On Jan. 7 and 8, in Kissimmee, Florida, the extraordinary vehicles of the Richard Grant Estate Collection will cross the Mecum Auctions’ block for the next collector.
The collection comes from the estate of Daytonian Richard Grant III, who died Sept. 21. He was a humble and unassuming family man, according to associates, with a sharp mind, a wide breadth of knowledge and an insatiable love for beautiful automobiles.
Grant, who founded the Dayton Concours at Carillon Park in 2006, had an incredible collection of about 50 classic cars. The vehicles centered upon a theme of European sports and racing. They feature recognizable badges of esteemed builders such as Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Porsche and Jaguar, as well as Aston Martin, Austin-Healey, BMW, Bentley and others. Their years of manufacture range almost exclusively from the 1930s through the 1980s.
“We held our first Concours in 2007,” according to Skip Peterson. “Rick asked me to approach the Carillon about hosting the event and being the chairman. I arranged a meeting with Brady Kress, we pitched the idea and they agreed; and that’s where we stand now. I’ve been the chairman since the beginning, but we have a huge and dedicated committee and volunteers who make the event happen.”
All proceeds from the Concours go to Dayton History, the parent organization that operates Carillon Historical Park and others sites around the Miami Valley. The 2023 event is scheduled for Sept. 17.
Grant’s grandfather served as the right-hand man to Alfred Sloan of General Motors fame. His role with the company during its development of some of history’s most memorable vehicles seemed to become ingrained in the family gene pool.
As such, Grant spent decades owning and caring for the assemblage, believed in enjoying his vehicles and never thought twice about slipping in the driver’s seat for a tour around town. Grant kept his cars running, licensed and road-ready — a feat almost unheard of for a collection of this caliber.
“He was unassuming and humble; but when he spoke, it was always worth listening to,” said Peterson.
Grant’s vehicles have been the recipients of concours awards from organized events such as Amelia Island, Pebble Beach and Pinehurst; and his 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Binder Coupe took Best of Show honors at the 2016 Dayton Concours and Cincinnati Concours.
Mecum Auctions is located at Osceola Heritage Park, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34744.