Owner Dean Kruse tells newspaper that he is considering offers for his troubled auction business. It is just the latest chapter in the collapse of the once-great car-auction empire.
This is a story that ran Friday on Speed TV’s blog site. It goes on to say:
Dean Kruse, the founder and owner of the Auburn, Ind., auction house, said this week that he was considering several offers to buy the Kruse International name and assets, according to a report in the DeKalb Star, the auction’s hometown newspaper.
Kruse has been slipping under the surface for several years, besieged by financial setbacks, complaints from scores of allegedly unpaid consigners and a daunting number of lawsuits. Recent auctions have been sham affairs, and instead of its usual website listings of dozens of upcoming auctions, current visitors will find a terse message that reads: “Kruse International has no current auctions scheduled at this time.”
It has been reported that the last collector car auction run by Kruse was on March 13th of this year. However, the Kruse signature event, The Auburn Auction, is being run by a company called Auburn Auctions LLC, with reports swirling about claiming that this is nothing but a shell company for Dean Kruse with hopes of dodging the numerous legal issues that seem to hound Kruse.
This past January, Kruse sold two rather rare Duesenbergs on the cheap. First was a handsome 1930 Model J Willoughby-bodied long-wheelbase limousine, which was restored in 1991 and in excellent condition. Selling price? $335,500, including commissions. Second was a 1935 Model JN, which was a Rollston-bodied convertible sedan. This was sold at a reported $792,000, including commission, which is a steal because the same car was declared a no sale in September 2009 with a high bid of $1.7 Million.
Hemmings (The Bible of the Collector Car Hobby) has been holding an informal “Death Watch” on the Kruse organization for the last two years now. They also revealed that they had a moritorium on reporting on the decline of the company. Read more on Speed TV, and check out the article on Autoweek about the Bargain Duesenbergs.
Image Sources: Main Image: Kruse International, Duesenberg: Kruse International, Banner: Judy Hedding; About.com