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A Shelby, a Bel Air and a sweet ’51 Mercury are on the auction block in the Tri-Cities

New Northwest auction spotlights collector cars

Jake Musser of Musser Bros. Truck and Auto Auction in Pasco tells about their inaugural Bob Carter Memorial Classic Car Auction featuring muscle, classic and collector cars sourced from around the Tri-Cities.
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Jake Musser of Musser Bros. Truck and Auto Auction in Pasco tells about their inaugural Bob Carter Memorial Classic Car Auction featuring muscle, classic and collector cars sourced from around the Tri-Cities.

Bob Carter built and rebuilt countless cars before the retired Hanford worker turned his focus on a 1951 Mercury.

He poured his time and resources into transforming the car into a gleaming black showstopper.

Carter died earlier this month, but not before he enlisted Musser Bros. to sell it through the Trucks and Auto Auctions division it launched last summer.

Every other Tuesday evening, they auction everyday rides — repossessed vehicles, surplus government vehicles and trade-ins picked up from local auto dealers.

But this weekend, they venture into new territory with their first Bob Carter Memorial Northwest Classic Car Auction.

After spending time with Carter, the Musser family was so impressed they’ve named the event in his honor.

Carter’s Mercury and several dozen other high-end classics hit the block at 1 p.m. Saturday. The live auction is broadcast online and has already attracted nationwide bidders.

The classic car festivities begin Friday with a Show ‘n Shine from 6-8 p.m. where Tri-Cities car owners can show off their own rigs for a suggested donation for charity.

Both events will be at 3125 Rickenbacker Drive, Pasco, at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, or follow the auction online mbauction.hibid.com

Classic new venture

Musser Bros. Truck and Auto Auction is the brainchild of Kayla and Jake Musser, who teamed with brother Josh to launch the business under their dad, Scott’s, real estate auction business.

They invested $2 million to build a 7,000-square-foot auction house on the parcel next to Musser Bros.’s private airplane hangar.

The spacious hangar came in handy when the Mussers decided to venture into classic cars. The airplanes have been booted to make way for 71 gleaming classics.

Classic car auction
The inaugural Bob Carter Memorial Classic Car Auction being held May 25 by Musser Bros. Truck and Auto Auction in Pasco will feature a building full of muscle, classic and collector cars, mostly from the Tri-Cities area. Watch a video at: tricityherald.com/video Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

Jake Musser calls classic cars — and auctions — a personal and professional passion. He’s more than a little tempted to bid on Carter’s Mercury.

The third-generation auctioneer routinely accompanies clients to the famous Barrett-Jackson Auto Co. auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

And the family plans its vacations around the Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas.

Even though anyone with an internet connection can participate in auctions, Musser believes there was a need for a classic car auction in the Northwest.

He brought in vehicles from Barrett-Jackson. And he put out the word to Tri-City relatives and friends that he was interested in selling any classic vehicles they might have.

The response was huge.

Most of the vehicles on the block Saturday are locally owned.

The lineup includes a Chevrolet Corvette, classic Ford pickups and a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air that’s already reached $35,000 in bidding. And then there’s a bright red 1968 Shelby GT500KR convertible, owned by the same Richland family since 1970.

SSC North America, the Richland supercar company that once hoped to build its own manufacturing center in West Richland, restored the sleek sport coupe.

Pre-auction bidding already has pushed the price to $92,000.

Carter’s Mercury had attracted 53 bids by Thursday afternoon.

Jake Josh Musser auction
Jake Musser, left, and his brother, Josh, recently opened Musser Bros. Truck and Auto Auction in Pasco and are holding their inaugural Bob Carter Memorial Classic Car Auction, featuring muscle, classic and collector cars sourced from the Tri-Cities area on May 25. Watch a video at: tricityherald.com/video Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

Musser Bros. auctions

Musser Bros is a well-known Tri-City auction business.

And Kayla and Jake Musser got their start when they extended the brand to Boise. They’d focused on real estate until they encountered a struggling auto auction.

They bought it and turned it around.

As their children reached school age, the Mussers decided to return to the Tri-Cities to start over closer to family.

They intend to take over the real estate auctions when Scott Musser retires, and brother Josh Musser will run the auto auction business.

Car owners pay the auction house a fee to sell vehicles on consignment. Buyers pay a premium in addition to the auction price and any licensing and registration fees.

The auction house can assist buyers with shipping as well.

Visitors who attend an auction in person get an orientation before they head to the auction room. Musser said the goal is to have fun and sell vehicles.

Wendy Culverwell writes about local government and politics, focusing on how those decisions affect your life. She also covers key business and economic development changes that shape our community. Her restaurant column and health inspection reports are reader favorites. She’s been a news reporter in Washington and Oregon for 25 years.
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