Buyers of Australia’s most famous neon sign revealed

Six months after Coca-Cola put Australia’s most famous outdoor sign up for auction on eBay, the winning bidders for the individual letters have been revealed.

The iconic Coke sign has found several new homes.

Letters from the iconic Kings Cross Coke sign have new homes

Coke announced the auction to benefit the Wayside Chapel in September after the decision to decommission the neon sign which had towered over the Kings Cross intersection for more than 40 years.

The auction raised more than $100,000 with four bidders sharing the letters, that range in size from two metres to six metres, between them.

James Culkin now has several letters stored in a barn in the Southern Highlands.

James Culkin now has several letters stored in a barn in the Southern Highlands

Four of the letters – ‘C’, ‘C’, ‘c’ and ‘l’ were bought by James Culkin on behalf of a Southern Highlands art collector and will be used to help promote the local arts community and could potentially be used as the centrepiece of a local art competition.

“One idea that we have is that we’re going to use the three ‘c’s and the ‘l’ as the foundations for an art competition,” Culkin told Coke.

“We’ll approach artists to reconfigure the letters into an artwork, ideally a free-standing sculpture.”

Other winners of the auction are keen to see the letters remain close to their spiritual home.

Max Shand bought the ‘a’ and ‘o’ and after restoring the original neon array he said they would be able to be displayed around the neighbourhood and wider Sydney at events.

“I intend for these Coke letters to always be within the general proximity of the Kings Cross area. Wherever someone wants the ‘a’, it will go,” Shand said.

Kings Cross local Wendy Knobel walked past the sign every day.

Kings Cross local Wendy Knobel walked past the sign every day

Local resident Wendy Knobel, a collector of neon from the 1940s and 1950s is another buyer who will keep her ‘o’ local.

“Every day I would walk past the Coke sign to come to work and walk past the Wayside Chapel,” Knobel said.

“You can’t help but look at it. The neon is on and I’d stop, stand, have a bit of a look and then keep walking.”

Simon Anquetil said he still did not know what he would do with the letter ‘a’ but he enjoyed the fact he now owned a part of Sydney’s history.

“I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with that three-metre-tall letter,” Anquetil said.

“I’m hoping it will make a really cool conversation piece somewhere on display for all to see and ask the question of how I found it.”


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