The RM Auctions Hershey 2019 sale was held October 10-11 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania, resulting in $15,569,594 in total sales and a 97 percent sell-through rate. RM’s 13th annual sale during the AACA Eastern Fall Meet featured more than 200 cars and an array of memorabilia that attracted bidders from 23 countries.
The star lot of the RM Auctions Hershey 2019 auction was a 1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood. Featured in the 1964 film The Carpetbaggers and believed to have been originally owned by the actor Richard Arlen, the V-16 ignited a competition between a bidder in the room and on the phone, eventually securing a final $1,221,000 (est. $900k – $1.1m). Rounding out the top three sellers was a one-of-six 1931 Marmon Sixteen Coupe offered from the Collection of Jack Dunning and complete with its original body, engine, and chassis at a final $550,000, while a restored 1911 Oldsmobile Model 28 Autocrat Roadster offered from the collection of Jim Bradley reached a final $495,000.
The 2019 RM Hershey sale auction kicked off with the session dedicated solely to the Merrick Auto Museum Collection, comprised of over 100 American Brass Era, high-wheeler, and pre-war cars, alongside a large selection of automobilia — offered without reserve. The top seller of the collection was the 1925 Duesenberg Model A Four-Passenger Sport Phaeton by Millspaugh & Irish. Equipped with a race-bred overhead-cam eight-cylinder engine and formerly on display for 15 years at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, the Model A sold for a final $236,500 (est. $150k – $200k). The 1900 Rockwell Hansom Cab, the first motorized taxicab in New York City, incited bidding in the auction room before selling for $132,000, shattering its pre-sale estimate of $35,000 – $45,000. Additional highlights include a Paris-built 1900 De Dion-Bouton Type E Vis-à-Vis Voiturette, which achieved $121,000, a 1916 Rauch & Lang JX-6 Dual Control Electric Coach, which brought $110,000, more than doubling its pre-sale high estimate, and a 1930 Cord L-29 Brougham, which sold for $103,400 (est. $50k – $75k).
Unusual motor cars also starred at the 2019 RM Auctions Hershey sale, with a pair of vintage trucks from the William B. Ruger Jr. Collection firing up the audience on Friday. The first, a 1924 American LaFrance Type 40 Combination Truck, was offered from 65 years of ownership under the Ruger family and sold for $115,500 to a bidder in the room (est. $35k – $45k). A 1936 American LaFrance ‘Senior’ 400 Series Squad Truck, equipped with a 240 hp overhead-cam V-12 engine, also sold to a participant in the auction room, achieving $82,500 (est. $40k – $60k).
Beyond the cars, the Hershey sale featured 128 lots of memorabilia, signage, vintage motor car parts, original artwork, and ephemera. Among a host of pieces were the Hot Air Balloon Ceiling Fans offered from the Merrick Auto Museum Collection, which soared past their estimate to a final price of $6,037 on Thursday night. The Ferrari Cavallino Porcelain Dinnerware Set by Richard Ginori opened a bidding contest between three bidders on the phone and one in the room , eventually more than tripling its pre-sale high estimate and bringing $18,400.
“Hershey has proved once again to be the perfect destination for the offering of private collections and important early automotive design,” said Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s Group, following the auction. “Both sale nights saw numerous lots secure prices well above their pre-sale estimates, demonstrating a very strong interest in historic American motor cars. We also saw continued lively bidding in the auction room and from clients participating remotely via phone and internet for rare cars from single-owner collections offered without reserve. We could not be more pleased with this year’s results, a show of strength for the Brass and Classic era market.”
RM Auctions Hershey 2019 – Top Ten Auction Results
1. 1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton (Engine 702478) – $1,221,000
2. 1931 Marmon Sixteen Coupe (Serial 16 141 675) – $550,000
3. 1911 Oldsmobile Model 28 Autocrat Roadster (Engine 66058) – $495,000
4. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Limousine (Engine J-430) – $451,000
5. 1908 Oldsmobile Limited Prototype (Chassis 14) – $423,500
6. 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Drophead Coupe (Chassis 1713) – $385,000
7. 1929 Auburn 120 Eight Speedster (Serial 2950505) – $341,000
8. 1915 Stutz Model 4F Bearcat (Chassis 4F-2658) – $330,000
9. 1927 Lincoln Model L Imperial Victoria (Chassis. 47064) – $297,000
10. 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria (Vehicle 747-6525) – $286,000
The RM Sotheby’s Group continues its 2019 auction calendar with its 13th annual London sale on 24 October at a new location — the Olympia event space in West Kensington. The London auction will see 84 cars, 13 lots of automobilia and one motorcycle cross the block.