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RM Auctions Hershey 2012 – Auction Preview

1931 Duesenberg Model J Dual Windshield Phaeton by LeBaron
1931 Duesenberg Model J Dual Windshield Phaeton by LeBaron (photo: Darin Schnabel)

The RM Auctions Hershey 2012 sale will be held October 11–12 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, held during the AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet. A selection of approximately 120 automobiles headline this year’s auction, in addition to a series of vintage motorcycles and an assortment of memorabilia.

“Our Hershey event is a mainstay of our global auction calendar and one that clients and staff alike both look forward to every year. Boasting a strong track record for early automobiles in particular, it is truly a fall tradition for the world’s elite collectors, and combined with the AACA Meet, provides a wonderful celebration of automotive history,” said Rob Myers, Chairman and Founder, RM Auctions.

A featured attraction at the 2012 RM Auctions Hershey sale are ten automobiles from the private collection of Ray Bowersox, headlined by a 1931 Duesenberg Model J Dual Windshield ‘Barrelside’ Phaeton by LeBaron, J299. One of only seven built and six known survivors, J299 was originally owned by Phil Berg, agent to numerous stars and producers of Hollywood. This Model J was the winner of the famous 1932 race at Lake Muroc, against the Mercedes-Benz S Boattail Speedster owned by Zeppo and Chico Marx. With a $25,000 wager and pride of owning the faster vehicle at stake, the Duesenberg bested the Benz in front of a crowd of more than 1,000 spectators, including Hollywood royalty Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Al Jolson, Carole Lombard, Mae West, and legendary race car designer and builder Harry Miller. Subsequent to Berg’s ownership, J299 passed through a succession of well-documented owners before making its way into the Bowersox Collection in 1985, where it was thoroughly restored and has been meticulously maintained (Estimate: $1,200,000–$1,500,000).

Another Duesenberg on offer from the Bowersox Collection is the 1929 Duesenberg J Sport Sedan, J139, featuring coachwork by the Walter M. Murphy Company. One of only two sporting examples, this Model J has been in single ownership since 1979, over which time it has been extensively maintained (Estimate: $700,000–$900,000).

In addition to automobiles from the Bowersox Collection, the 2012 RM Auctions Hershey sale will also feature nine motor cars from the estate of collector George Grew, along with six examples from the collection of Raymond Carr. With an emphasis on Brass Era automobiles, the Grew Collection, all offered without reserve, comprises nine of George’s favorite automobiles, including a 1909 Pierce-Arrow 36 HP Three-Passenger Runabout, chassis UU149, the epitome of a pre-1910 sports car (Estimate: $250,000–$350,000) and a 1913 Simplex 38 HP Five-Passenger Touring, chassis 1326, Grew’s show car of choice, having made the rounds on the East Coast and onto the Midwest (Estimate: $200,000–$240,000).

1909 Pierce-Arrow 36 HP Three-Passenger Runabout
1909 Pierce-Arrow 36 HP Three-Passenger Runabout (photo: Scott Nidermaier)

Highlights of the Raymond Carr Collection, also offered without reserve, include an award-winning 1909 Stanley Model R Roadster, chassis 4896, driven from Anchorage, Alaska to Bar Harbor, Maine in 2006 (Estimate: $150,000–$180,000) and a 1912 Baker Electric Model W Runabout, chassis 2245, the 1995 Guinness World Record holder for the first electric vehicle to travel coast-to-coast (Estimate: $180,000–$210,000).

RM Auctions Hershey 2012 – Other Notable Consignments

  • 1915 Peerless 48 HP Seven-Passenger Touring, chassis 152023, the only one known to exist and in single family ownership from new (Estimate: $275,000–$350,000);
  • 1903 Ford Model A Rear Entry Tonneau, chassis 30, heavily documented as the oldest surviving Ford sold by the Ford Motor Company (Estimate: $300,000–$500,000);
  • 1914 Packard 1-38 Runabout, chassis 38878, one of only five known remaining examples (Estimate: $425,000–$550,000);
  • 1918 Chevrolet D-Series V-8 Touring, owned by the same family since new and offered for sale for the first time in 94 years (Estimate: $35,000–$45,000, offered without reserve).
1915 Peerless 48 HP Seven-Passenger Touring
1915 Peerless 48 HP Seven-Passenger Touring (photo: Bill Bravo)
1903 Ford Model A Rear Entry Tonneau
1903 Ford Model A Rear Entry Tonneau (photo: Simon Clay)
1914 Packard 1-38 Runabout
1914 Packard 1-38 Runabout (photo: Simon Clay)

Beyond the automobiles, the Hershey auction will also lift the gavel on a series of early fire-fighting apparatuses, including an 1894 Silsby Fourth Size Horse-Drawn Steam Pumper, delivered new to Philadelphia’s Engine Company 42 (Estimate: $250,000–$350,000); a professionally restored 1868 Button Pumpable Handtub “Columbian” Fire Engine with a long competition career (Estimate: $60,000–$90,000); and a 1867 Gibbs and Gordon Soda Ash Chemical Kettle Hand Pumper, one of only two known to exist (Estimate: $12,000–$18,000).

RM Auctions Hershey 2012 – View Digital Catalog

In addition to the auction, RM will celebrate the AACA Hershey meet by returning as the presenting sponsor of the 2012 Night at the Museum at the AACA Museum. Scheduled for October 10 and themed ‘Celebrating the Motoring Hobby,’ this year’s event provides a kick start to the festivities, providing a casual atmosphere in which to mingle with fellow enthusiasts, enjoy live entertainment, and raise important funds to support the AACA group of families and its mission to preserve automotive history. For further details and ticket information, visit

For additional information, visit or call RM Auctions toll free at 1 800 211 4371 (within North America) or +1 519 352 4575 (outside North America).

RM Auctions Hershey 2012 – Auction Details

Night at the Museum: October 10, 2012 (AACA Museum, 161 Museum Drive, Hershey, PA)
Sale dates: October 11–12, 2012; auction commences at 6 p.m. ET both evenings
Preview dates: October 11–12, 2012; preview commences 9 a.m. ET both days
Location: Hershey Lodge, West Chocolate Avenue and University Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033
Admission: Admission to the auction is limited to registered bidders, consignors, and qualified media only. Bidder registration is $200 and includes an official auction catalogue and admission for two to the preview and auction.

[Source: RM Auctions]