Oldest original flying car in existence in March 13 auction

ATLANTA – An actual flying car built in 1935, an extremely rare Coca-Cola dispensing machine made around 1923, a 4.02-carat brilliant cut diamond ring surrounded in platinum, a 12-foot-long combination boat-car sculptural work and over 2,500 equally dazzling and unusual items will be sold Mar. 13-14 by Red Baron, the Southeast’s premier auction house.

The weekend event will be held at Red Baron’s gallery facility located at 6450 Roswell Road in Atlanta. The festivities will kick off Friday evening, Mar. 12, with a preview party (for registered bidders only), consisting of food, wine and live entertainment.

On Saturday it’ll be all business, as bidders from around the world will be wagging their paddles to buy the offerings Red Baron has combed the world to find. Offered will be a vast array of fine architectural antiques (to include a large selection of bars and mantels), vintage lighting, rare and classic vehicles, garden embellishments and fine jewelry.

The flying car is Frank Skroback’s roadable aircraft, built in 1935 and the oldest original flying car in existence. Skrobach was a retired industrial technician and electrician from Syracuse, N.Y. He got the idea for a flying car while studying the concepts of the French furniture maker turned aircraft designer Henri Mignet, inventor of the tandem wing monoplane.

Skroback wanted to modify Mignet’s design, to build a vehicle that could be multi-purposed. He envisioned a craft that could be used on the ground or in the air, for going from house to house using the roads as runways. His design consisted of six fixed 7-foot-wide wings that could lift a 21-foot-long tubular steel fuselage and spruce wing panels, all wrapped in linen.

The vintage Coke machine is certain to spark a spirited bidding war, as such machines are highly sought after by legions of fans. The example being offered, hidden away for years, is an all-original “Siphonmix” cup-dispensing Coke machine, with the original plate sign. The machine is 6 feet 2 inches tall by 26 inches wide and quite rare; very few are known to exist.

The naturally occurring, GIA-certified, 4.02-carat brilliant cut fancy pink diamond is surrounded in platinum; it is quite unlike anything ever offered before by Red Baron. Other fine jewelry will include men’s and ladies Rolex watches, a custom diamond Riviera necklace with 4.23 tcw, and a 23 karat gold necklace made with actual gold nuggets from the Gold Rush of 1849.

The one-of-a-kind boat-car sculpture is a fantastic colossus titled Bonneville, executed in a retro American style and created in the spirit of adventure for a fictional character named Jack Wolf, who had many adventures in Days Gone By. At 16 feet long and 5 feet wide, the sculpture would make quite a statement (and a great conversation piece) for the bidder whose taste in art runs outside the box.

Fans of militaria are certain to bid on the rarest of all cane guns – a cased .36 caliber English cane gun manufactured by E.M. Reilly & Co. The weapon, made circa 1849, is more desirable for the fact that it is completely silent. Also to be sold will be a pair of World War II bomb scope binoculars from a navy ship and mounted on a brass stand – perfect for a boat house.

From the transportation category, one of the very first training tools for driver’s education will be offered. It’s a two-seat unit made of oak and bearing the markings of Lane Technical High School in Chicago, where the country’s first driver’s-ed classes were developed during the ‘30s and ‘40s. Students used the machine to get the feel of a moving car before actually driving.

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Also offered in the transportation category is a 1953 Ottoway Steamer amusement park train with seating for 15, once owned by Arto Monaco, the famed Hollywood set designer for Cinderella’s Castle at Disneyland. Monaco installed a Briggs & Stratton engine and used the train in his very own Land of Make Believe in Upper Jay, N.Y. It comes with enough track for a 60-ft. diameter loop.

Red Baron will also be offering a selection of classic and collector cars. Examples include a 1997 red Ferrari F355 Spider Convertible, with ostrich leather interior; a 1967 Volkswagen “Herbie” Beetle, beautifully restored; and a 1957 white Ford Thunderbird convertible, with both hard and soft tops. Also sold will be a 1975 Vespa Piaggio motorcycle.

Just one of the many wonderful architectural antiques set to cross the block that day is a monumental Art Nouveau period room interior in carved oak, with large stained glass windows, tile inserts, beveled mirrors, marble-topped storage cabinets and a mantel with a mirror. This ‘Room Nouveau’ is exquisite and massive – over 10 feet tall and wide, and over 18 feet long.

To learn more about Red Baron Antiques and to view many of the items to be sold in the March 13-14 auction, visit www.rbantiques.com. To register to bid for the auction, you may go online or call them at 404-252-3770. The e-mail address is info@rbantiques.com.

Photos courtesy Red Baron Antiques.


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