Penns Valley

Estate of local businessman auctioning off classic cars

Michael Dilliard shows one of the most unique cars, a 1932 Model B Ford Roadster. Michael Dilliard will be auctioning 15 antique and collectible cars at the Grange fairgrounds on Oct. 17.
Michael Dilliard shows one of the most unique cars, a 1932 Model B Ford Roadster. Michael Dilliard will be auctioning 15 antique and collectible cars at the Grange fairgrounds on Oct. 17. CDT Photo

Vanessa Temple can rattle off the year, make and model of most cars and for a good reason.

She fondly recalls the long summer days spent with her late father, Ed Temple, a longtime local businessman with a propensity and passion for fixing up old cars.

“His generation was about men working on certain things, but he included me,” she said. “I would sit with him filing off spark plugs, polishing chrome, and he would teach me about the engine and ask me to tell him everything he said back to him. He put his blood, sweat and tears into his cars.”

The 15 classic cars, the oldest a 1930 Chevrolet sedan, will be auctioned by the Estate of Edward Temple and the Temple Family Enterprises. The live auction, at noon Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Grange fairgrounds, began with online bidding Oct. 1. The auction includes an assortment of other collectable items.

Vanessa Temple will keep one of her father’s cars, a 1966 Mustang convertible, which was retitled in her name years ago.

The rest, she said, he wanted to be sold.

“It breaks my heart, but he always said when he goes we should let them go,” Vanessa Temple said. “He asked me, ‘Please, get rid of them.’ I don’t want to feel bad, but it feels like I’m selling off a piece of my dad. He put thousands of hours of work and dedication into it. He found a lot of beauty in those cars and brought back their beauty.”

Gone will be the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible.

“I have really cool pictures of the restoration he did,” Vanessa Temple said. “He took everything off the car and slowly and surely he got it all working. It was a complete 180 from what it looked like.”

Gone will be the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro.

“Oh, I was a little embarrassed when I was a young kid when he drove me around in old cars,” Vanessa Temple said. “I’d duck if he took me somewhere, but then I was 14, he got the Camaro and I didn’t duck after that. It was the first car I drove. I have a lot of good memories in that car.”

Gone will be the 1932 Ford Roadster Model B, a car that auctioneer Michael Dilliard said he’d love to have.

“We’ll sell the best first, and that will be the 1932 Ford Roadster,” Dilliard said. “What makes it rare is that it’s a single-year production car. There were a lot of cars made before and after it, but the Model B is hard to find.”

The Michael F. Dilliard Auction Company was commissioned to run the auction in July.

“It’s an absolute honor and privilege that we take very seriously to do this auction,” Dilliard said. “Like every auction we do, you must put clients first, customers second and us last. We take pride in not leaving any stone unturned.”

Dilliard expects a short auction.

“Buyers really love it, because even if they’re outbid by the 16th they still might want to come,” Dilliard said. “We’ll also only deal with the last few buyers. It’s a really streamlined process after hundreds of people register online.”

He expects a big crowd at the auction, too.

“It’s as much about bidding for some people as it will be about entertainment for others,” Dilliard said.

Vanessa Temple hopes the auction goes according to her dad’s wishes, but she won’t be there to see it.

“I can’t do it, I can’t do it,” she said. “When I see those cars I see a piece of my dad. I’m going out of town, because I can’t be here for that. I couldn’t drive my car this summer. It broke my heart too much. I just hope they go to someone who wants to take care of them like he did. I think he’d be grateful for that.”