The Lee Hartung car collection up for auction

When you open the door of Hartung's Glenview barn you open the door to his past. It's all here, almost everything he ever collected, and as a salvage dealer and a hauler of other people's junk, he found plenty to squirrel away. And now, with his passing, it's all heading for the auction block with a company called "Auctions America".

"It is a collection of everything, said Ian Kelleher, a car specialist with Auctions America. "Cars, antique cars, motorcyles. Some of the most desirable motorcycles in the world. And the largest license plate collection in North America."

"There is at least 10,000 license plates featuring a complete collection of every state's plates since they were first issued. Motorcycles from the early 1900's. Some will sell for hundreds, others for unknown thousands. Hartung also loved old Model T's and Model A's.

""We have over 20 Ford Model A's and probably around 20ford Model T's," Kelleher said. "We've got a spectacular car called a 1950 Edwards; it's very special. It's a unique example and is worth several hundred thousand dollars."

When ABC7 visited Hartung in 1994, he stressed he was a collector of dirty old stuff .

"This is original dust," he said."You can't take the dust off. You can't replace it" Hartung's friend Margie Cox said it's going to be difficult to see the collection broken up.

"Every day we were there building displays and collecting and sorting things and it's hard to say goodbye," she said.

The auction will take place in Glenview on Nov. 3, 4 and 5.

For information about the auction, visit

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