Gene Ponder is one of those collectors that inspires other collectors. His home shares 20+ acres with about 10 other buildings that include his own personal chapel, an office for his businesses, a restoration shop, and a smattering of garages, each absolutely loaded to the hilt with automobilia and vehicles – lots and lots of vehicles.
RM Sotheby’s will be bringing the collection of automobiles and memorabilia to the market in a special on-site sale September 21-24.
Finding the property is fairly easy from the main highway – just look for the Texaco station. It’s like taking a trip back in time when the attendants would check over your car to make sure the air and fluids are all topped off, the wipers are in good order, the glass is clean, and, of course, your tank is full of Ethyl. Fully adorned with the desk and tools for the job, it’s also home to a great collection of diecast cars and other odds and ends – which largely describes Gene’s collection.
“This is my second collection,” he said. “I sold my first collection to begin a new business.”
Gene thought he could retire when he sold his original cabinet company, but sadly the employees were left very unhappy with the new owners. In typical Gene fashion, he couldn’t leave them behind, so he sold the collection and started a new company for the employees to gravitate over to. Now, he’s sold that business and is determined to enjoy his life by travelling and spending time with loved ones.
“I’m 80-years-old, it’s time to divest,” he said.
That divestment comes in the form of an auction held at the Ponder Estate, where RM Sotheby’s will help all the cars, trucks, motorcycles, dioramas, diecasts, displays, tools, equipment, colognes, carpeting – yeah, it gets real.
Here are a few shots from our day with Gene Ponder just a couple of weeks before the sale.
The head of the property is a purpose-built Texaco station, perfect for displaying memorabilia and creating a scene from the past. This will be part of the sale hosted by RM Sotheby’s September 21-24, 2022 in Marshall, Texas at the Ponder Estate.
At the front door of the service station is, of course, all the requisite things every self-respecting service station from the past should have.
It seems never ending, because, in a way, it is. The Ponder Collection being sold by RM Sothebys September 21-24 and is comprised of an astonishing mix of rare and one-off cars, including recreations of factory one-of-one and one-of-a-few cars like the 1957 Ferrari Testarossa, and various Jaguars. Gene’s real passion lay in MGs, though, and he’s got a massive assortment in the garages, along with a Mercedes-Benz 220 Cabriolet and 300SL Roadster, both of which are in their prime.
Gene naturally gives discussions about his collection, such as a very unique Bugatti complete with ostrich-skin interior, early and late Nash Healey’s, engines on stands, and more. Videographer Kaitlyn enjoyed capturing the interview on the iPhone and it’ll be made available soon! RM Sotheby’s will be selling it all between Sept 21-24 – register to bid via phone or internet and take part of the astonishing sale.
Pedal cars are all over the place and harken back to another era while dioramas make up a fair chunk of the collection as well.
Gene Ponder’s collection is absolutely rife with memorabilia ranging from signs to artwork to one-off originals to model airplanes, to scale-model toys, to emblems, to wine, to cologne – it literally is never ending. Get your slice of this automotive nirvana September 21-24 in Marshall, Texas at the Ponder Estate or register to bid online or via phone.
Gene Ponder’s cars are simply astonishing – the sheer number of cars is mind blowing and their overall condition is remarkable. The opportunity to buy some truly remarkable, one-off cars like these is not an often occurrence.
The restoration shop of the Ponder Collection is unreal for a private collection. Within are not only an enviable arsenal of tools and equipment, but a Lamborghini 400GT that has been professionally converted into a convertible, an aluminum body Jaguar, Ferrari and many others including chassis awaiting bodies. And, yes, the Jaguar C-Type heads are everywhere.
Row upon row and shelf upon shelf of books and magazines line the floors of the restoration shop amid various pieces of wall art, all creating a library within the shop. The walls are also decorated with original dealership lettering and signage from Ferrari, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, and more some dating back to the 1930s.
A rare duo, the Jaguar SA and Alfa Romeo cabriolet await their new owners – in the background is a custom body for a 1930s Mercedes-Benz 500 Cabriolet awaiting a chassis – Gene says the perfect match is from a large 300 Adenauer sedan.