Among fields with cows, horses and crops out on Kuna Mora Road, nestled up against the canal, sits the old Mora School and what to many, looks like a junkyard. But for car aficionados, it is no simple junkyard. It is a vast treasure trove of antique parts from cars that date back to the 1940s. Built in 1910, the building served as a school until 1958. In the mid 1960s, Clarence “Slim” Haken and his family made it their home.
“My family – Dad, Mom, my foster sister Raylene and I – were driving around looking for a place to buy where we could take in more foster kids,” said Linda DeBaets, daughter of Clarence Haken. “We got lost and that is how we found the Old Mora School. We had a lot of cleaning to do, but we had found our piece of paradise.”
Slim was an avid car enthusiast and repairing vehicles came second nature to him.
“My dad had always worked on cars,” DeBaet said. “He had a sixth-grade education and a lot of common sense. He knew what was wrong with a vehicle just as soon as it was started. He’d put his hand on the fender or if it didn’t run he knew just what to do to fix it.”
For years, Slim was considered by many to be one of Idaho’s top 10 mechanics. He worked on a variety of vehicles and farm equipment except for foreign cars.
“He could tell you the history on every vehicle he owned,” DeBaet said.
The property in recent years has seen decline and damage from looky-loos, thieves and vandals. The daytime caretaker says that he has chased people off but that the nighttime caretaker on the property has the assistance of about a dozen skunks that live among the vehicles.
“They had a guy trapped in a truck a while back,” the caretaker said.
Throughout his life, Slim gathered an impressive collection of vintage vehicles and now they are being auctioned to the public through an online only auction. Since last August, workers have been cleaning up the property and getting the VIN numbers on over 400 cars. Ultimately, they found VIN numbers and enough of the vehicles remaining to put almost 300 cars up for auction. The rest have been scrapped for parts.
The unique collection includes a variety of 1940s trucks, Studebaker pickups and cars, a 1961 Renault Dauphine, two 1963 Cadillac De Villes and a stubby looking delivery/milk truck that Kyle Musick, the owner of the auction company hosting the sale, says is one of only 7 known left that still exist. He said a remodeled one recently sold for $180,000. In addition to cars, there are several engines, motorcycles and some old tractors that Slim accumulated over a 30-year period. Those that don’t sell will be crushed and scrapped.
Bidding for the online-only auctions has already begun and will run through Wednesday, March 19, Thursday March 20 and Friday, March 21. Inspection and media times are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, March 17 and Tuesday, March 18. Interested parties can participate by visiting MusickAuction.com.