Auctions America Auburn Fall 2014 – Auction Report

Auctions America by RM, Auburn Fall, Auburn, Indiana, August 28-31, 2014

2014 is the fifth year since RM’s Auctions America brought new life to the Auburn Auction Park. Results have more than doubled since 2010 and although this year’s sale was down slightly in the number of cars, total sale and sale percentage from last year the cars may have been Auctions America’s best quality offering since it took over.

Auburn Fall is a tradition. Closely following the Monterey marathon that saw $100 million sales by three different auction companies and close to half a billion dollars in total sales by everyone calling themselves an ‘auction’ in Monterey, Auburn Fall is where real enthusiasts, collectors and spectators return, a tradition that RM and Auctions America have continued at great cost and effort.

Now encompassing a large and growing flea market, a similarly large and growing car corral for private sales and a food midway that rivals the best Midwest county fairs, every minute at Auburn Fall is fully occupied.

[Gee, you think I like coming back here?]

This isn’t Monterey. But Auburn Fall isn’t supposed to be. It’s its own, unique, gathering.

Keep this in mind: at Auburn Fall this year 717 cars changed hands.

That’s only 74 cars fewer than changed hands in all the Monterey auctions combined this year with their $454.2 million total and $71,690 median transaction.

Auburn Fall is at the core of the car collecting hobby. People can come and actually aspire – without having low employee numbers at Amazon or Google with stock options to match – to find a neat car, take it home, give it love and enjoy driving it.

Here are the numbers:

Auctions America Auburn Fall
Cars Offered / Sold
Sale %
Average Sale
Median Sale
Total Sales
1056 / 717
$23,500 [66.3%]
1135 / 775
$24,475 [68.8%]
988 / 636
$19,030 [68.2%]
1145 / 685
878 / 417
$19,470 [61.0%]

Auctions America Auburn Fall 2014 – Auction Report

The Heavy Hitters:

1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton, Body by La Grande
Lot # 5145 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton, Body by La Grande; S/N 2552; Engine # J-523; Dark Red, Red sweep panel and tonneau/Tan leather; Beige cloth top; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,150,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,265,000 – Chrome wire wheels, wide whitewalls, dual sidemounts with mirrors, luggage trunk, dual taillights, Pilot-Rays, chrome long trumpet horns behind left sidemount, spotlight, outside exhaust headpipes, dual windshields. Running naturally aspirated and apparently without a supercharger being supplied. – Very good older paint, chrome and interior. Chassis shows use but is still very clean. Top is lightly soiled but fits well. Upholstery shows almost no use. An impressively restored and maintained SJ, freshly recommissioned and serviced by Brian Joseph. – A beautiful old car, restored to high standards that still present well. The absence of a supercharger is, however, a serious shortcoming, making it something like a ‘Model non-SJ’ or described as having ‘lost its S.’ The price it brought is a tribute to the dual cowl phaeton coachwork’s design and balance and to the (expensive) potential of finding and installing a supercharger.
1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Speedster
Lot # 7100 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Speedster; S/N 32724E; Engine # CH3680; Cigarette Cream/Saddle Brown leather; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $385,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $423,500 – 280/150hp, 3-speed, dual ratio, radio, outside headpipes, body color wire wheels, wide whitewalls. – Represented as an early factory-built Speedster. Sound older paint, chrome and interior. Early CCCA National First Prize (#0956) and looks its age. Oily and aged underhood. Sound and presentable but only in driver condition. – An old car in decent shape but no better than a sound tour car that brought a superior price for its condition. There is no offered A-C-D certification of its original configuration as a supercharged speedster, but it is identified as such by Randy Ema in a 1996 A-C-D Club Newsletter.
2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition
Lot # 4150 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition; S/N 1FAFP90S16Y401469; Gulf Blue, Orange stripes/Black leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $327,273 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $360,000 – 5.4 L, 550hp, 6-speed, CD stereo, A/C. Heritage Edition paint. – 5,500 miles and like new, even the driver’s seat. – Ford GTs are, by and large, $250K cars with minimal mileage. This one has more than minimal, but not a lot of, miles, so what accounts for the price? The paint job. Ford GTs, even as you read this, are migrating toward paint shops like multi-colored lemmings to be painted Gulf Blue with Orange stripes in search of the ‘Heritage Edition’ premium.
2005 Ford GT
Lot # 5127 2005 Ford GT; S/N 1FAFP90S35Y400029; White, Blue stripes/Black leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $300,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $330,000 – McIntosh stereo, Carroll Shelby signature, #29 of the first 50 ‘VIP’ Ford GTs. – One owner from new, 1,800 miles, flawless. – But not Gulf Blue with orange stripes. This is an exceptional price for a Ford GT even with the low miles and early build status. The Ford GT is one of the hottest recent supercars. They don’t depreciate, they’re going up in value.
1958 DeSoto Firedome Convertible
Lot # 4134 1958 DeSoto Firedome Convertible; S/N LS23881; Metallic Green, Light Green accent/Light Green, cloth inserts; White vinyl top; Older restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $175,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $192,500. No Reserve – 361/295hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, wheel covers, whitewalls, pushbutton radio. – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Underbody and engine compartment are like new. Inside door pockets are factory new. A quality restoration, done right and an AACA winner in 2003 backed up by another Grand National First Place in 2014. – Easily one of the most charismatic cars at Auburn Fall, a meticulous restoration that brought onlookers to it again and again with its subtly attractive colors and then rewarded closer looks with the caliber of its presentation. A fabulous price for a Firedome convertible, but this is a fabulous Firedome. If a buyer’s desire is to own the best the premium paid for this Firedome is a realistic price for the confidence of knowing it’s a car than needs no excuses.
1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Convertible Coupe
Lot # 5144 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Convertible Coupe; S/N 31940F; Engine # FC2752; Cigarette Cream/Burgundy leather; Tan cloth top; Older restoration, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $170,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $187,000 – Outside exhaust headpipes, fog lights, radio, heater, wide whitewalls. – Sound and shiny but edge chipped and scratched old paint. Badly surface cracked old leather upholstery and steering wheel. Sound chrome. Clean and orderly underhood. A well-used old restoration with plenty of miles but remains a desirable tour car. – Josh Malks’ Cord 810/812 book has this car as 31940H with engine FC2752 but with Convertible Phaeton coachwork. There is no representation of the original bodywork offered. Offered at RM’s Arizona auction in 2006 with a high bid of $187,000, then at Meadow Brook seven months later where it was bid to only $140,000. As a tired old restoration with a question mark after its body style the price it brought here is generous.

