POLAND — “Monumental” is the term auctioneer Jody McMorrow uses as he walks through the massive display of tools, collectibles, classic cars and racing memorabilia at Bob Greeley’s home.

Thousands of items in more than 1,000 lots will be up for bid in a two-day auction May 16-17. For Greeley, who retired several years ago from racing and longtime ownership of Greeley’s Garage on Washington Street in Auburn, the auction tops off 50 years of friendships.

A lot of those friends will be among the hundreds of bidders expected to show up for the auction. McMorrow said he and Greeley have been preparing for this event since February.

Their work will go right up to the last minute as they put a high polish on items such as a red 1972 Chevrolet Cheyenne pickup truck, a 1947 Ford Club Coupe, a customized “After Hours” 1991 short-box pickup, a 1985 Chevrolet El Camino and a 2006 Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycle.

The Chevrolet Cheyenne is likely to be the crown jewel of the auction, McMorrow said. A potential bidder from Caribou recently called about it.

By holding the auction at Greeley’s home at 688 Empire Road, East Poland, they have been able to set everything up under two large tents and in Greeley’s super-size home garage, and there is off-street parking.

Each lot is numbered and hundreds of photos of the items going up for bid are shown on the McMorrow Auction Company website at www.mcmorrowauctions.com.

Greeley walked through row after row of items recently and recalled their places in his life. He pointed out the hood from one of his racers, renewed with his cars’ purple colors and “Greeley’s” logo.

Near it is a large mechanics’ tool cabinet about 6 feet high and 7 feet wide. He had it custom-finished in his race team’s purple and gold colors.

Other auction items near that are vintage tool cabinets printed with tool manufacturers’ logos and ads, a large round orange “Gulf” gasoline sign, and all kinds of garage equipment. The auction lots include small tools suitable for home mechanics and heavy-duty wrenches and machinery used for truck repairs.

Under the tents are items set for auction on the second day, which includes many pieces of Greeley’s woodworking equipment.

Greeley was among inductees to the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2011. Several photos of his racing days are on display, and there are Oxford Plains Speedway programs from the 1970s on a table, but they are not going on the auction block.

Three large trophies also are not up for bid. Greeley said they just gathered dust and he was all set to let them go, but his daughter wouldn’t hear of it, so he pulled them out.

Greeley recalls his earliest racing experience when he and friends invested $10 in an old 1940s-vintage vehicle that they planned to run on some of Maine’s early dirt tracks. He said they didn’t have a garage or tools, so they knocked the fenders and hood off their car with an axe and a sledgehammer.

Greeley built a solid reputation in the 1950s at several of Maine’s pioneering ovals. His accomplishments include running on the high banks of Florida’s Daytona Speedway.

“It was unheard of for an independent driver and race team” to be entering races on the Daytona track where he drove his trademark purple Plymouth in multiple “sportsman” class races.

On July 16, 1972, at Trenton, N.J., Greeley started 28th and finished 13th in what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Bobby Allison was the winner of that 300-mile race.

Greeley said driving the “modifieds” some decades ago was his favorite form of racing.

“It was like sitting on a rocket when you punched (accelerated) it,” Greeley said. He noted that things have changed in recent years, but he still follows the sport with keen interest.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: