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Russo and Steele auction reopens on Sunday

Sun, 24 Jan 2010 00:00:00 -0800

The Russo and Steele collector-car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., will reopen on Sunday morning, and the firm will hold auction sessions on Sunday and Monday.

The auction was closed Friday and Saturday after high winds on Thursday night ripped two tents from their anchors. Some cars on the site were damaged by debris or rain.

In a posting on the company's Web site, auction CEO Drew Alcazar said, "There were a lot of cars with halos around them that did not sustain any damage."

Alcazar met on Saturday morning with people who had consigned cars to the auction. The consignors were then allowed to check on their cars. But the auction site was kept closed to the public all day Saturday as cleanup work continued, and forecasts calling for more rain and wind.

In the statement, Alcazar said he told car owners: "I'm a car guy, I know what you're going through. Today, I am the luckiest guy because I not am visiting any of my close friends, family or clients in the hospital or morgue. None of these great cars are worth someone's life. In my estimation, as 15 years as a restorer and 15 years as an auctioneer, none of these cars had terminal damage. Everything can get fixed and most important, everyone is safe.”

Among the cars set to be sold at the auction on Sunday is a 1948 Tucker convertible, said to be the only one in existence.

In its press release, Russo and Steele said it brought water pumps and concrete barriers onto the auction site on Thursday as Scottsdale city officials warned of flood dangers from the rainstorm. The auction company said it also brought in several enclosed car haulers in an attempt to block the winds.

The auction company declined to give an estimate of financial damages; it said it was waiting for several investigations to be completed.

By Dale Jewett