Wednesday, November 30, 2016

John Hawkinson died without selling his car collection, and here is the last look at the great little collection he had before it was auctioned off

this 1920 Fire Engine is known locally as Samantha, and was returned to the Saranac Lake FD in his will

John “Hawkeye” Hawkinson lived a simple life in a farm house with no running water, no electricity and little insulation.

Widely known as Hawkeye, a nickname give to him by a camp counselor for his accurate aim, as teen he worked summers at Lone Pine Camp, driving and maintaining the 1933 REO Speed Wagon that was used to take the campers on mountain climbing trips.

The story of Hawkeye’s cars is the story of an eccentric collector of “all things beautiful” who shunned his family’s fortune for a simple, solitary life in the Adirondacks. Hawkeye was a master mechanic and an accomplished artist, photographer and writer. He was also a colorful character, perhaps best known locally for driving through Saranac Lake in midwinter with the top down in one of his Packards, wearing a raccoon-skin coat and smoking a corncob pipe.

His grandfather Amos Whitney co-founded the machine tool company Pratt and Whitney

Inside his barns were rows of beautiful 1920s cars, ackards, Buicks, Cadillacs and Pierce Arrows , as well as three American LaFrance fire trucks — one each from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, which he willed back to those fire departments, and had been keeping in good running shape in the meantime. He was working up the Saranac Lake fire engine for the 125th annivesary of the SLFD at the time of his death.

some of the collection were a Packard roadster, a 1919 Mack truck, a 1930 Cadillac V12, two carriages, a sleigh, a 35-foot ladder truck and most vehicles are from the 1920s. Nothing newer than ’31. The oldest one was a 1919 Linn tractor

“Chasing Classic Cars” will focus on Hawkeye’s 1930 Minerva, with a Hibbard and Darrin body,      at 10 p.m. March 7, 2017 on Velocity.

Hawkeye's collection of 43 classic cars have been sold with the proceeds split between the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the New York Historical Society.

This house was one he had moved to this location, and since it had no electricity, when the coldest winter days came around it wasn't unusual to find it barely warmer inside than out. He once had a diabetic issue, and his life was saved, by the coincidental visit of his former nurse... who is now the managing editor of the Las Vegas Tribune

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