RM Auctions Art of the Automobile sale
RM Auctions Art of the Automobile sale

RM Auctions New York City 2013 – Auction Report

RM Auctions New York City 2013 – Auction Report Page Three

1933 Duesenberg Model SJ 4-Dr. Sedan Beverly
Lot # 124 1933 Duesenberg Model SJ 4-Dr. Sedan Beverly, Body by Murphy; S/N 2538; Engine # J-512; Deep lavender, Dark lavender leather/Grey cloth, Blue carpets; Estimate $2,000,000 – $2,500,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $1,600,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,760,000. – Chrome wire wheels, blackwall tires, dual enclosed sidemounts with chrome rings and mirrors, single Pilot-Ray, mesh hood sides, outside exhaust headpipes; Hygrometer, altimeter and Jaeger clock in rear with center armrest seats for two – Duesenberg supercharger installed for its second owner, Powel Crosley, Jr., and original coachwork swapped from another Duesenberg chassis to this chassis-only delivery. The supercharger is an original Duesenberg part acquired by Lee Herrington before restoration (perhaps the one sold at Christie’s at Lyndhurst in 1998 for $266,500?) Magnificent older concours restoration with open fenders instead of the skirted fenders as delivered to Powel Crosley, Jr. A-C-D Festival Best of Show and Pebble Beach Best in Class in 2008. Shows a little age but no use except driving on and off show fields. – Represented as ‘factory-supercharged’, that’s a bit of stretch for this factory branch upgraded car. The ‘original’ body is the first installed on this chassis, but it had been on an earlier Duesenberg before it got here and on its SJ chassis the body had skirted fenders. Quibbles out of the way, it is a spectacular automobile, beautifully restored, and sets a standard for closed Duesenbergs. It is a pretty mixed-up car, but not untypical of Duesenbergs of the period and it has less mix’n’match than many of its type. The contrast with Powel Crosley’s diminutive pre- and post-war microcars seems like suggesting starving multitudes who can’t get bread, ‘Let them eat cake’.
1929 Ford 'Dick Flint' Roadster
Lot # 125 1929 Ford ‘Dick Flint’ Roadster; S/N; Red/Tan; Estimate $700,000 – $900,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $525,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $577,500. – 286 cubic inch Mercury flathead, 3 Stromberg 97’s on Edelbrock intake, Eddie Meyer heads, Winfield cam, Halibrand quick change, chrome suspension with transverse leaf springs, hydraulic brakes, chrome nerf bars, track style nose, full belly pans, Auburn instrument panel, Zephyr gears – Built by Valley Custom Shop in the early 50’s for Dick Flint, turned 143.54mph at El Mirage in 1950. Concours restoration for Don Orosco, better than perfect in every way and 2001 Pebble Beach Concours Best in Class. – An unusual car in New York, but its quality, history and panache shone through the Big Apple’s glitz and brought a healthy if not sensational price. It required some explanation to most of the casual onlookers but its appeal wasn’t lost on a healthy contingent. The estimate is optimistically generous, like the IPO price of a tech startup with no revenue on NASDAQ. Selling at a discount to the estimate is no knock on the Dick Flint Roadster. This is serious money for a magnificent roadster.
2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Bleu Nuit
Lot # 126 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Bleu Nuit; S/N VF9SK2C24BM795010; Engine # ;/; Estimate $2,000,000 – $2,800,000; Not evaluated; Hammered Sold at $2,100,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $2,310,000. – – 350 miles from new. – A New York City trophy car, one and only of its configuration. With 350 miles from new it’s a reasonable bet it’s never seen even half of its electronically limited 220mph top speed.
1958 BMW 507 Series II Roadster
Lot # 127 1958 BMW 507 Series II Roadster; S/N 70180; Silver, Black hardtop/Green leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $1,000,000 – $1,400,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $1,500,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,650,000. – Nardi woodrim steering wheel, Becker radio, two tops – Good clearcoat repaint, thin trim chrome, good upholstery showing some use. Dirty dashboard knobs. Orderly underhood. A sound and usable older restoration to good driver condition. – Pathetically wimpy performance rescued from indifference only by Albrecht von Goertz’ fabulous body design, the BMW 507 is a triumph of appearance over substance. That, however, does nothing to diminish its visual appeal although this is a mediocre example bought for a price approaching double its realistic value.
1958 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Convertible