The Others:

1978 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Coupe
Lot # 1091 1978 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Coupe; S/N 1087L8N542962; White/Tan; Visually maintained, largely original, 4 condition; Hammered Sold at $9,250 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $10,175 – 350/185hp, 4-speed, power steering, power brakes, dual side mirrors. – An old cosmetic restoration. Solid body with minor dents, touched chips, and minor surface rust. Brightwork is very scratched and scuffed, taillights are cracked and show moisture accumulation. Engine shows neglect and hasty overspray on components. Chassis has been painted and the exhaust has been pieced together. Interior is faded and worn, center console had been taken apart and painted and poorly pieced together. A great starting point for restoration. – The smog-strangled 350 doesn’t do much for this Z/28’s value but among its contemporaries it is a decent and usable example albeit one that needs a great deal of work. Nearly every dollar spent on restoration should be chalked up to an expenditure on a labor of love, though, with little expectation of getting anything back. This is what it’s worth.
1966 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
Lot # 1092 1966 Cadillac DeVille Convertible; S/N F6177255; Red/White; White top; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $29,091 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $32,000 – Power steering, power brakes, spotlights, wire wheels, whitewall tires, fender skirts, power top, power seats, air conditioning, power windows. – Recent cosmetic restoration. Paint is very good and panels are very straight with good gaps. All brightwork sparkles and well-fitting top looks new. Engine compartment is clean. Undercarriage remains untouched, with rust and oily residue. Interior has next to no wear. – The odometer on this DeVille convertible shows 64,036 miles and although the consignor doesn’t claim they’re all it’s covered the condition suggests they are. The result here represents a post-block negotiated sale that both the buyer and the seller should be reasonably satisfied with.
1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS 396 Convertible
Lot # 2058 1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS 396 Convertible; S/N 124677N146386; Red/Red; White vinyl top; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $33,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $36,300 – 396/375hp, 4-speed, 12-bolt Positraction rear end, power steering, front disc brakes, Rallye wheels, rear spoiler, hide-away headlights, full instruments including tachometer, fold-down rear seat. – Paint has a few minor blemishes. Glass has a fair amount of scratches, brightwork is in much better shape. Panel fit and gaps are very good. Engine compartment is clean but not jarringly so. Underneath is clean and well done. Interior has mild wear. All around a usable, but used, older restored driver. – Offered with the accoutrements of the high output 375hp 396, but without the security of any documentation or even representation of the engine’s originality, which accounts for its seemingly bargain price that is a realistic compromise between confidence and doubt.