Thom Bixby may not have been a well-known personality in the general collector car hobby, but within Hudson circles throughout the Northeast, he was one of the independent automaker’s most devoted enthusiasts. Born into a family of staunch Hudson consumers on March 17, 1948, it didn’t take long for Thom to become enamored with all things Hudson; his first car was a 1952 Hudson coupe. A resident of Easthampton, Massachusetts, Thom began to amass a collection of cars, parts and promotional material — primarily from the postwar era — while becoming a member of the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club and its New England chapter. His collection of material expanded ceaselessly while attending and hosting national and regional meets throughout the Eastern and Central regions of the country, and in 1974 Thom embarked on his first restoration: a 1951 Commodore Custom Six sedan. Other restorations soon followed, including the 1947 Super Six convertible pictured above.
At the time of his passing in December 2018 at age 70, Thom’s collection had reached near-epic proportions, reportedly filling several barns and storage buildings, and had expanded well beyond his beloved Hudson marque. Known for decades as the Bixby Collection, the contents of those buildings is now scheduled to be auctioned by Raucher Brothers Auctioneers on Saturday, July 13.
“This will be a unique opportunity to bid on and buy mostly original vehicles, rare parts, engines, and advertising items, from a collection that a man spent a lifetime building. Most of these cars and car parts are coming on to the market for the first time in 30 years or more, so this is truly a once in a generation auction,” said Don Raucher.
A quick scan of the inventory scheduled to cross the block includes, but is certainly not limited to, the aforementioned 1947 Super Six convertible, a 1947 “Big Boy” 3/4-ton pickup, 1950 Pacemaker, 1951 Commodore Custom Six sedan, 1951 Super Custom Six convertible, and several other 1947 – ’51 Hudsons worthy of restoration. Double-sided porcelain and neon signs, a Hudson “Sales and Service” clock, several complete and rare engines, and hundreds of NOS and used parts (dating from 1946-’51) will be on the docket, as well as other period automobilia and petroliana collectibles, commercial jukeboxes and several pinball machine toppers. Non-Hudson vehicles that will also be offered from the Bixby estate include a 1968 Pontiac Catalina, 1985 Chevy Scottsdale pickup, 1986 Chevy Custom Deluxe 1-ton flatbed, and a 1988 Cadillac Brougham sedan.
The sale will be held at the Young Building on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition (better known as The Big E) in West Springfield, Massachusetts, beginning at 10 am. For more information, including pictures and a more detailed list, click here. (Editor’s note: While admission to the sale is free, Eastern States Exposition does charge a $5 parking fee that supports its community activities.)