Lot # 128 1958 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Convertible; S/N 589M12628; Black/Red, White leather; Black vinyl top; Estimate $275,000 – $375,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $235,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $258,500. – 371/312hp J-2 engine, automatic, air conditioning, power antenna, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, air suspension, P/S, P/B, Trans-Portable radio – Concours restored and 54,776 miles from new. Excellent paint, brilliant chrome, supple upholstery, sharp, clean showroom quality underbody. AACA National First Prize and many others including the R.E. Olds Memorial Trophy in 2003. As good as it gets, even ten years old, and way better than new. – On any other day buyers might expect to pay $100,000 for a J-2 Olds 98 convertible, but this one has just about every option an Oldsmobile could hope to have. Does that double the value? The New York bidders made up their minds at this exalted value and the consignor was satisfied. In a sale styled ‘The Art of the Automobile’ the concept seems a bit stretched, but this was one of the more affordable (if that term can be applied in relative terms) cars of the day. Against some others here it is affordable, if not a good value.
1931 Minerva AL Convertible Sedan
Lot # 129 1931 Minerva AL Convertible Sedan, Body by Rollston; S/N 80105; Green, Dark Green accent/Beige cloth; Green cloth top; Estimate $900,000 – $1,400,000; Older restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $600,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $660,000. – Lefthand drive, body color wheel discs, dual sidemounts with chrome bands and mirrors, rollup division, Supralux headlights – Built for Henry Walker Bagley (son-in-law of R.J. Reynolds), later owned by D. Cameron Peck. Restored by Steve Babinsky in 1998 for Charles Morse. First in class at Pebble Beach in 1999 and a later winner at Meadow Brook, Amelia Island and Louis Vuitton in New York. A quality older concours restoration still with excellent paint, bright chrome, crisp interior and top. Even the polished aluminum is consistently bright and satiny. – Sold by RM at Villa d’Este in 2011 for $746,014 (Euros 526,400) and passed at Bonhams Scottsdale Auction in January of this year at a reported bid of $850,000, this result reflects its lack of attention and detail in an otherwise high quality, even glitzy, New York display. Lost in the crowd, it brought a reasonable price equivalent to Euros 490,000, a tidy discount to its Villa d’Este result.
1954 Pegaso Z-102 Berlinetta Series II, Body by Saoutchik
Lot # 130 1954 Pegaso Z-102 Berlinetta Series II, Body by Saoutchik; S/N 0102-150-0148; Pearl White, Silver roof/Pearl White leather; Estimate $800,000 – $1,000,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $725,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $797,500. – Chrome wire wheels, blackwall tires, Radiomatic radio, heater, Marchal head and driving lights – Restored like new with fresher cosmetics. Paint, upholstery and major chrome are impeccable. Although originally built with little nerf bars they were lost many years ago and (thankfully) left off in the restoration. Some exterior trim needs more attention. Panels fit flush and gaps are even. Represented as ‘original major components’. – While Saoutchik’s coachwork may be extravagant it is definitely eye-catching and instantly identifiable as a Pegaso. It was one of the rarest automobiles in ‘The Art of the Automobile’, and deserved to pop out of its estimate range, if any car in the sale did making it one of the better values in a generally expensive venue.
1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study, Body by Boano
Lot # 131 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study, Body by Boano; S/N 58WA10902; Orange/Black, White leather; Estimate $2,000,000 – $2,500,000; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $1,550,000 – 341/200hp V-8, automatic, P/S – Extravagant “Exclusive Study” displayed at the 1955 Turin Motor Show, later shipped to Henry Ford II in the U.S. and possibly given by Hank to his pal Errol Flynn. Restored by Jim Cox to Pebble Beach Class-winning condition in 2001, later won the Lincoln Trophy at Pebble Beach. No longer fresh but barely used. – Bought amid great theater at Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction in 2006 for $1,375,000, a price that was too much for it at the time. The reported high bid here should have been enough to buy it. It really is an object, not a car (although to its credit it has completed the Tour d’Elegance at Pebble Beach twice) and it’s had a great run through the most important concours but that also means its show invitations are extremely limited for the next owner, at least for a few years.
1960 FMR TG 500 'Tiger' Kabinenroller
Lot # 132 1960 FMR TG 500 ‘Tiger’ Kabinenroller; S/N 21027; Yellow, Black fenders/Black; Clear Plexiglas top; Estimate $150,000 – $125,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $125,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $137,500. No Reserve – Bubble top, whitewall tires, hubcaps, fender mirrors, translucent windshield visor, rear-mounted spare – Very well and thoroughly restored. Excellent paint, very good interior and chrome plating. Polished aluminum trim has some flaws and scratches. Top speed is (or was) 78mph. Anyone who attempts to assay the truth of that claim on a public highway full of Excursions and Suburbans should undergo psychiatric evaluation for a death wish. – This Tiger looks like a bargain compared with the $322,000 RM got for s/n 20554 in the Bruce Weiner microcar auction in February, but appropriately priced to s/n 21035 sold in September by Bonhams at Goodwood for $130,282.

