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Indiana classic car auction sees attendance jump

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Officials of the company that has taken over a long-running classic car auction in northeastern Indiana say they believe it has bounced back from the financial and legal troubles of its former owner.

Auctions America by RM says more 43,000 people attended the traditional Labor Day weekend sale at the former Kruse Auction Park in Auburn. That's up from about 25,000 for last year's sale, which took place a couple months after Auctions America bought the facility.

Auction president Donnie Gould told The Star of Auburn that work to build up the event went really well.

Big-ticket sales included $396,000 for a 1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Boattail Speedster.

Car enthusiast Mark Sepaniak told The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne that the new owners are on the right track.

Former auction house owner Dean V. Kruse sold the auction after he had his auctioneer's license stripped by the state after a series of legal problems.

Kruse surrendered to northern Indiana authorities Aug. 31 to face a theft charge out of Pennsylvania alleging that he never paid a man $38,000 for selling an antique hearse. Kruse, 69, was released later that day from the DeKalb County Jail in Auburn after posting a $5,000 bond.

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