A driving passion to help: Sale of collector cars will boost COVID-19 relief in Fort Wayne

Austin Ash, left, and his father Tim are selling seven high-performance cars to benefit Fort Wayne businesses hurt by COVID-19 and could raise $1.5 million. (Courtesy photo)

With so many Fort Wayne residents and businesses struggling with the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, the high-end cars that once gave Austin Ash and his father so much joy suddenly became an uncomfortable luxury. So they decided to sell seven of them — and local relief efforts could benefit by up to $1.5 million as a result.

“Father and I were sitting down and it just didn’t feel right,” said Ash, 22-year-of son of Ash Brokerage CEO Tim Ash. “We’ve been blessed and privileged, and didn’t feel the cars should be sitting in a garage if we could help the community when it needs it.” The realization led to the decision to sell about half of the private “Ash Crest” collection, which is loosely affiliated with Dream Makers Automotive, a high-performance dealership at 6393 Cross Creek Blvd. owned by Tim Ash.

The seven cars offered for sale were a 2006 Red/Tan Ferrari F430 Spider; a 2007 Red/Tan Ferrari F430 Spider; a 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS; a 2004 Porsche 911 GT3; a 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4; a 1966 Nassau Blue survivor Corvette L72 Big Block 427 convertible; and a 1967 Rally Red Corvette 427/435 Big Block convertible.

Five of the cars have already sold for around $1 million, and Austin Ash said the vehicles offered for sale were selected because it was believed they would hold their value despite the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19.

“One collector offered me twice the value for (the 200y Ferrari Spider). It has a very rare manual transmission,” Ash said. “It’s crazy how so many people have hopped on board. Cars are something my father and I bonded over. Whenever we would go to a big city we would stop by an exotic dealership. There’s a huge car culture in Indiana.”

Plans for distribution of the proceeds are still being finalized, but Ash said the effort will likely target the hard-hit service industry in Fort Wayne, with the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne overseeing distribution with his father.

“The fact that we can use the cars to help others is amazing,” Austin Ash said.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)