Jeff Begg was an engineer who worked for Dana Corporation, founded several manufacturing companies of his own and was known as bit of an automotive nut. The Marshall, Michigan, businessman hoarded vintage cars, motorcycles and parts at a rate nobody in his family suspected.
When his wife passed away in 2003, Jeff was closing out his wife’s ebay account and in doing so did a little surfing. With time on his hands and a desire to fuel his car passion, over the years, he purchased dozens of mostly British bikes, 38 classic midget and sprint cars and 70 automobiles from a variety of eras mostly on eBay.
Many of Begg’s midgets were veterans of the Midwest racing circuit. Other purchases included: a 1952 Vincent Series C Rapide motorcycle, a 1936 Ford 3 Window Coupe (with the famous Flathead V8), a Ford Cosworth Formula One engine, a 1996 Ferrari 456 GT Coupe, a 1985 Citroen CX25 Prestige and not one, but two1973 Citroën SMs.
Jeff didn’t tell many people about the collection. Even the few that knew something of it had no idea of its extent until they started sorting out his affairs when he passed away on May 27, 2018 at the age of 73. They discovered several buildings filled with what they called his “dirty little secret.”
VanDerBrink Auctions will be auctioning off the entire collection on June 15 in Springfield, MI.
As far as the SMs being sold, both run and are being sold without reserve. Both North American spec models, the red SM looks to be the better of the two and supposedly drives. It was repainted but retains its original colour. (Other than black, red was the rarest colour the SM came in at the time). Overall it’s condition looks promising though the dash mat probably hides cracks underneath.
The gold SM, being an automatic, makes it the less desirable of the two. Overall condition is rough and though it runs we wonder if Jeff bought it as a parts car to support the red one, perhaps planning the first harvest off it to be the rotary AC compressor to replace the original piston one on the red SM. Even so, the body of the gold SM seems to have survived in tact, and so it could be good donor car for someone wanting to restore an SM, with exterior colour, drivetrain change to a 5-speed, and interior refitting, to their preference.
The 1985 CX25 Prestige (also offered with no reserve) may be the sweet deal of the lot. It looks to have survived in tact, and be rot free. VanDerBrink Auctions claims it runs and drives!
Online bidding is now open now and so far, the bidding is very low:
• The red SM is listed here: https://vanderbrinkauction.proxibid.com/Collector-Cars/Classic-Vintage-Cars/1973-Citroen-Type-SB-SM-Sedan/lotInformation/47211231#topoflot
• The gold SM is listed here: https://vanderbrinkauction.proxibid.com/Collector-Cars/Classic-Vintage-Cars/1973-Citroen-Type-SB-SM-Coupe/lotInformation/47211229#topoflot
• Here is the link to the CX25 Prestige: https://vanderbrinkauction.proxibid.com/Collector-Cars/Classic-Vintage-Cars/1985-Citroen-Prestige-CX25/lotInformation/47211230#topoflot
And a full listing of the auction items from the Jeff Begg Collection can be found here: https://vanderbrinkauction.proxibid.com/VanDerBrink-Auctions-LLC/Collector-Cars-race-cars-cycles-more/event-catalog/159381
Update – June 16, 2019: The red SM sold for $30,000 US, the gold SM for $5,500 US and the CX for a mere 4,500 US.