Enid, Okla. – An auto auction is underway for vehicles in the collection of Jim Lewis, an Enid native who has been collecting cars for over 60 years. Jason Lewis, Jim’s son, said another auction was held in June for 115 cars. He said the best cars his father owned are in the current auction, which ends on October 11.
Jason Lewis said his father owned about 130 cars by the time he passed away in March. Lewis was naturally drawn to the car business with the participation of his father, and helped sell cars on the Internet.
“I definitely got involved, because when eBay became so popular, I helped out with the online process. And my mom, Val, helped spread the cars too,” Lewis said. “And that allows us to help sell internationally. People bought things in France, Germany and Australia, and they became regular customers. They were just collectors themselves. My parents would love to receive an email from someone from the Netherlands, or something.”
Lewis said his father was “old school” in the sense that his father strived to return the cars to their original condition. He said his father wanted things to be as authentic as possible. He also said that he still owns a car that his father first got when Jason was little.
“I already have a 67 Corvette that I keep in Enid and it has 30,000 original miles,” Lewis said. “My dad got it when I was 7 years old. It was always something I had to look forward to, and it was kind of always the one thing I couldn’t bear to get rid of in life.”
Jim Lewis has been a collector and auto salesman for over 60 years. There are 19 classic and muscle cars being auctioned in different conditions. The auction includes a 1956 Chevy Bel Air, a 1966 Cadillac Convertible, a 1947 Mercury, a 1940 Cadillac LaSalle, and a 1966 Chrysler Imperial. The auction also includes several high-performance engines and more than 150 diecast car toys.
Jim Lewis grew up with 11 siblings and hated getting rid of anything, especially classic cars. Jim started working in the auto trade in high school while working at his brother Fred’s body shop, Lewis Body & Glass. He then worked as a salesman in an agency before serving in the National Guard. After service, he opened his first used car dealership in 1962, Jim Auto Sales. He also owned Lewis Dodge, Lewis Nissan, DeLorean Motor Company and Bank of Hunter.
Jim and his brother Richard bought a Datsun dealership in Ponca in 1975. He also continued to sell used cars in Enid until the purchase of a Dodge dealership in 1977. He sold Louis Datsun and Louis Dodge in 1982.
His dealership was one of the few in Oklahoma to sell muscle cars and high-performance complexes. In 2000, his client base expanded internationally. Jason Lewis said that his father was known to have always owned several Mopars, such as Chargers, Challengers, and Barracudas from the 1970s. He said his father liked the Mustangs, which were about half of the cars he sold. He also sold a lot of Camaros, Chevelles and Corvettes.
Jim Lewis also spent a lot of time riding horses in the Enid area, riding his favorite Texas Red, at the Cherokee Strip Round Up Club. His barrel racing career led him to seek higher speeds, and he spent several weekends drag racing with his friends outside Enid city limits.
“His passion wasn’t so much selling cars, but what he absolutely loved was the chase and the chase,” said Lewis. “Finding a barn or something no one knows gave him more fun than anything else. He lived and breathed cars. From the time he woke up in the morning until his bedtime, cars were always on his mind as he rummaged through paper and the internet for his next deal. Often Friends comment that they can’t talk to him for two minutes before he tells you a story about buying or selling a car.He used his stories as allegories of life and was happy to repeat the stories over and over.
The auction started on September 12th and runs until 6pm. Those interested in viewing the auction can do so online at https://wigginsauctioneers.hibid.com/catalog/397276/10-11-mar kee-auto-sales-fall-auction/.
Cars at 1528 N. Grand in Enid, the site of Markee Auto Sales, once owned by Jim Lewis. Jason Lewis said his dad would be proud to see his cars sold to someone giving them a new home.
“I think he would absolutely love it. I think the whole thing was that it wasn’t too attached to certain cars,” said Lewis. “He definitely loved hunting. But he also loved making the deal. There is something rather surprising about finding the right car for the right person. Especially when it was muscle cars and Mustangs and things like that. I think he’s glad these things are going and having another life.”
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