Maybe You Used to Visit the Pate Museum Like I Did. On Saturday, You Can Buy the Exhibits.

On Christmas Eve we bid farewell to the Pate Museum of Transportation just outside of Fort Worth, the first museum I can recall my classic-car-rebuilding, auto-parts-selling father taking me to when I was a boy. A good Friend of Unfair Park -- and a very good friend of the Pate family -- sends word, though: On June 5 at the site of the old museum off Highway 377, a Canadian auctioneer is selling off the Pate Collection, which is being offered without reserve.

The highlights are too myriad to mention -- everything from a Studebaker delivery wagon from the 1800s to a 1934 Brewster Ford Town Car to a 1967 Shelby GT 500 Fastback. Peruse the eight-page catalog at your leisure. From the looks of the close-ups, some of the cars aren't exactly mint, and despite having been restored once upon a time, I doubt you can pull up and drive outta there in more than a few -- this isn't a Mecum auction, after all. But our Friend says the Mustang runs. Hard. Fingers crossed I can ask the Pates tomorrow.

Till then, there is this one morbid curio amongst the lot: a 1962 Checker Marathon Dallas Taxi Cab, otherwise known as the taxi Lee Harvey Oswald hailed when he left downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963. And I just talked to my dad. Big Hersch and I are taking my son to the Pate auction Saturday. Got my eye on an Edsel.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky