From time to time large hidden collections are facing the sunlight, that were known before only to a small circle. So the collection by John Hawkinson, which has been visited by Wayne Carini for filming the series “Chasing Classic Cars”. John Hawkinson had died in July 2016 at the age of 83. “Hawkeye”, as friends used to call him, lived like a hermit on the NY Route 86 in Harrietstown. His collection with around 40 pre war cars from the 1920s was hiding in an old wooden shed and became known to many people now posthumously.
John Hawkinson lived very simply. In his two-story wooden house, he had no running water and electricity was only installed for the last few years. He was born as the son of a rich machine maker and soon discovered his passion for automobiles. A photo on which he proudly posed in a Chevrolet as an eleven year old boy was found in the estate. Hawkinson studied, and in 1956 he bought a piece of land on route 86. With his mother, he built the two wooden sheds there. He was a good mechanic and wanted to open a classic car restoration company. So he started to buy old cars. Until today, only a few work on the vintage cars have been carried out, so most of the vehicles remained in a uniquely good condition.
The oldest car was a 1919 Linn tractor. The most valuable vehicle is a Belgian Minerva Type AM with a french Hibbard & Darrin special body. “Hawkeye” didn´t buy the vehicle in one piece. The Minerva was in a garage in Connecticut. Hawkinson couldn´t afford the vehicle. So he found an agreement with the owners and bought the vehicle between 1959 and 1974 in parts. Whenever he could afford a piece, he acquired for example the radiator grille and the hood ornament, another time the four wheels or the carburetor. He left chassis and the body in the garage of the previous owner until 1974. In 1974 he could afford even these two parts. He remounted the vehicle. The Minerva and other luxury vehicles, including Packard, REO, Buicks, Cadillacs, and Pierce Arrows stood in the sheds. Including three fire brigade vehicles from the 20s.
After the death of “Hawkeye” the vehicles were now up for sale. The fire brigade vehicles could be sold back to the local fire brigades. The remaining vehicles were ´sold at very high prices. In his testament, Hawkeye laid down, the revenue should be sorted for the charitable purposes.
Wayne Carini could buy the Minerva at the recently held auction. Carini would like to only clean the Minerva and prepare it and then show it at the next Amelia Iceland Concours D´Elegance 2017.
FOTOS: Youtube / Josh Clement Productions LLC