The new owner of a long-running classic car auction in northern Indiana has announced plans to finish $1.5 million in improvements
to the facility before running its traditional Labor Day weekend sale for the first time.
Ontario-based RM Auctions bought the Kruse International auction park in Auburn this month and pledged to continue the early
September sales that have drawn thousands of people for nearly 40 years. The auction park's future had been threatened
by former owner Dean Kruse's financial troubles.
RM Auctions announced Thursday that its renovations for the auction park would include new asphalt for the parking lots and
repairs and painting for the buildings on the 235-acre site.
The company said it already had nearly 500 cars lined up for auction and that the Sept. 2-5 event will have lower ticket
prices. Among the cars committed to the auction are a 1932 Ford Five-Window Coupe and a 2008 Ferrari F430, with up to 1,500
collector cars expected to the sale.
Ed Cepuran, chief financial officer of Auctions America by RM, said the company expected a successful auction since it has
received many "enthusiastic inquiries." He said RM Auctions had set up bank accounts to assure quick payments to
sellers — a step that follows numerous complaints about payment delays by Kruse.
The new owner doesn't have any official ties this year to the annual Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival in Auburn, although
company spokeswoman Kerrey Kerr-Enskat said it would consider that in the future.
"We're all just busy, very, very busy. We can't wait till Labor Day," she said. "Failure is not an
option, when we say we're going to do something, we're going to do it. And well."