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Stubborn businessman keeps secret stash of cars for 61 years

200 rare cars to be auctioned after being left to rot following territorial dispute.

Some car collectors like to drive their cars, others like to keep them dry and safe. Not Oliver Jordan. Between 1945 and 1953 Jordan ran a salvage business in the state of Oklahoma, collecting cars. In 1953 a dispute broke out over territory. The authorities challenged Jordan to some of the land he was using. Jordan, known for his feisty attitude, barricaded the cars in to keep the authorities out. The cars were locked away and left to brave the elements for over 60 years.

Jordan died in 2003, so it has been left to his grandson, who discovered the collection of over 200 classic cars, to oversee the sale of the estate. 

A large quantity of the cars, mainly from the 1930s and 1940s, are rusted beyond repair having been left to rot. Despite their condition, many of the cars have really interesting backgrounds and are expected to fetch a pretty penny.

The collection’s oldest vehicle is a 1917 Maxwell. Other highlights include a 1937 seven-passenger Lincoln Limosine (one of five remaining from a total of 60 produced), a 1937 Cord Model 812 Supercharged Beverly sedan and a 1929 Ford Model A Wrecker that was Jordan’s first tow truck.

There’s also two 1942 vehicles built during the Second World War, when the US government put restrictions on the use of chrome so cars with such details had to  keep a low profile.

Over the years, Jordan did try to sell some of the cars himself. Yvette Van Der Brink, who is managing the auction of the collection, recalls: “If he invited you to see his secret stash and you were interested in one of the cars, he’d make you a take-it-or-leave-it offer on the spot. No haggling or second chances allowed.”

The auctioneer calls the sale ‘a customiser’s dream’. The auction will take place on June 7th online and on the estate.


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