Carmel car collector to sell vehicles to raise funds for projects


Craig Dobbs has more than 30 cars in his collection, but that number will soon dwindle.

“Some of the cars I’ve had for so long,” he said. “If I haven’t driven it for four or five years, I’ll probably sell it.”

The longtime Carmel resident is consigning three cars to sell at Mecum Auctions’ 36th Original Spring Classic at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. The auction began May 12 and runs through May 20. Dobbs is selling a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Fastback, a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport, and a 1970 Chevrolet Nova Super Sport. He estimates the Chevelle will sell for about $70,000. He also is selling two other cars to private buyers.

The Carmel resident founded Children’s TherAplay, which uses hippotherapy to help children with disabilities. Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational and speech therapy which uses the natural gait of and movement of a horse to provide motor and sensory input. The nonprofit was created in 2001, using Dobbs’ Lucky Farms in Carmel.

“I’m hoping to raise around $300,000 between the five cars,” he said. “We’re doing it for scholarships for the kids who can’t afford TherAplay. Even though all the kids are supposed to have insurance, it doesn’t always work that way. We’ll even pay the deductible for the kids.”

The other objective is to rehab the old Jimtown High School gym to make it a community center for children.

TherAplay started with two horses, one therapist and a barn helper. Dobbs said there are 16 physical and occupational therapists, two speech therapists and two doctors. Doctors write a prescription for the treatment. Dobbs said there is a waiting list of 80 to 100 children.

“We are trying to whittle that down with some of the expansion we did,” Dobbs said. “There are plans for a community outreach center next year.”

Dobbs had a 1970 Nova Super Sport when he was in high school that was similar to the one he is selling, but it was canary yellow.

Dobbs, a managing director with the investment firm Graystone Consulting, has cars stored at his other properties, including Lake Wawasee, in a maintenance facility in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Florida.

Dobbs purchased six cars from one Mecum show in Indianapolis, the only time he has made purchases at that show.

“Mecum has been good to me,” he said.

Many of Dobbs’ purchases have come from estate sales.

“I’ve sold and upgraded a little bit of what I have in the collection,” Dobbs said. “I’m trying to find more things that I will drive.”

Dobbs, 58, owns several muscle cars.

“When I was younger, I wanted to buy a GTO Judge convertible and I have one now,” he said. “I grew up with them and couldn’t afford them, but I love to have them. The Corvette I have is 1964, the year I was born. My uncle was married that year and he built that. He sold it to me for $20,000, which is what he had into it, with the promise I couldn’t sell it until he passed away. I have a 1967 Lincoln Continental with suicide doors.”

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