We often think of classic car auctions as nothing more than a trading of assets, of money changing hands in pursuit of turning a profit. Yet a moving moment occurred at a Canadian classic car auction recently, where the family of a deceased young couple witnessed the 1973 Pontiac Parisienne he was working on before his death being sold off repeatedly, raising money for their orphaned children.
Liam and Arielle Keryluke are currently cared for by their grandparents, and have hearing impairments that are costly to the family. Being separated from the vehicle was a difficult decision but the only way to finance the children's care.
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The car was taken to Electric Garage Auctions to be sold, hoping it would sell for around its estimate. It sold strongly at $29,000 first time around, only to be immediately donated back to the auction floor by the new buyer, then sold again.
That second buyer repeated the feat, Keryluke's Pontiac selling one final time before its donation straight back to the family. Combined with proceeds from others in the auction a near $100,000 was raised for the two children, who lost their parents Brent and Nicole in a motorcycle accident four months ago.
Friends, family, and people who had heard of the news online also donated money through a GoFundMe page for the kids’ futures, which was helped by the auctioneer himself. The auctioning of the Pontiac lasted about 10 minutes and was filmed and posted online.
'They basically stopped the auction, let everybody know what was happening, where the money was going to go, and then we were shocked what happened after that,' grandfather Ben told Canadian website Global News.
'People were overwhelmed with just the generosity of people of central Alberta and the support that this family has,' explained Lyndsay Payne, co-owner of EG Auctions. 'It was incredible. People were cheering, I was crying. Our auctioneer Rod had a hard time getting through it because he was crying. He was emotional.'
'He [the buyer] didn’t want to be recognised for it,' Payne said. 'He just went up to Ben personally after the auction and said: you know what? I want your family to have that car so I’m giving it back to you.’
'It’s been just incredible to see the generosity of people to help a family to be able to raise the children,' said the grandfather. 'How do you thank people for something so huge?'