A 2005 Crown Victoria with an unusual place in golf history will cross the auction block later this month at America’s Auto Auction, Chicago.
An unmarked police vehicle being retired by the Village of Lombard, Illinois, the car figured prominently in the final day of competition during the 2012 Ryder Cup at nearby Medinah Country Club, when deputy police chief Pat Rollins whisked European golfer Rory McIlroy to the golf course with just minutes to spare before his tee-time. McIlroy’s 20-minute ride in the Crown Vic made the difference between Team Europe’s win and loss.
The 2012 Ryder Cup, held in September, was one for the record books as the best comeback cup in the event’s 85-year history. The Europeans were down 10-6 going into the final day of play, and the U.S. team required only 4.5 points to take the championship. By the end of the tournament, Europe had scored 14-1/2 points to the US team’s 13.5 points to win, a slim margin of victory that would have vanished but for McIlroy’s trip to the golf course, courtesy of the Lombard police department and the Crown Vic.
A two-time major champion and the No. 1-ranked player in the world, McIlroy thought his tee-time was at 12:25 on the last day of the competition. He was still at his hotel in Lombard when he got a phone call saying that he was actually set to tee-off at 11:25, and that he had just 25 minutes to get to Medinah Country Club. Tournament rules indicated that if he were late five minutes or less, he would lose the first hole. More than five minutes late, and he would forfeit his match. But, as luck would have it, when he got the phone call, deputy chief Rollins was preparing to leave the hotel as well, and rather than go to his next scheduled meeting, he ushered McIlroy into the front seat of the Crown Vic, radioed ahead to make sure the highway was clear, and sped him to the golf course. While the rest of the European team had arrived at least an hour early preparing for their matches, McIlroy had time only to grab an energy bar and take a few practice strokes before dashing to the first tee, arriving just three minutes before taking his first swing. He won the match, beating his opponent with a 2-and-1 victory, the single point that figured in Team Europe’s win.
The Crown Vic will cross the block during a regular dealer-only sale in late January at America’s Auto Auction, Chicago, according to the auction’s General Manager, Larry Hero. The vehicle will then be offered on eBay, where anyone interested owning an unusual piece of golf history will have the opportunity to top the high bid before the sale is finalized. Hero notes that in spite of the Crown Vic’s notoriety, the process is a routine one for the auction, which counts the Village of Lombard among its regular customers and has liquidated its vehicles at the auction for many years.
The auction is one of 10 locations operated by America’s Auto Auction, Inc. Located in Crestwood, Ill., the facility holds a dealer sale every Tuesday at 1 pm and Wednesday at 9:00 am, in addition to a simulcast sale and a highline auction. America's Auto Auction, Inc. is the fastest growing auto auction company in the country now with ten locations, in seven states; Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Georgia. For information contact Ben Lange, President, directly at America’s Auto Auction Corporate Office in Dallas, TX at (214)736-7900 or [email protected]. Additional information on all of the America’s Auto Auction facilities can be found at www.americasautoauction.com.