Pedal cars may be primarily for kids, but you wouldn’t have known it at the National Auto Auction Association’s recent Convention and Expo in Boston.
The Black Book Pedal Car Auction garnered some very “adult-sized” donations, raising more than a half-million dollars to benefit the nonprofit NAAA Warren Young, Sr. Scholastic Foundation Inc.
Amazingly, the association’s original goal was $50,000.
There were 14 brightly colored pedal cars to choose from, such as a Jump Truck built by State Line Auto Auction that claimed the title “Best in Show” and touted a winning bid of $102,000.
Per the auction rules, each contestant were tasked with modifying new or pre-owned pedal-powered vehicles, or custom make their own.
Four other pedal-car contestants also came away with special show awards, which were sponsored by NextGear Capital and judged by the NAAA's four chapter presidents.
The four remaining awards went to the following auctions: McConkey Auction Group for the "Most Creative Pedal Car;" Greater Milwaukee Auto Auction for the "Best Custom Pedal Car;" Pittsburgh Auto Auction for the "Best Accessories;" and, Akron Auto Auction for "Most Unusual Paint Job."
The charity programs entry fees, vehicle sales award sponsorships and additional contributions collected a total of $576,300 for the association's annual merit scholarship program.
"I am truly astonished and extremely gratified by the remarkable response to this first-time fundraiser that far exceeded our expectations ten-fold," said outgoing NAAA president Jack Neshe. "I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to all of our auction participants for their generous support."
The pedal-car auction was Neshe’s brain child — he suggested the auction idea a year ago during a visit to NAAA headquarters where he saw a pedal car in the office of chief executive officer Frank Hackett.
"We just thought this offered our members a great way to demonstrate their creativity and craftsmanship in a friendly, fun competition while raising money for our scholastic foundation, which since it began in 2004 has helped 120 deserving students achieve their dreams of higher education," noted Neshe.
All entrants looking to be one of the finalists for the NAAA auction were on display at the CAR conference in March.
The pedal-powered vehicles to be included with Black Book's entry on the auction's run list were chosen by a random drawing held at the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Convention this past June in Las Vegas.
In run order the auction contestants and their final bids were: Black Book ($49,500); Capital City/Mountain State Auto Auctions ($10,000); ADESA Indianapolis ($8,500); Akron Auto Auction ($14,000): Sanford Auto Dealers Exchange ($25,000): McConkey Auction Group ($45,000): Manheim ($75,000); Dealers Auto Auction of the Southwest ($10,000); State Line Auto Auction ($102,000); Lynnway Auto Auction Inc. ($45,000); Greater Milwaukee Auto Auction ($25,000); Farmington Auto Auction ($15,000); Pittsburgh Auto Auction ($31,000) and Charleston Auto Auction ($26,000).
"The benevolent spirit of all those who took part was just inspiring," remarked Hackett. "It was one of the most entertaining and exciting 45 minutes I've ever experienced as we approached a half-million dollas and people kept making offers to get us over the mark. For example, Black Book and Lynnway both bought their own cars and then donated them back for resale. It was an amazing evening."
And if the auction wasn’t enough, the charity was endowed with many individual gifts, as well, which included $5,000 each from AFC, Auto Auction Solutions and Jay Cadigan; $10,000 a piece from Charleston Auto Auction, Lynnway Auto Auction, Janet Barnard and Auction Insurance Agency; and, a $25,000 contribution from NextGear Capital.
Tom Cross, president of Black Book and the main sponsor of the event, said, "We believe in NAAA's work on behalf of the industry and are big supporters of the Warren Young Scholastic Foundation. We're happy to give back to the remarketing community in this role and thrilled at the event's overwhelming success in raising money for a worthy cause."