Clanton’s Auto Auction Celebrates 60th Anniversary
When Clanton’s Auto Auction started up in 1943, it was called Dealer’s Motor Auction, and its first sale ran 24 cars through the lane, of which 18 were sold. On May 1, the auction, now called Clanton’s Auto Auction after founder J.C. Clanton, celebrated its anniversary with a sale and a party.The sale, in contrast to that first one 60 years ago, ran 2,000 vehicles across the block, with sales of more than 1,250. “The sale was a tremendous way to mark our 60th anniversary,” said Ray Clanton, general manager and son of the founder.The founder, J.C. Clanton, is believed to be the first to guarantee checks and titles for customers, now a universal practice within the industry. Clanton began that practice in 1950. “He was the first to take the risk out of doing business at the auctions. That marked the beginning of respectability for the auction business and the acceptance on behalf of franchised dealers.”After the sale ended, the more than 850 participants were treated to live music from the ‘40s to the present, and special recognition for “the men of the ‘40s,” dealers who began doing business with the auction when it opened or shortly thereafter.The “men of the ‘40s” included Eugene Stewart, Forrest Morrison Jr., Gentry Arnette, Bobby Tucker, Deward Smith, John Henry Newsome, Sr., James W. Vestal, Bobby Brinkley, Joe F. Boswell, Jr., Fred Perry, L. Gilmer Lanier, Stanley Goodwin, T.W. Jeffcoat, W.B. Helms, Clayton Wells, Fred Mingledorff, and Danny Quinton.