In Remembrance: Leo Gephart
April 16, 2015: We are saddened to repost the passing of Leo Gephart, considered by many to be the “father” of the collector car auction business.
A CCCA Member since 1957, Gephart fully appreciate the historical significance of what are now known as collector cars. He became the first automobile retailer in the U.S. to concentrate on old cars as collectibles. Gephart was also the driving force behind the very first collector car auction, held behind an Auburn, Indiana, Dairy Queen in 1971 by Russell Kruse. That same year, Gephart met Russ Jackson and Tom Barrett in Arizona, who produced a Scottsdale car show to benefit local charities and encouraged the Barrett and the Jackson family transformed their car show into the first Scottsdale collector car auction.
The impact of a winter auction in the Arizona desert was immediate, to the point where the successful bidders needed to get their purchases home. Gephart co-founded a specialty trucking line for that purpose and later sold it to collector Robert Pass, who renamed it Passport Transport.
Gephart was born in the farm country near Sidney, Ohio in 1930.