Officially it was the Lee Hartung Museum, but many called it Aladdin's Cave. The contents of the spectacular Lee Roy Hartung collection near Chicago were auctioned off November 3-5, 2011.
Canadian sale house Auctions America put the world-famous collection of cars, motorcycles, bicycles and automobilia up for sale following Hartung's passing in 2011.
The collection was the result of more than five decades of collecting by Hartung, who claimed that the items all came from chance encounters and house clearances within just 15 miles of his hometown of Glenview.
A Crosley CD station wagon (see photo) was there, covered in miscellaneous automobilia. Star consignments included a Spohn-bodied BMW Veritas Convertible, 1959 Fiat Spider and an Edwards America that won Best of Class at the inaugural Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1950. An attempt by Californian Sterling Edwards to take on European sports cars in the early 1950s, it won its class in the Pebble Beach road races.
Other gems: a 1936 Lincoln V12 and a 1926 Hertz (built for the car rental market) along with a 1937 Pontiac.
A '34 Rolls-Royce Phantom I was believed to have been stored since 1949 following an incident when a passenger was accidentally fatally ejected from a faulty suicide door.
The cars went under the hammer with a raft of rare early motorcycles, including an untouched 1911 Pope, a 1912 Sears Twin and a 1913 Flying Merkel Twin, buried in a sea of motoring and aviation ephemera, from US license plates (possibly the largest number in the world) to mascots, automotive instruments, and signs, as well as petroliana and gas pumps.