A magnificent 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton topped the bidding at Auction America’s flagship Auburn Fall sale in the luxury car’s home state of Indiana, reaching $1,265,000 to lead the $25.9-million auction held during the Labor Day weekend.
The sale of the rare Duesey, with coachwork by LaGrande, was a fitting high mark for the auction held at Auburn Auction Park during the annual Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Festival. Another appropriate classic from Indiana, a 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Speedster, was the car with the second-highest selling price, $423,500 (all totals include auction fees).
Nearly 1,100 cars crossed the twin sales blocks at auction, with a 77 percent sell-through rate. An automobilia auction also was held. More than 81,500 people attended the sale, according to Auctions America.
“Fantastic weather combined with a diverse lineup of quality cars and an exciting range of automotive-themed activities made for another exceptional Auburn Fall,” said Donnie Gould, president of Auctions America. “We’ve received extremely positive feedback on this year’s event, with many attendees declaring it the best yet.”
The third- and fourth-highest sellers at the auction were a pair of modern Ford GTs, a 2006 Heritage Edition that sold for $360,000 and a 2005 coupe for $330,000. Those sales showed the continuing strength of these popular cars.
A true classic, a 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria, came in fifth at $308,000.
The Auburn Fall sale and ACD Festival is a family-friendly event with a number of displays and attractions, a swap meet and cars-for-sale corral, monster-truck rides, ATV and dirt bike shows, and helicopter tours of the Auction Park.
A special highlight was the debut appearance of Wendell, Auctions America’s life-size mechanical elephant. Built in England in 1951, the restored beast is one of only two known surviving examples. It weighs 1,400 pounds and is powered by its original Ford four-cylinder engine.
The collector car offerings were a highly diverse selection that included brass-era antiques, sports and muscle cars, American cruisers from the 1950s and ’60s, and modern exotics. Prices across the board reflected the wide scale of values, with some cars selling in the four- and low-five-figure range.
A 1964 Chevrolet Impala convertible sold for $28,600 in support of the Honor Flight to take local World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. Additional fundraising at the auction boosted the total for the effort to $44,000.
Top-10 sales, Auctions America Auburn Fall:
1. 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton by LaGrande, $1,265,000
2. 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Speedster, $423,500
3. 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition, $360,000
4. 2005 Ford GT, $330,000
5. 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria, $308,000
6. 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, $231,000
7. 1962 Porsche 356B Super Cabriolet, $198,000
8. 1929 Packard Model 640 Custom Eight Roadster, $195,000
9. 1958 DeSoto Firedome convertible, $192,500
10. 1932 Packard 902 coupe roadster, $187,000