RM Sotheby’s Andrews Collection – Auction Report

RM Sotheby’s, Paul and Chris Andrews Collection, Fort Worth, Texas May 2, 2015

RM Sotheby’s has demonstrated that it is without peer in single owner collection auctions, establishing a record of effective promotion, lavish presentation and meticulous on-site event management that regularly produces eye-opening, record-setting results.

Paul and Chris Andrews, pére et fils, are the latest collectors to take advantage of RM Sotheby’s expertise, disposing of 78 vehicles at their private facility in Ft. Worth, Texas on May 2 in an all No Reserve auction.

The collection was notable for its scope, from rare Ferraris to rust-o-rod Fords, from magnificent multi-cylinder classics to a ’53 Bel Air convertible, from Pebble Beach quality restorations to semi-finished projects. The introduction to the nearly five pound, 12×12 inch catalog aptly described the diversity of father’s and son’s interests and how they have played off each other to expand their individual experiences. Aside from its bulk, the catalog itself was a work of art, featuring original artwork of each car by Stefan Marjoram, consistent photographic presentation and an imaginative layout. It’s probably appropriate that it is too big to fit in a file drawer and will have to be shelved in a fitting display.

Several of the cars set records but bidders’ focus was on the big cars of which fifteen were sold on hammer bids of seven figures. Some of the more modest vehicles seemed to be overlooked by bidders drawn by seven-figure rarities.

The top sale, not surprisingly, was a Ferrari, 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet s/n 3309SA, but it was followed by three magnificent classics; and a Packard brought more than either of the two Duesenbergs. Over thirty of the lots offered had prior auction history.

Here are the numbers:

RM Sotheby's Andrews
Cars Offered / Sold
Sale %
Average Sale
Median Sale
Total Sales
2015
78 / 78
100%
$667,573
$187,000 [28%]
$52,070,700

The Andrews kept a dozen or so selected cars, and to judge from the caliber of the deaccessioned lots the ones that remain must be very special. With $50 million in their pockets (from the cars alone, not including automobilia and music-making machines) and plenty of room in their Ft. Worth facility after the auction it won’t be a surprise to see them buying again soon.

[Andrew C. Newton made the on-site observations in Ft. Worth; comments are the responsibility of the editor.]

