The Dingman Collection - a private museum, up for sale
Image: Courtesy RM Auctions
Michael Dingman was a director at Ford for 21 years. In addition to being a successful executive, he was also a man passionate about cars, and the history of motoring in the USA, particularly in the period of the 1930s-50s.
Over the course of his career he built an extensive collection, not only of cars, but also signs, neon signs, and automobilia. On June 9 and 10, via RM Auctions, he is putting almost 50 cars and more than 1,400 signs for sale, all with no reserve. It follows a sale of part of his collection 6 years ago, and this auction will see the remainder of the collection sold.
“Michael Dingman is one of the most dedicated and passionate collectors I’ve ever known,” says Mike Fairbairn, Director and Co-founder, RM Auctions. “In addition, his incredibly high standards have resulted in the finest Ford restorations ever seen!”
Amongst the highlights are the following cars:
- 1936 Lincoln-Zephyr Convertible Sedan
- 1936 Ford Model 48 Gläser Cabriolet (pictured below) - when shown at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, this car was mistaken by some for a Mercedes, but it is a rare example of this German-built Ford. The grille of the car bears the blue and green ribbons of Pebble Beach, signifying Best in Class and the completion of the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, respectively.
- A number of fabulous Ford woodies, including 1938, 1939 and 1940 Ford Deluxe Station Wagons
- 1940 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet
- Dearborn award-winning 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Sportsman Convertible
- A limited production 1986 AC Cobra, one of a select few specially handbuilt by Roush Racing’s top technicians for a handful of top Ford Motor Company automotive executives.
- The first 2005 Ford GT, chassis number 2, built for Mr. Dingman by the Ford Motor Company as a token of its appreciation for his 21 year tenure on the company’s board.
- A pair of Porsches, including a 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and a 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster, both custom built by leading Porsche racing specialists to full 930 Turbo specifications, and heavily modified with extraordinary performance equipment.
The neon sign collection is the largest privately held collection in North America. "People love to come in here just to see the history. Every sign has got its story, just like a car", said Dingman.
"I got really into signs, because I was very interested in the history, and what I call history is the 1930s to the 1950s. It was when America really grew, going west. That's what people did to get work. They needed gasoline. They needed food. And they needed a place to sleep. So it was the beginning of motels. It changed the way America worked. So I wanted to capture that period."
RM’s Dingman Collection 2012 sale takes place on June 9 – 10 in Hampton, New Hampshire. The collection is available for preview on June 8, from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm EST. On the auction days, June 9 and 10, the auction itself will run from 10.00 am EST, and is expected to run for approximately 8-9 hours each day. A ticket to the preview costs $30 for one, or for $100 two people will be admitted, and one 452-page catalog supplied. The auction itself is limited to registered bidders and qualified media only.
Dingman says of his collection, "I enjoy the hunt, I enjoy the history of the car. I enjoy the condition of the car, and I enjoy the restoration of the car. With all that said, I'll never build another collection as thorough as this. And that was a labor of love. I love cars. So I really hope they go to people that enjoy them, like I have."