As he prepares to watch his treasured 1940 Howard Hughes Cadillac and hundreds of other meticulously maintained automobiles be driven right out the door, broadcasting pioneer Art Astor is realizing a piece of his heart will be leaving with them.
A Southern California native who grew up with a passion for automobiles, Astor started collecting classic cars 30 years ago when he began buying radio stations and making the kind of money that would allow him to own something like the 1927 Rolls-Royce roadster that once belonged to movie cowboy Tom Mix.
Now 83 and unable to find anyone willing or financially able to take on his collection after he's gone, Astor has decided to part with about 200 of his approximately 270 cars.
Those he's selling went on the block Saturday at the Astor Events Center in Anaheim, Calif., where much of Astor's large collection of antique radios and telephones also began being sold Friday. The sale of all items concludes today and is expected to raise $20 million to $25 million.