On February 27 and 28, 230 collector cars will cross the auction block at Mecum with no reserve as the collection of the Rogers’ Classic Car Museum goes up for sale. The auction is taking place right in the museum in Las Vegas, Nevada and all proceeds from the gate admissions and sales will benefit the Rogers Foundation, which is dedicated to the arts and education for life transformations.
Media mogul, former chancellor and lover of all things automotive, Jim Rogers was one of this era’s most passionate activists and most generous philanthropists – and in addition, he was a prolific collector of classic automobiles.
Rogers passed away in June 2014 at age 75, but his passions did not die with him, and he left behind a legacy larger than life, as well as his massive car collection. Named by Time magazine as one of the top 12 philanthropists in the nation, after his donations to institutions of higher education reached $275 million, Rogers gave more than just money – he also devoted his time and his voice. Owner of the NBC affiliate station for Southern Nevada and also the chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, he had strong beliefs on both media operation as well as secondary education. In Rogers’ five years as chancellor, he accepted a salary of only one dollar per year, believing that the position was not about making money, but rather an opportunity to give back to an institution he believed in with such conviction.
The museum’s curator, Mike Pratt, worked with Rogers for almost 17 years, growing the collection of classic cars from 20 to almost 300 at its peak. They went after American cars, primarily, with a bent towards the very hard to find and rare vehicles others didn’t tend to collect. “Jim’s desire was to create a collection that represented the American working man’s climb to success,” explains his widow Beverly Rogers.
The collection (and auction) include a 1915 Ford Model T, two Fisker Karma Sedans, a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, a 1962 Rolls-Royce Mulliner Drophead Coupe, a 1956 Dual-Ghia Convertible, a 1939 Cadillac Series 90 V-16 Imperial Touring Sedan, and more.
The auction will close the museum, but will serve as the inaugural major gift to the Rogers Foundation towards a long-lasting benefit. The Foundation seeks to ensure that students have access and support for academic achievement and artistic development through scholarships, grants, and other initiatives.