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Mid Century classic cars and homes featured in two Palm Springs events
This Story expires on: Tuesday Feb. 05, 2019

 In the 1950’s and ‘60’s, architects created classic homes and buildings in Palm Springs California, most still standing as monuments to Mid Century Modernism. At the same time new automobiles were hitting the road in record numbers, many now preserved and road worthy mid-century legendary cars and trucks.

Classic and collectable cars and trucks will be on display at McCormick’s Palm Springs Collector Car Auction on Feb. 22-24 on six acres beside the Palm Springs Convention Center. The auction occurs on the last weekend of the annual Palm Springs Modernism Week (Feb. 14-24) with tours of home, a vintage trailer show and other events.

While the two events are independent of each other, McCormick’s weekend show on wheels features nearly 600 cars, trucks and motorcycles. It is free and open to the public on Friday, Feb. 22.


Mid Century Trends

After World War II, an expression of optimism and faith in the future showed up in 1950’s cars designed with big fins and big V-8 engines, which when restored now sell for ten to twenty times their original sticker price. The new interstate highway and city freeway systems were under construction, creating the first cloverleaf and future traffic nightmares for today’s commuters. The “Big 3” U.S. automakers produced 96 percent of American cars.

The 1957 Chevy, which sold for $2,399 is now valued at more than $45,000 at some auctions. The Ford Edsel, introduced in 1957 amid huge fanfare, is now considered a colossal failure in automotive history, which is why collectors want them. The station wagon rose in popularity and would later morph into the roomier SUV.

In the 1960’s, the Volkswagen Beetle competed with the Ford Pinto and other compact cars that surged in popularity. At the same time, muscle cars powered by turbo-chargers and big engines satisfied the need for speed.

Keith McCormick launched his first auction 33 years ago (in 1986) and has held auctions in Palm Springs ever since as a family-run business. The auctions are held twice each year in February and November, usually under balmy weather and sunny skies, drawing thousands of visitors to the city.


View auction online

The auction will also stream live via the Internet for three days and people who register in advance may arrange proxy bidding. At the previous auction, people tuned in from across the United States, Europe and New Zealand to bid on cars.

Video cameras will be set up to show different views of each car as it passes through the auction tent. To connect to the live broadcast and receive registration information, go to

The website explains registration details to buy or sell a car and other information. People bidding via proxy must register in advance and follow the same procedures as people attending the auction, McCormick noted.


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