Massive microcar collection up for big money auction

7:33 AM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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MADISON, Ga. - "I started in 1991."

Tucked inside an unassuming building in Madison, an hour east of the city -- is one of the biggest small collections in the world.

"I saw a picture of a Messerschmidt and I was infatuated with this weird looking thing like it fell it off Mars or something."

And so began Bruce Weiner's pursuit of microcars, made in Europe after world War II, until the early 1960's.

"It's an engine with 700 cc's or less, single cylinder, made after WWII and the demise was the early 1960's."

During those post war years in Europe, while countries rebuilt, the microcars did the job.

"They're crude. They don't have heating, they don't have air conditioning, sound proofing. Some of them don't even have open windows. You just get in and you breathe. They got you from point A to point B, and the demise of them was when the Japanese came out with Toyotas and Datsuns and Hondas."

Weiner used to have more than 350 microcars but says he has paired the collection down to a few hundred.

"On a rarity scale, all of them are very rare. Most of these cars are 1 of, 5 of,1 of a 100."

Weiner, an Atlanta entrepreneur who owned the candy company that made Double Bubble -- flew the world pursuing these tiny cars.

"I love the hunt. The hunt is everything to me. Ninety-five percent of collecting is chasing it."

Some of these cars have been on I-285. He points to one. "This does 70 miles per hour. This is the fastest microcar."

Some were used day to day. He points to a tiny truck painted a bright yellow with the Double Bubble gum on the side. "I used to pick my son up from school in the Double Bubble one."

Weiner is a self professed serial collector -- his candy collection is thought to be the largest in the world. He says he will never sell it.

"I will die with my candy. I have candy from the 1800's."

But in 21 years, all that microcar hunting and restoring has brought Weiner to the end. "There's only a few cars that I don't have, and the people who have them are not selling them for any reason for any amount of money."

So he's auctioning all of them this weekend."I don't care to be a custodian. It's very boring."

A thousand collectors from around the world will descend upon Madison. "We have people here from Holland, Germany."

Several cars are expected to go for more than a hundred thousand dollars. The entire collection could sell for more than 8 million dollars. There's nothing little about that. "You get in these little cars and you just smile. We always say great smiles for the miles."

For information on attending the auction go to http://www.rmauctions.com.

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