Luxury cars, confiscated in wake of Pelham arrest, bring top dollar at auction

  • Twenty-nine high-end vehicles were auctioned off at the Orange Municipal Airport on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Adam Elaza, pictured on the right holding bidding card No. 202, confers with partners during the auction at Orange Municipal Airport on Saturday. Elaza is president of Brooklyn, New York’s Brooklyn Auto Sales, STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Twenty-nine high-end vehicles were auctioned off at the Orange Municipal Airport on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Stanley J. Paine leads an auction of 29 high-end vehicles at Orange Municipal Airport on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writer
Published: 6/10/2022 11:42:11 AM

ORANGE — Twenty-nine high-end vehicles, most of which once belonged to a New Salem man arrested in August 2020 and found dead in an abandoned Holyoke warehouse two months later, were auctioned off at Orange Municipal Airport on June 4, generating about $2.5 million.

The auction featured 13 Toyota Supras, a sports car made famous by “The Fast and the Furious” film franchise. There were also eight BMW M3s and two each of the Honda S2000, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Nissan 350Z.

The Northwestern district attorney’s office had seized a total of 37 cars, valued at more than $1 million, from Cory A. Taylor, 41, who was arrested in Pelham following an Aug. 21, 2020, traffic stop. State Police allegedly found approximately 138 pounds of marijuana in the van he was driving. Taylor was bailed out the same day, but authorities later seized from him a cache of 24 illegal guns, more marijuana and millions of dollars in cash found in built-in compartments in buildings he occupied, including an old firehouse on Main Street in Holyoke. No foul play is suspected in his death.

After the auctioneer’s commission and other expenses, the DA’s office receives $1 million and state and local police agencies another $1 million. This forfeiture money is governed by state law, which states it may be put toward protracted investigations, technical equipment or expertise, as matching funds for federal grants and other initiatives the district attorney or police chiefs deem appropriate, including prevention initiatives, according to Laurie Loisel, a spokeswoman for the DA’s office. The money may not be used for operating expenses.

The DA’s office tapped Stanley J. Paine Auctioneers to sell most of the seized vehicles. Bidders came from around the country, looking to secure some of the coveted collection. High interest was apparent with the swift raising of bidding cards, while auctioneer Stanley J. Paine talked hastily to keep up.

“Come on, guys, we’re running out of cars here!” he said jovially to the crowd. “You’ve gotta start bidding! … It’s only money! The more you spend, the more it’s worth!”

Vehicles sold from around $40,000 to more than $200,000. Adam Elaza, president of Brooklyn, New York’s Brooklyn Auto Sales, made the cross-state trip to be one of the day’s high bidders.

“I’ve known about the collection for a while,” he said of his reason for traveling.

He estimated spending a combined $500,000 to $600,000 on a total of five vehicles on Sunday, including $195,000 on a Toyota Supra.

“It’s just something I grew up around,” he said of his passion for cars.

Elaza said he plans to resell some of the cars and keep others for his personal collection.

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