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Show Comments (8)

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  1. Thank you for capturing the magic. The crowd in the days before the auction was a funny mix of plutocrats and humble types (like me) with their children, and every one of us ogled the cars. Come back, Mr. Carey, and I’ll buy you a superb dinner with wine that will run under $50 a head. Promise. That’s the joy of New York.

  2. Rick , I also remember Arlan Ettinger’s Guernseys Auction House holding classic car sales in Manhattan , one in 1989 ( ? ) at the Jacob Javits Centre and another in the early 90s on ( I think ) pier 94 ….alway enjoy reading your posts

  3. Rick, the photographs are awesome. And, as you inspect the cars, you report on the ‘niggling’ details that bother you, or aren’t right. I call your attention to your description of Lot 114 – the Auburn Speedster, where you say some dust was left in ‘hard to reach prices’. Perhaps a Freudian slip?

    1. Tom,
      A slip, but not Freudian.
      I use a Windows slate computer with handwriting recognition and sometimes it slips in a word Windows likes better than what I intended. I don’t always catch them in the editing. I’ll ask Jamie to correct it when he has a chance.

  4. Funny I have one of those Ferrarina’s, was a gift to my wife new some 55 years ago. Guess my 3 year old grandson better be careful driving that thing!

    1. As the grandfather of three boys under 4 years old I cannot imagine anything, I mean ANYTHING, better than seeing any of them wail on a Ferrarina that’d been in the family for 55 years. Your grandson can’t really hurt it, just add kid-patina.
      Turn him loose. It’s just a ‘thing’ that is made better by the YouTube videos. Painted, polished, chromed and waxed it is only wall decor, a waste of the grampa experience.

      1. Thank you Rick, also if at any point you’d like to get the skinny on the real story about these cars I’d be happy to help. I had the good fortune of meeting Enzo Monari who made them years later with my father in-law at his home in Modena Italy. As an aside the cars where actually produced by his company named Savigini Monari in Modena and they had serial number plates riveted onto the bodies with both chassis and motor numbers stamped into them which ours retains

        1. Hello Victor, thanks for sharing this great information about your father in law. I am doing some research on these Ferrarina cars. I noticed on a brochure I found that the logo of the company is MS Modena Italy. Tese Two letter MS could stand for Morani Savigni. I would love to gather more information. If you feel like sharing some let me know, here is my contact: [email protected] thanks, Aurélien