RM Sotheby’s Andrews Collection – Auction Report

1953 Mercury M100 Pickup
Lot # 184 1953 Mercury M100 Pickup; S/N MAC83BHQ13913; Maroon/Black vinyl; Estimate $20,000 – $30,000; Truck restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $24,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $26,400. No Reserve. 239/106hp flathead, dual exhaust, red steel wheels with hub caps and trim rings, American Classic whitewalls, dual mirrors, wood bed boards, bench seat, dash clock. – Canadian market Mercury. Quickly done matte paint with a quarter-sized chip out of the nose. Tired chrome. Some dings in the hub caps. Very good interior. Dull wood. Used engine bay and undercarriage. A level of general wear that’s appropriate and even charming on an old truck. – Rarely seen Mercury truck and a Canadian market vehicle originally, even with the noted condition issues this is a sound value in a presentable and highly usable Mercury pickup.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
Lot # 189 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe; S/N 30837S116260; Sebring Silver/Black vinyl; Estimate $80,000 – $110,000; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $230,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $253,000. No Reserve. 327/300hp, Powerglide, A/C, spinner wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, radio, dash clock. – All original and unrestored, ex-Chip Miller. Original and old-looking but complete engine bay that’s slightly grubby. Several tiny dings in the nose. Small scratch the passenger’s side door but otherwise blemish-free original paint that hasn’t lost much shine. Fantastic original interior. Showing 54,812 miles (and no one is claiming it is ‘believed to be’ all the miles it has covered), but it’s clearly been pampered for most of its 50 years on this earth. – The Fort Worth bidders looked past this car’s base engine and saw only pure, irreplaceable originality. Several people in the room very much wanted that originality and bid it to an astronomical price. This is a $50,000 Corvette with $180,000 in Chip Miller provenance and originality, ready to go the Bloomington Gold and be recognized as a Survivor (something that it troubling that it hasn’t accomplished already.)
2005 Ford GT Coupe
Lot # 191 2005 Ford GT Coupe; S/N 1FAFP90S05Y400375; Mk IV Red, White side stripes and script/Black leather; Estimate $240,000 – $280,000; Unrestored original, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $300,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $330,000. No Reserve. BBS wheels, Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, red calipers, tinted glass, McIntosh stereo, power windows, air conditioning. – Treated as an instant collectible from new with excellent paint and interior. Lightly used and blemish free with 800 miles on it. – Even this sale isn’t without a low-mile GT on offer. This one was in the Andrews collection from new and reached a price in keeping with the current craze for these cars.
1990 Lamborghini Countach Silver Anniversary Coupe, Body by Bertone
Lot # 192 1990 Lamborghini Countach Silver Anniversary Coupe, Body by Bertone; S/N ZA9CA05A1LLA12049; Rosso Siviglia/Champagne leather; Estimate $375,000 – $475,000; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $410,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $451,000. No Reserve. OZ Racing wheels, Pirelli P Zero tires, fog lights, power windows, Alpine CD stereo. – Very good paint other than a tiny chip on the driver’s side door. Excellent interior. Showing just 1,273 kilometers on the odometer and presents with a corresponding barely used condition. – Bought new in Canada and retained by its original owner until being bought by the Andrews in 2014. These final series Countaches have also spiked over the last year, causing many low mile examples like this one to emerge from hiding. Their march upwards in value doesn’t seem to be stopping, as this huge price shows.
1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Drophead Coupe, Body by Bertone
Lot # 194 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Drophead Coupe, Body by Bertone; S/N LML504; Engine # VB6E501230; Red/Red leather piped in White; Estimate $1,400,000 – $1,800,000; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,200,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,320,000. No Reserve. Dual SU carbs, centerlock wire wheels, Avon tires, fog lights, red vinyl top boot, matching luggage that fits beside the single rear seat, Autovox pushbutton radio. – Very clean engine bay. Clean undercarriage. Lightly worn interior. Very good paint. Restored in the 1980s and shown at Pebble Beach in 1987, 1997 and 2007 before making its way to the Andrews collection. Presents like a fresh restoration rather than one that’s 20 years old. – Given to Brown & Bigelow president and sales manager Charles A. Ward as a Christmas present by all his regional sales managers and emblazoned with his initials on the wheels, steering wheel, luggage and a plaque on the glovebox. Sold by RM from the Gene Ponder collection in 2007 for $847,000, then by Gooding & Company at Pebble Beach in 2009 for $1,650,000. The odometer shows just 31 more miles now than when it was on display at the Gooding auction six years ago. It is in magnificent condition, but it is hard to maintain the cachet over the years. Like the Pebble Beach Concours, cars shouldn’t turn up much more often that once every ten years.
1934 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster
Lot # 195 1934 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster; S/N 902535; Engine # 902185; Ascot Maroon, Dark Maroon fenders/Dark Red leather; Black cloth piped in Red top; Estimate $450,000 – $550,000; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $480,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $528,000. No Reserve. Red wire wheels with chrome hub caps and trim rings, BF Goodrich Silvertown blackwalls, dual enclosed sidemount spares with mirrors, Cormorant radiator mascot, Solar headlamps, single Pilot Ray, dual chrome horns, rear luggage rack, jump seat, wood steering wheel, wood shift knob, golf bag door, wood dash and window trim, Waltham dash clock, running board lights. Vehicle No. 739-54 – Small chip in the front of the driver’s side door. Long scratch on the right running board. A few light scratches on the tail. Otherwise very good paint. Excellent chrome. Very lightly worn seat upholstery. Exquisite interior wood. A solid older concours quality restoration. Original engine, chassis and body. Restored in the 1970s and again during the 1990s. Used in numerous CCCA CARavans. CCCA Senior winner. – This Packard is one of the most desirable autos of the classic period. Its big V-12 engine is smooth, quiet and powerful, its factory coachwork is refined and sleek and its restoration is nearly above reproach. Consider it all the (classic) car this much money can buy.
