West Bend Wisconsin, 1969 is when 33-year-old John Norton’s lifelong passion for performing quality antique/classic car restorations was ignited. In the summer of 69 he began his first complete Classic car restoration, a 1930 Ford Model A. In 1972, the Old Car/Antique Convention took place in Milwaukee WI and despite hundreds of professional challengers on a national level, John entered his freshly restored Model A in the car show portion to be judged. The Model A won top prize! It even made it into the local newspaper in an article outlining the convention’s lucky winners. That win was the fuel that propelled John’s passion to engage in further undertakings into the stratosphere.
The follow up project was another 1930 Ford Model A coupe, this time with a rumble seat! Like the first, this car turned out to be a success and also became a pivotal reason for John’s next step. Knowing several other local Model A restorers went relatively unnoticed, John figured it was time to launch a club in the greater West Bend WI area. So, in 1973, the “Badger Model A Club” was formed. John was president and chief recruiter of other Model A owners for the club. Town parades and picnics were commonplace in those days, so, for three straight summers the club was a virtual mainstay for almost all these events—big or small.
In June of 1977, John and family moved north to Florence, Wisconsin. The move also culminated a transition of sorts in John’s restoration tastes—from 1930’s to 1950’s vehicles. Two cars of note included a black 1955 Buick Special and a gray 1953 Kaiser Deluxe that contained a rare, eye-catching heart-shaped windshield.
Those cars and the Model A’s, however, were eventually sold and basically became a precursor to John’s eventual ultimate cars of choice! Nash Ambassadors and Nash Metropolitans were those cars, both derivatives of the American Motors Corporation more commonly known as AMC. Those particular makes/models are what now comprise the majority of the Norton Collection. Many of these restorations took place after John moved to Eagle River, WI in April 1989.
In their prime, the larger Nash Ambassadors here were a highly sought-after vehicle. They were among the only vehicles produced to adopt the “Bed-in-a-Car” feature. This feature allowed the interior of the car to be turned into a sleeping compartment, 2 adults can safely and comfortably sleep in the vehicle.
While both the big Ambassadors in this collection are individually something to behold, the gems that undeniably garner the most attention are the Nash Metropolitans. Rightfully coined as 1950’s/60’s motorized eye-candy, the Metropolitans (Mets) were classified by many as the first subcompact cars ever introduced on the American market.
Further inside the Norton collection is a car made famous in the 1987 Blockbuster hit movie “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” a 1984 Chrysler LeBaron Mark Cross Edition convertible with a Continental Kit, specifically meant for John’s dear wife Janet. She absolutely cherished the vehicle and drove it on many road trips, much to the astonishment of starstruck gazers she frequently confronted. A funny feature of the car is it will talk to you! Mostly if you mess up in a trivial way, the car will let you know…”Remember your keys!”
Rounding out the collection is a very nice 1993 Plymouth Sundance. John bought this car new and the odometer is showing just over 30,000 actual miles. Someone will love owning this nice little car.
The Norton Collection, like all collections, is unique in its own individual way. In terms of years, though, this comprises only a modest segment in John’s legacy of lifelong endearment of classic cars. Anyway you look at it, the collection is impressive and very lovable.
Based in St. Paul MN, Mike and Cavan have built up a real classic car community. Enthusiasts, retirees, friends and family are the driving force behind their shop. With passion for classics, on any morning you will find a steady flow of people working together to tend to the shop and the stable of cars. The shop started as a hobby space and has now become a true resource for like-minded classic car people who put their heart and soul into maintaining and restoring their cars. Bathed in the glow of a large, and continuously growing, neon sign collection the shop has a nostalgic feel of a 50s era gas station. Like most gas stations, there is never a shortage of coffee and donuts to be shared while stories and memories are discussed and made. The cars in the stable are meticulously maintained and most importantly, do NOT sit around and collect dust! Every weekend you can easily find this crew attending shows around the metro area. The most notable detail about their attendance is every car is driven to the shows, never trailered. That said, if you are fortunate enough to own a car from this stable, you know with confidence first hand, every car is meticulously maintained and ready for the open road!
SG Auction is pleased to announce the “No Reserve” sale of 8 Pre-War automobiles from the David Harris Collection.
David Harris a well known and lifelong antique automobile collector from Minneapolis, MN is selling at No-Reserve his last group of cars due to health reasons. David is a noted member of the Classic Car Club of America, Antique Automobile Club of America, The Horseless Carriage Club of America and The Pierce Arrow Society. Having been active in the hobby for many years David is recognized for his love of Early American cars and Full Classics with a special love of Pierce Arrows.
Often seen on tours, Classic Car Caravan’s, the New London to New Brighton Tour David was no stranger to owning, driving and restoring the cars he loved. He is a wealth of knowledge pertaining to these automobiles and was always active in sharing and consulting with others concerning these cars. David was a strong supporter of the Hickory Corner Classic Car Museum also.
Cars to be sold include 1910 Hupmobile Model 20 Runabout, 1913 Cartercar Model 5A Touring 40hp, 1916 Buick D45 6 cylinder Touring, 1920 Buick K44 6 cylinder Roadster, 1922 Pierce Arrow Model 33 Tourer, 1930 Pierce Arrow Model C Leatherback Coupe, 1938 Buick Century Touring Sedan and a 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Touring Sedan Deluxe with 35,000 actual miles.