The RM Sotheby’s Hershey 2016 sale was held October 6-7 during the AACA Eastern Fall Meet in Pennsylvania, resulting in $11,581,367 in total sales and a 90 percent sell-through rate. RM’s 10th annual sale at the Hershey Lodge featured 132 total lots that attracted bidders from 18 countries.
In a catalog highlighted by a series of cars coming out of long-term ownership, a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton, J-347, was the star attraction of the two-evening sale. One of three original Murphy Dual-Cowl Phaetons, the Duesenberg was retrieved from storage at the Mexico City airport in 1962, and offered from 54 years in single-family ownership at RM’s 2016 Hershey sale. Contested by bidders in the room and on the phones, the “Mexican Duesenberg” sold for $2,090,000.
“The fantastic price achieved for the Duesenberg goes to show that history and long-term ownership add significant value to an already rare car,” said Gord Duff, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “The opportunity to sell a Model J is always special, this time around made even better by the chance to present an example that has been lovingly enjoyed by one family over 54 years of ownership. Overall, our top five Hershey sales demonstrate that demand for American Classics remains incredibly strong, with provenance and impeccable condition attracting well-deserved prices on the auction podium across both nights.”
RM Sotheby’s Hershey 2016 – Top Ten Auction Results
1. 1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton – $2,090,000
2. 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster – $880,000
3. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster – $825,000
4. 1932 Lincoln Model KB Boattail Speedster – $605,000
5. 1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 41 Convertible Victoria – $456,500
6. 1957 Porsche 356 A 1600 Speedster – $341,000
7. 1927 Duesenberg Model A/Y Phaeton Prototype (Chassis 912) – $340,000
8. 1937 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan – $275,000
9. 1932 Cadillac V-16 Five-Passenger Sedan – $220,000
10. 1937 Lincoln-Zephyr Coupe – $187,000
Looking back over the two-evening event, Thursday’s sale session was headlined by the 1932 Lincoln Model KB Boattail Speedster. Designed by General Motors stylist, David Holls — earning its nickname, the ‘David Holls Speedster’ — the car represented the Lincoln that never was. Attracting plenty of admirers during the sale preview, it was the subject of a 10-minute bidding contest, shattering its pre-sale estimate of $200,000 – $275,000 at a final $605,000.
Crossing the podium four lots prior to the Lincoln, the ‘garage find’ 1957 Porsche 356 A 1600 Speedster also drew interest from bidders in the room and on the phone. In single-family ownership since 1967, the Porsche emerged from 40 years in storage in a Texas garage just prior to the Hershey sale. Presented in largely original condition, it soared past its pre-sale estimate of $200,000 – $250,000 to bring $341,000.
Other attractions were a restored 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster, a two-time 100-point car in 2016 Classic Car Club of America judging, for $880,000; the sole-surviving 1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 41 LeBaron Convertible Victoria, which sold at $456,500; and, a restored 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible, which exceeded expectations, selling for $161,700 against a pre-sale estimate of $100,000 – $125,000. Among additional highlights, a 1925 White Model 15-45, commissioned in period as a Yellowstone Park tour bus, nearly doubled its estimate, realizing $88,000.
RM Sotheby’s will round out its 2016 calendar with the presentation of Duemila Ruote (2,000 Wheels) in Milan, Italy, November 25-27. Coinciding with the Milano AutoClassica Classic Car Show, the eclectic offering will feature more than 800 lots, making it the largest, automotive-themed private collection sale ever staged in Europe. The event will highlight some 430 cars, 150 motorcycles, 60 boats and hundreds of bicycles and automobilia, all offered without reserve.