Kevin and Jill Parker’s Route 32 Auctions and Indy Ad Show join Morphy Auctions family
Route 32’s stellar reputation with petroliana collectors and Indy Ad Show’s iconic status in antique advertising hobby make them seamless additions to Morphy’s operation
DENVER, Pa. – Dan Morphy, founder and president of Morphy Auctions, announced today that Route 32 Auctions and the iconic Indy Ad Show, formerly owned by Kevin and Jill Parker of Crawfordsville, Indiana, are now part of Morphy Auctions’ organization.
“Dealing with Kevin and Jill was one of the easiest and most enjoyable transactions I can recall since opening our gallery in 1997,” said Morphy. “The Parkers have a genuine love for the types of antiques they sell and collect, and they are people of impeccable integrity. They’ve always run their businesses honestly and professionally, with an emphasis on treating all customers with respect. That’s exactly the way we strive to conduct ourselves at Morphy Auctions, so welcoming Route 32 and the legendary Indy Ad Show to our operation feels like branches of the same family coming together.”
The Parkers have owned Route 32 Auctions for the past five years and The Indy Ad Show for four years. Kevin and his team will continue to manage the show for at least the first year that it is under Morphy ownership (next show date: May 5-6, 2023). He will also represent Morphy’s at major trade shows and seek consignments throughout his wide network of contacts. He anticipates working closely with Morphy’s Automobilia & Petroliana Division Head John Mihovetz on certain key consignments.
The Parkers have chosen to take a new direction in their lives so they can spend more time with their family, especially their five grandchildren, and continue to collect antiques. As Kevin explained, he and Jill initially established Route 32 Auctions as a casual pursuit – a pipeline through which they could buy for, and sell from, their own collections. But over time, the auction house became so successful, it took on a life of its own.
“This year and last year we held thirty auctions. It became more than we wanted to manage. We never expected it. Our talks with Morphy Auctions started when I mentioned in passing to John Mihovetz, who has been a friend for a long time, that we were thinking about selling our businesses,” Kevin recalled. “I had always felt that Morphy’s was a very respectable, high-end operation, with employees who have a positive outlook. They want to be there, doing the jobs they do.’
“I also never forgot how welcoming Dan was when I attended my first auction at Morphy’s. I was a competitor, but he still invited me into his office for a chat, shook my hand and said, ‘If there’s ever anything I can do to help, let me know.’ So I asked John whether he thought Morphy’s might have an interest in our businesses. That got him excited and he went to Dan and Tom [Tolworthy, Morphy’s CEO] with the idea. They were immediately on board.”
Kevin said he and Jill are looking forward to traveling more and being able to “build work into it” at their own unpressured pace. “What I truly love is meeting people and looking at collections. That comes naturally to me, having a sales background,” he said. “This will put the spark back into our own collecting interests. Jill has a full-size country store with a barber shop and soda fountain. She loves anything that’s antique advertising.”
Petroliana and Antique Advertising are two of Morphy Auctions’ most active divisions. The company has sold some of the hobby’s most celebrated specialty collections from both those categories, including the Kyle D Moore petroliana collection (in 2015-16) and the Bobby Knudsen Jr petroliana and soda pop advertising collection, which was the highlight of Morphy’s $8.6 million Fall 2022 Automobilia, Petroliana & Railroadiana Auction.