By Lee Williams, for News On 6
It was his father's prize possession, a 1937 Cord Phaeton. After searching for almost 50 years, Doug Pray found his father's beloved Cord in a barn near Detroit.
Doug brought the treasure back to Broken Arrow to be sold at the Leake Car Auction held annually at the Tulsa Fairgrounds.
On Sunday, bidders had a chance to buy Glenn Pray's first 1937 supercharged Cord Phaeton. In 1953, when Glenn was teaching school in Tulsa at Central High School, his students helped him locate this car.
"He totally restored it. It was considered the finest Cord in the world in the 1950s," Pray told bidders as the auction began.
Finally, the car went up on the auction block.
“You heard the stories. It disappeared for over 50 years. So ladies and gentlemen here it is: a '37 Cord, super-charged. Ladies and gentlemen, who wants to turn in a bid for a quarter of a million? Let's see $50,000, and 75, now a 100…and 80, now 90," the auctioneer said.
“We own the factory that built this car originally in 1937. We're still in business in Broken Arrow. This car even has its original cigarette lighter. The supercharger alone is worth $30,000," Doug Pray said
“It's been missing for years, and it's here today, $100,000 and now $105,000," the auctioneer said. “We've waited decades for this automobile. We've waited decades for this opportunity. Closer 'er up there. $100,000. The opportunity to purchase is still today.”
When the auction ended, Pray had a decision to make.
“We got a $100,000 bid on it. That really wasn't enough," he said. "We're going to completely restore it, take it back to its former glory the way dad had it in the 1950s. Then instead of getting $150,000, maybe we'll get $350,000 for it.”
There was yet another twist. A bid came in after the auction for about $105,000, plus auction fees.
Pray took the offer. But he says he's now suffering seller's remorse.