The Bonhams Tupelo Auto Museum auction was held April 26-27, 2019 at the Tupelo Auto Museum in Tupelo, Mississippi, resulting in more than $10 million in total sales. The two-day, no-reserve auction featured over 170 cars and 330 pieces of automobilia, with all proceeds to be donated to education.
Founded by the late Frank K. Spain, the Tupelo Auto Museum was considered one of the best in the South and the enthusiastic turnout supported that claim. Filled to capacity, the museum auction hosted bidders from across America and around the world.
The star of the Bonhams Tupelo Auto Museum auction was the 1948 Tucker 48. With two of the great-grandsons of Preston Tucker in attendance, the American automobile had no shortage of interest. Bidding started at $700,000 and after calls by collectors on the phone and in the audience, sold for $1,985,000.
Other highlights included the auction catalog cover car, the 1934 Duesenberg Model J Prince of Wales Berline, that achieved $450,500; the 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe that was bought for $335,000 and the 1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Cabriolet that sold for $196,000.
“We’re delighted with the turnout and the results,” said auctioneer and Bonhams VP of Motoring, Rupert Banner. “The collection created by Spain over the decades was a cornucopia of wonderful machines representing the incredible evolution of the motorcar throughout the ages.”
Bonhams Tupelo Auto Museum – Top Five Auction Results
1. 1948 Tucker 48 – $1,985,000
2. 1934 Duesenberg Model J Prince of Wales Berline – $450,500
3. 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe – $335,000
4. 1899 Knox Model A 5HP Runabout – $201,600
5. 1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Cabriolet – $196,000
Jane Spain, wife of Frank, added, “This collection represents a lifetime of love and it’s bitter-sweet to see it go, but it’s the right decision and I know Frank would agree. Plus, we were only stewards of these great cars and it’s time for them to be enjoyed by others.”