1963 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico, Body by Pininfarina
Lot # 196 1963 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 5029SA; Engine # 5029; Grigio Argento/Red leather; Estimate $3,500,000 – $4,500,000; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $2,600,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $2,860,000. No Reserve. Covered headlights, overdrive, Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, woodrim steering wheel, Panasonic stereo, dash clock, locking filler cap. – Still fresh. Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Phenomenal show quality car. Nearly perfect. 15th of 18 Series II LWB cars. Platinum winner at the 2011 Cavallino Classic. – Sold by Bonhams at Gstaad in 2005 to Lee Herrington for $560,922, then to the Andrews in 2008 at Gooding’s Scottsdale auction for $1,320,000. It is a marvelous automobile and a design statement. Its result should be compared with what it would buy in Ferraris of comparable design, performance and rarity, not in relation to its earlier transactions, but … its profit will make up for any number of lesser losses later in the auction.
1957 Chevrolet Corvette FI Convertible
Lot # 197 1957 Chevrolet Corvette FI Convertible; S/N E57S104916; Engine # F503EL; Cascade Green/Beige vinyl; Estimate $120,000 – $140,000; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $155,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $170,500. No Reserve. 283/283hp fuel injection, 4-speed, spinner wheel covers, BF Goodrich Silvertown whitewalls, hardtop and power top, heater. – Excellent paint aside from a few chips and a crack around the filler cap. Beautiful chrome. Excellent interior. Even gaps. Multiple NCRS awards following its restoration at the beginning of the last decade. Beautiful car in a rare, pretty color with all the equipment you’d want in a ’57 Corvette, the first year the car was offered with Rochester mechanical fuel injection. An older Nabers Brothers restoration, but very well kept and still showable. 2001 Bloomington Gold, NCRS Duntov Award, and several others. – Bought new by a New York doctor who kept it until the 1990s, then restored by the Naber brothers beginning in 1998. Painted Cascade Green in place of the original Aztec Copper and equipped with a correctly date coded but non-original transmission. In the Andrews collection since 2010. It’s a fantastic car that brought the money it deserved.
1938 Lincoln Model K Coupe, Body by LeBaron
Lot # 198 1938 Lincoln Model K Coupe, Body by LeBaron; S/N K9314; Dark Blue, Black padded roof/Dark Brown leather; Estimate $250,000 – $350,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $210,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $231,000. No Reserve. Greyhound radiator mascot, body color steel wheels with chrome hub caps and trim rings, BF Goodrich Silvertown wide whitewalls, Depress Beam headlamps, bench seat, golf bag door, no rumble seat, wood window trim, dome interior courtesy light, opening rear window, dash clock. – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Represented as matching numbers. The final LeBaron Coupe built and originally sold in New York. Later acquired by King Hussein of Jordan. Acquired by the Andrews in the late 2000s and received extensive mechanical service. Showable as is, but probably best for touring in singular style. – This was an older restoration but in Dark Blue when it was sold in 1998 by Coys at Chiswick for $75,526. It obviously has had subsequent cosmetics as well as the documented engine overhaul in the Andrews’ ownership, and is pleasing in its authenticity and presentation. It has remarkable style, fit for a King, and is appropriately priced at this level.
1931 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Coupe
Lot # 200 1931 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Coupe; S/N 16144705; Engine # 16694; Burgundy, Silver/Red leather; Grey cloth top; Estimate $700,000 – $900,000; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,200,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,320,000. No Reserve. Dual exhaust, Depress Beam headlamps, dual chrome horns, dual enclosed sidemounts, dual Sportlite Model S spotlights, chrome wire wheels, Firestone wide whitewalls, gray cloth top boot, armrest, engine turned dash, jump seat, rear luggage rack, golf bag door. – Microblisters on the fenders. Two light scratches on the left front fender. Lightly scratched chrome wheel covers. Visibly worn seats. Light scratches around the top boot. Was an exquisite show car, but not quite any more. – One of three sixteen cylinder motorcars in the Andrews collection. The Marmon had the Cadillac beat on power, but the Caddy came first and thanks in large part to the Great Depression, the Sixteen was the last production Marmon. This car began to undergo restoration in the 1970s, but it passed through several owners and wasn’t completed until the early 2000s, sold at RM’s Arizona auction in concours condition for $456,500 in 2005, then sold to the Andrews at Meadow Brook in 2007 for $726,000. Its odometer shows just 34 more miles now than it did in 2007, but the car is ageing from more than miles. A gorgeous, distinctive automobile, it doesn’t wear its convertible coupe coachwork with the same panache of other, closed Marmon Sixteens.

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  1. “It is an open question why a good Range Rover like this should sell for only 1/3 the price of an only slightly better FJ40. It is expensive to follow fads.” Could the reason be that FJ40s didn’t break down suddenly or blow their engines?
    Another wonderful report, in any case.

  2. Pietro,
    Looking at prices for FIAT Jollys, DeLoreans, Jaguars and Sixties Chevys it is hard to discern any unreliability handicap reflected in the values collectors assign to cars. “Bulletproof” is not a term applied to early Ferraris, either.