Central Texas Museum of Automotive History Closing Doors – Car Pro News

Classic car collectors and enthusiasts from around the world will converge on Rosanky, Texas in a few weeks to bid on some of the world’s rarest automobiles many with ties to famous personalities and historical events.
The auction, which heralds the closing of the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History, will be one of the biggest classic car auctions to come along in a long time, said Daniel Kruse, the auctioneer.
Dick Burdick, 83, who opened the Rosanky museum in 1981, decided to auction off the cars to help pay for his newest museum, Dick’s Classic Garage in San Marcos.
Burdick made his money as the founder of Thermon Manufacturing Co., which supplied instruments to the oil, gas, engineering and power industries. His business success fueled his passion for cars, which led him to build the museum in Rosanky next to his ranch along Texas 304 in Bastrop County.
Kruse said the San Marcos museum, which opened in 2009, will be a showcase for almost 200 of the best cars in the world. About 20 of the vehicles from Rosanky have been moved there.
Kruse said the sale, as sad as it is, is part of Burdick’s long-term museum strategy.
“The museum in Rosanky has been a very rich and proud part of Dick’s history, but he’s going to fulfill his dream at the new museum in San Marcos, which is really just 30 minutes down the road,” Kruse said. “He wants to leave a legacy, something that’s going to last long after he’s gone. Consolidating his cars and selling his interests in Rosanky will provide a fund to run the new museum long after Dick’s gone.”
In addition to the sale from Burdick’s collection, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 Lincoln Continental convertible also will be on the auction block, with proceeds benefiting the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation.
The car is a favorite of Jim Backus, who lives just a few miles down Texas 304 and visited the museum to view the classic cars and memorabilia dozens of times.
“LBJ drove around his ranch with it. It’s got a welded plate on the bottom so he wouldn’t do too much damage driving through the cow pastures,” Backus said.
Museum curator Kurt McCowan has been at the museum in Rosanky for 15 years. As keeper of the cars, he’s still trying to come to grips with the closing.
“It’s sad to see it close, but I understand why Dick’s doing it,” McCowan said. “The museum will be open for free this month so people can come by and see these classics before they’re gone.”
About 90 vehicles will be offered during the March 3 auction, with a collection that includes a 1903 Stanley Steamer Runabout, 1970 Silver Shadow Rolls Royce owned by Johnny Cash, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Silver Ghost Town Car and Countess Porceri’s 1933 Duesenberg Model J Sports Sedan.
To see a list of cars for auction, along with a detailed history of the automobiles, visit www.kruseclassics.com.

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