Hey buddy, can you spare a Bentley?
Oahu will host a Kruse Auto Auction for the first time Feb. 8 and 9 at the Hawaii Convention Center, with a preview event Feb. 7.
It comes a month before the annual First Hawaiian International Auto Show, set for March 6 through 9, at the same venue.
The Kruse auction is no slasher or hammer sale, though the cars, trucks and motorcycles are used. Kruse.com reveals that most are collector vehicles.
Warning: have some sort of drool-mopping cloth and any pertinent heart medication ready before perusing the site, as it may quicken the pulse.
There's a 1957 Triumph TR3A, a 1949 convertible MG TC and a 1970 Pontiac GTO -- OMG!
There are four pages of vintage vehicles and some newer ones with names like Ferrari, Lotus, Pantera, Shelby Mustang, Corvette, Bentley, Edsel and Studebaker. A 1951 Henry J DeLuxe, by Henry J. Kaiser, is available.
Auto Value Parts Stores statewide are distributing free auction catalogs.
Big Island car collector Robert P. Smith got the engine started with a cold call to Indiana-based Kruse International. He wound up talking to a person who was at a Kruse auction from whence he bought a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220 S Cabriolet, in 1977. Figure the odds.
Now retired, he has 20 British collectibles. He estimates Hawaii has many people with similar or larger collections.
"There are way more nice cars in Hawaii than there are buyers," which made Kruse keen to come.
Some treasures will be auctioned with reserve prices, while many others will not, so the highest bid wins.
"I'd love to own every one of 'em, but I can't," he laughed. Kruse signed Smith on as a representative.
Collectors have come out of the woodwork, which Smith credits largely to Bill Maloney, executive producer of the Ohana Road TV show, who has helped him network.
"There are cars that will sell for five-, six-, or $7,000 with tremendous potential," Smith said, while others "will be in the hundreds of thousands."
His other contacts have led to ink or promises of ink from national magazines.
The December issue of Sports Car Market included an "unabashed advertisement" in the form of a letter he wrote.
Car Collector Publisher Jeffrey Broadus will fly in for the event. He knows of no other place in the world that has a relatively intact assemblage of collector cars that hasn't been rummaged through and picked over, "and I want to be there when this occurs," he told Smith.
Kruse may make the Hawaii auction a yearly event, with the hope it will draw collectors from around the Pacific Rim.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org