Bidding time in Newport: Old cars part of Bill's Auto Parts auctionAfter nearly 50 years in business, the contents of Bill’s Auto Parts on Seventh Avenue in Newport are going to be auctioned off next month.
After nearly 50 years in business, the contents of Bill’s Auto Parts on Seventh Avenue in Newport are going to be auctioned off next month.
The auction comes two years after business owner Bill Knauff’s death. Elizabeth Linaman, the oldest of five Knauff children, said last week that her dad developed a brain tumor in June of 2008 and died the following January at age 76. Knauff’s wife, Barbara, who was well-known to residents because she worked at the Newport Post Office, died in 2002 of Alzheimer’s disease.
She had Alzheimer’s for seven years and Bill cared for her at their home next to his business until she died at 56. In addition to Elizabeth, the Knauffs are survived by children Bill, Bob, Tom and Leisa Garcia.
Left with a little less than six acres of cars, parts, motors, a sprawling collection of hub cabs and a lot of other stuff, the children started selling some of Knauff’s collection as scrap metal over the past two years, Linaman said. A year ago she moved back from Tuscon, Arizona, where she’s a banker, to help her siblings organize the property and put the rest of the collection up for auction.
In the sale are approximately 450 cars, 1980 and older. Among the cars is a 1926 four-door Oakland and a 1951 Woody, both restorable.
An avid snowmobiler, Knauff collected about 50 vintage snowmobiles that are in the sale. There is also a crane, forklift and numerous tools.
Fahey Sales is conducting the auction, which will be done online. Bids will close at noon May 16. Items to be sold can be seen in person from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 12 and 13. For a list of items are already listed go to faheysales.com and click on “auctions.”
The Knauff children plan to clear the site and find a developer for the property.
Linaman, who expects to return to Arizona before the snow comes next winter, said being home has triggered memories.
Although her dad seldom talked about his business, he told his children many times about an incident, in the early 1950s, when he and wife Barb raced stock cars. She came in second in a big race, Knauff told his kids. Later, they discovered that the winner was a man who dressed as a woman in order to win the race.
“I remember that they even raced on ice,” Linaman said.
Although he sold numerous vintage cars, her father never restored one himself, Linaman said.
“Dad was an entrepreneur without knowing it,” she said.