40 YEARS OF TREASURES: Carl Bomstead Collection to Highlight Scottsdale Automobilia Auction

Credit: Original article published by Barrett-Jackson.

Written by By Nicole Ellan James

Each year, the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction attracts many of the highest caliber of cars and automobilia. The January 2023 event is no exception, as Barrett-Jackson will offer the Carl Bomstead Lifetime Collection of automobilia with No Reserve. Known for his role as a longtime judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Bomstead began his collection – which now comprises over 1,000 items – with a 60-inch Packard Sales and Service sign he picked up in the 1980s at the famed Brimfield, Massachusetts, flea market. Over time Bomstead’s interests began to change, and now that sign, along with the other items he has amassed over the last 40 years, will be offered during the 2023 Scottdale Auction, January 21-29 at WestWorld.

According to Rory Brinkman, Barrett-Jackson’s longtime automobilia director, one category Bomstead was passionate about collecting was service-station-related items and automotive garage displays dating from the 1920s through the 1950s. Brinkman said Bomstead also had an affinity for collecting many rare pieces from West Coast brands such as Gilmore, Seaside, Veltex, Polly and other highly-sought-after oil companies.

“This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Brinkman said, adding, “Carl’s collection has everything from amazing small service station promotional items to large neon porcelain dealership service signs. The collection represents everything from the Brass Era turn-of-the-century motoring through the 1960s. Carl had an eye for the unusual and noteworthy, which will be showcased at Barrett Jackson’s 2023 Scottsdale Auction.”

Additional consignors will offer a variety of pristine items, including neon porcelain dealership and storefront signs from brands such as Packard, Chevrolet, Ford, Willy’s, Pontiac, Dodge, Oldsmobile and many others. Among the most noteworthy items is a huge 1950s Carriage Motors double-sided neon porcelain carriage-shaped neon sign with rotating wheels, which stands 10-feet-tall; a never-before-seen 1930s Perfect Circle Piston Rings neon porcelain dealership sign with art nouveau influence; a large turquoise and pink 12-foot Cadillac Automobiles single-sided neon porcelain sign from the 1950s; and a 6-foot-tall Bear Wheel Alignment single-sided neon porcelain service station sign. Also sure to attract some bidding action is an extremely-sought-after 1930s Gibble Oil Power Gasoline single-sided neon porcelain service station sign with animated neon of a galloping horse.

Porcelain dealership signs will also be plentiful, including a spectacular Time Gasoline double-sided porcelain service station sign with a clock graphic featuring day-one condition glass and colors.

The interest in gas pumps continues to grow, with an increasing number of collectors wanting them as accent pieces in their garages and museums. Examples dating from the 1920s through the 1960s will be offered at the Scottsdale Auction, including a never-before-offered Polly Oil Wayne 50 showcase gas pump. The interior of the pump is a showcase designed to be on the fuel island, serving as a display for products like branded spark plugs or quarts of oil. According to Brinkman, this type of pump is highly elusive and rarely comes up for sale; it is only the second time one has been offered at Barrett-Jackson.

Kiddie rides are also booming in popularity, with many collectors purchasing them to entertain grandchildren or simply to reminisce on fond childhood memories. Over 10 amazingly restored and challenging-to-find kiddie rides will be offered with No Reserve during the auction. Among the most noteworthy is a restored Borden’s ice cream truck ride that plays the “Ice Cream Man” song when operated, as well as an incredible 1960s Batmobile coin-operated ride that looks exactly like the one built by George Barris for the 1960s “Batman” TV show.

Truly a trip down memory lane, the Automobilia Auction, held each morning during the 2023 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale event, is not to be missed. It offers a chance to meet fellow collectors, form new friendships and bring home an authentic piece that is sure to be a conversation starter or a cherished memory for years to come. For a sneak peek at the colorful collectibles on offer in January, view the automobilia docket on Barrett-Jackson.com. Register to bid today.