Collecting Vintage Cars

How it all began…………………………


Cars Of Yesterday….the 1st real collector

In 1966 my dear late friend, James C. Leake of Tulsa, Oklahoma was visiting the great city of London, England. While his wife was doing some shopping, Jimmy wondered into an auction that was being conducted by Sotheby’s…they were auctioning off a 1911 Rolls Royce “Silver Ghost that had once belong to the Maharaja of Mysore…it was ornamented with all types of jewels…Jimmy thought is was a really neat car…and minutes later he was the proud new owner at a staggering price of $27,000! This was a ton of money to pay for an old car in 1966!                         

BeforeJames C. Leake, Sr. collecting Cars Of Yesterday or Cars From Yesterday( was a business, before collector cars became a hobby, back when ‘old’ cars were considered junk – that is when the passion for the ‘old junkers’ took hold of Jim Leake, Sr. Finding these old cars and stockpiling them brought about one important stage in the evolution of collector cars – one of the first collector car auctions in the United States!

In 1964 the Leake family hired Park-Bernet (later to become Sotheby’s) to conduct a 1-day auction on the Leake site in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Considered a smashing success by everyone, this one event set the stage for a museum on this site and the annual collector car auction based in Tulsa.

The Antiques, Inc. Car Museum in Muskogee showcased the largest private collection of Rolls-Royce’s in the world. Other fabulous cars such as Isotta Fraschinis, Talbot Lagos, Duesenbergs, Packards, Ferrari’s and unusual steam and electric cars housed in their museum have made the Leakes a household name for 50 years of car collecting and expertise worldwide. In the 35 years of business three generations of Leakes have worked with collector cars. The Leakes have sold over 30,000 cars. Jim Leake, Sr. died at age 85 in July, 2001.

In 1987 Jimmy flew to Tulsa to help with an auction that I was putting on at the Hollywood Dog Track. Without his help, my auction would have never been successful.

Jimmy was a true Gentleman and a wonderful human being….anyone who was privileged as I was to know Jimmy and to have him as a friend…indeed misses him today. He was a  “one of a kind gentleman”

Brighton Run, 1996Today Leake Auction Company conducts several collector car auctions a year. The Leake commitment to quality, service and care have made the Tulsa Auction a leader in the industry. Held the first weekend in June, this auction is without question one of the top 5 automobile auctions in the United States. Richard Sevenoaks began his association with the Leake Auctions in 1972 and is now President of the company. Through his leadership Leake Auction has expanded operations into Texas. His wife, Nancy Leake Sevenoaks, an avid car enthusiast, is also very active in the business.

The Dallas Fall Auction, held the weekend before Thanksgiving, has shown incredible quality under Sevenoaks’ leadership and now can boast being the largest collector car auction in Texas. In partnership with Kruse International, Leake Auction manages several additional markets including Oklahoma City.


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