John Staluppi Cars of Dreams Museum Sale

The highest bidder will take home a one-of-a-kind, large-scale Lionel train layout, with action displays, buildings, scenes, and more.


Image Courtesy of RM Auctions

RM Auctions is known for their unique items placed upon the block, that are normally outside of my budget, and the Cars of Dreams auction will be no exception to that rule. However, being a kid at heart, it is fun to dream and look at the pictures while Collectors prepare to attend this highly anticipated sale.

The big red fire engine caught my attention while looking through the catalogue found HERE, as did the antique barber shop chair, the Vanderbuilt street lights and the 4-seater electric neighborhood vehicle.

The John Staluppi ‘Cars of Dreams’ Museum sale will be held December 1st in North Palm Beach, Florida. A time capsule of Americana, the collection features nearly 120 of the finest, rarest, and most desirable American automobiles ever produced, with a strong emphasis on American convertibles of the ’50s and ’60s. The entire collection will be offered without reserve. Other fascinating memorabilia includes an historic carousel, an authentic Cretors Antique Popcorn Wagon, a Lionel train set measuring approximately 30 feet long by 15 feet wide and nine feet tall, and a gorgeous crystal chandelier measuring nearly 11 feet in diameter and 13 feet tall, just to name a few!

The result of a decade of dedicated collecting by successful entrepreneur, car dealer, and lifelong enthusiast John Staluppi, the automobiles comprising the Cars of Dreams Museum are the vehicles of Mr. Staluppi’s youth, the golden age of the American automobile.

“From a vast selection of American automotive marques, including Ford, Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and DeSoto to name just a few, to the town square design that includes a carousel and numerous store facades, the attention to detail that has been applied to the John Staluppi Collection is outstanding,” says Donnie Gould, RM Auctions. “The cars have been superbly restored, regularly exercised, and extremely well maintained by a professional staff, and the memorabilia is such that the museum is like a time capsule of Americana. The sale is generating strong early interest from the collector community, and with all lots offered without reserve, promises a range of exciting ownership opportunities just in time for the holidays,” adds Gould.

Leading the comprehensive roster of automobiles on offer is a highly desirable, complete series of Chrysler letter cars. Reserved for the most discerning buyers, the selection ranges from a 1955 Chrysler C-300 Hardtop Coupe, (Estimate: $75,000–$100,000); a 1962 Chrysler 300H Convertible, (Estimate: $60,000–$80,000); to the arguably most anticipated of the group – a superbly restored 1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible, listed new at $5,411. Finished in Terra Cotta, it has four leather-covered, contoured bucket seats with front chairs that swivel for easy access (Estimate: $175,000–$225,000).

Also of note is an exceptionally rare and beautifully restored 1958 Chrysler 300D Convertible, one of just 55 known to exist (Estimate: $175,000–$200,000), and a fully restored example of the legendary 1957 Chrysler 300C Convertible, Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1957 (Estimate: $150,000–$200,000).

The highest bidder will take home a one-of-a-kind, large-scale Lionel train layout, with action displays, buildings, scenes, and more. Measuring approximately 30 feet long by 15 feet wide and nine feet tall, the intricate display showcases remarkable attention to detail and represents more than 2,500 hours of labor by craftsmen and technicians. For those interested in model railroading, areas of impressive detail include an engine roundhouse, dual layers of track and trains, animated street scenes, as well as a waterfall, mountain pass, and trestle track (Estimate: $60,000–$80,000).

Additional highlights poised for the auction podium include an outstanding, post-war c.1950 Arthur Bursens ‘Arburo’ Dance Organ, acquired from the prestigious Milhous Collection many years ago (Estimate: $125,000–$175,000), and a fully functioning, authentic Cretors Antique Popcorn Wagon ready for use and display (Estimate: $20,000–$30,000). The memorabilia offering is rounded out by an eclectic assortment of other collectibles and decorative pieces, including shop facades, street lights, artwork, and neon signs to name just a few.

Full event details and a complete list of auction offerings, along with a digital copy of the auction catalogue and a short video interview with Mr. Staluppi, are available online at or by calling toll free to 1 800 211 4371 (or +1 519 352 4575 outside North America).

Sale date: December 1, 2012; auction commences at 10 a.m. EDT
Preview dates: November 29–30, 2012; preview commences at 10 a.m. EDT on both days
Location: Cars of Dreams Museum, 133 U.S. Highway One, North Palm Beach, Florida, 33408
Admission: Admission to the auction is limited to registered bidders, consignors, and qualified media only. Bidder registration is $150 and includes an official auction catalogue and admission for two to the preview and auction.

For those unable to attend the event in person, Internet, absentee, and telephone bidding options are available, and the auction will stream live at to provide real-time coverage of the event.

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