dozen.
“With a lot of movie cars, depending on the shot and how it’s being utilized in the movie, it may just give the appearance of being the same car,” Windham explains. “Depending on the stunt it may have roll bars in it, it may not even have an interior in it - but this car is, inside and out, the real car. It is thoroughly documented as being one of the movie cars. The director of the movie used this car to go back and forth to the set, and it was used in some of the shots.”
Previous auction years by the Saratoga Automobile Museum have featured two-day bidding events, with staging at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This year, vehicle check-in and on-site bidder registration begins Sept. 15. Preview day is Sept. 18, and the auction itself will take place during one, long, single-day event, which will run from 9:30 am until 6 or 7 p.m., and take place at the Saratoga Automobile Museum on Saturday, Sept. 19.
Bidding may be done in-person, by phone, or online.
The event will be streamed live so people may watch online via the Saratoga Automobile Museum website. All proceeds go to the museum in what is the largest generator of revenue the museum directs during the year.
For more information about the auction and how to register to bid go to: www.saratogaautomuseum.org.