Leaving the auction stage, how could the driver not pause for a glory shot?

One of the best cars I ever drove was a vintage racer, but instead of being on the track, it was in an auction and I didn’t drive very far.

In saying “best,” I mean “favorite.”

The sale was conducted by Auctions America and held in Burbank, California, Aug. 2 to 3, 2013.

I went undercover for the late and much-lamented Automobile Magazine as a driver in the auction and reported on my experience.

Now my notes seem to be lost, and I can’t find the story.

From the two days of the sale, I remember driving a Ford Model A, a Fiat 1100 station wagon, and the single-seater pictured above. I don’t remember what else.

We drivers were supposed to receive random assignments, but I made sure to get the race car. It stirred up long-dormant feelings of excitement from my youthful days at the local speedways.

This car had a rasping, inline six-cylinder Ford engine, probably from the 1950s. It was easier to drive than expected. The engine wasn’t “cammy” and the clutch throw was not an athletic event.

When I got onstage I handed my phone to a publicist, asking for a picture after the lot was hammered down. (No recollection of the price.) It was a glory moment, and I’ve always treasured the picture.

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