National recognized racer returns to Terre Haute for historic Don Smith auction

There were over 400 bidders for Saturday’s Don Smith’s automotive auction. That's because this auction consisted of 170 vehicles. There were over 400 bidders for Saturday’s Don Smith’s automotive auction. That's because this auction consisted of 170 vehicles. One of those in attendance was a well-known racer. Hulman Classic winner and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee.

Posted: Jun. 23, 2018 5:16 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- There were over 400 bidders for Saturday’s Don Smith’s automotive auction. That's because this auction consisted of 170 vehicles.

One of those in attendance was a well-known racer. Hulman Classic winner and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee Jack Hewitt.

"I got out of the army in 1973 and started racing in the middle of the summer in 1973. My first trip here to Terre Haute was 1976 to actually race. I had been here before but to race was 1976," said Hewitt.

Hewitts rich racing history got him to know Don Smith quite well. That's why Hewitt came out to the auction to try to buy some of don's great collection.

People from all over the world showed interest. They bided on everything from Indy cars to some rare classics but many were those who had some history in racing that wanted to take part in the event.

"We’ve met a lot of the race car drivers that don sponsored over the years,” said Norm Gallivan of Gallivan Auctionneers and Appraisers. “He was loved by so many people and they are all coming out to be part of this."

For many this auction served as a way to get a piece of history but for those like Hewitt it means a lot more. It's a way to keep Don Smiths racing passion alive.

"Like I said he made a collection that everybody wants and now they get to be part of it. So I think if somebody buys something here, what they are going to say is we bought this from don smith and as long as people remember him it will be worth everything," said Hewitt.

The biggest part of the don smith collection is now over but there is still another auction to take place Sunday afternoon. It will be open to the public.

It will auction off things like vintage gas pumps, signs, go carts and much more. If you would like to learn more check out their website here.

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