‘Midnight Grace’ An Amazing Auction Item At Monterey

  • Specially Built Suburban Up For Sale This Week At Prestigious Russo & Steele Event
  • Auction Set For Thursday Through Saturday


CHATTANOOGA, TENN.(August 5 ,2015) – A 14-month fund-raising project by the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer is being showcased this week at the 15th Annual Russo and Steele Collector Automotive Auction in Monterey, California, with the auctioning of “Midnight Grace,” a specially built 1971 Chevrolet Suburban.

The Chattanooga-based foundation has worked with sponsors and benefactors to restore – and reinvent – the three-door vintage SUV, preparing it for auction. All proceeds of the sale will benefit the Foundation, directly funding a variety of innovative services for children and their families battling pediatric cancer. The auction is set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 290 Figueroa Street in Monterey’s downtown waterfront area, and is part of Monterey’s Historic Car Week; it is being held concurrent with the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Monterey Historic Race Weekend.

The vehicle was originally purchased by James and Amy Jo Osborn, the Chairman and President, respectively, of the Foundation that they started in 2006 after the death of their infant son, Austin Hatcher Osborn, due to pediatric cancer. The Osborns provided the initial funding of the rebuild but also received extensive support from a variety of vendor partners. The approximate cost of the rebuild: $180,000.

The “Midnight Grace,” name resulted from an on-line naming contest sponsored by Kansas-based, LMC Truck. LMC Truck provided all replacement panels and interior parts for the restoration. More than 7,000 people entered the contest, offering more than 20,000 possible names for the Suburban. The winning contestant won a trip for two to Las Vegas.

Midnight Grace’s overall build was done by Chimera Customs of Palm Harbor, Florida.; the high-performance engine was assembled and donated by Katech, a Michigan-based company specializing in high-end engine design, prototyping, testing, research and development, manufacturing and modifications. ­ The connection with Katech resulted from the company’s involvement in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) sports car competition; the Foundation is an official “Proud Charity” of IMSA.

Support for the restoration has also come from the following companies: J.W. Speaker Engineered Lighting Solutions; ridetech Air Ride Technologies; Flowmaster; Be Cool; TCI Automotive; Classic Performance Products; Brenton Productions; Vintage Air; Rear View Safety; Holley Performance; MSD; Swisstrax; Candlewood Suites; ATI Super Damper; and Auto Meter Competition Instruments.