Some of our most prized and authentic historic hot rods are changing ownership. These are not my cars, I don't see them everyday, but I still find it all unsettling.
Yes, as you can probably put together by the photos, within the next several months the John Athan, Ed Iskenderian, and Pete Henderson roadsters will all cross major public auction blocks. One of them, the Henderson car, will be "hammering" sometime within hours of this posting via RM/Sothebys at the annual AACA Fall-Hershey meet. Because the Henderson roadster is estimated to sell in the $160,000 to $180,000 range ( not exactly chump change, but a far cry from its previous sale price of $365,000 exactly 10 years ago ) we have to believe that its soon-to-be new owner will be a well educated, and careful custodian. With the upcoming 2018 auction of the Isky and Athan roadsters, we have to assume the same and that the Isky roadster will most likely top the lot.
So, history should be in good hands... right? Well, we hope so! But first, let's establish a few things.
The Ed Iskenderian T-bodied roadster is one of the oldest surviving early hot rods in existence. It has unbroken ownership history dating back nearly 90 years, and has remained basically unchanged for nearly 80 of those years. The only hot rod that could possibly be said to have a longer-known existence would be the #25 Art Chrisman drag car. The Chrisman car does have a longer-known history than Isky's roadster ( only by a few years ), but it took on such a radically different form in its final guise ( from its Doug Caruthers years to its Chrisman years ) that its "most important version" could be debatable.