Wanderer, Rainier and locomotive top Bonhams auction at Simeone museum

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1908 Rainier Model D brings $253,000 at ‘Preserving’ auction at Simeone museum | Bonhams photos

Bonhams’ “Preserving the Automobile” auction at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia is timed to accommodate people headed to Hershey for the huge AACA Fall Meet, which features a massive swap meet where people buying ancient autos might find many of the parts needed to keep them in running order.

The fourth annual Bonhams sale, held Monday at the museum which has championed preservation over restoration, posted an 86 percent sell-through rate and $3.3 million in sales. The auction included not only its typical fare of unrestored automobiles but also pre-Civil War locomotives. The locomotives had been part of the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry collection and sold to what Bonhams termed “institutional” buyers.

A circa-1835 Brathwaite and Erickson “Mississippi” locomotive sold for $220,000 while a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad-built “1831 York” went for $121,000 and an “1825 John Stevens” built in 1928 by the Pennsylvania Railroad brought $66,000 (all prices include buyer’s premium).

Prices paid for two of the locomotives placed them among the auction’s “top 10” high-selling vehicles.

That list was led by a 1936 Wanderer W25 K roadster with coachwork by Wendler. The car, designed by Ferdinand Porsche and offered from a “prominent European collection,” sold for $319,000.

Second on the list was a 1908 Rainier Model D 44/50HP seven-passenger touring that formerly spent more than 60 years in the Buess collection. The car was offered for public sale for the first time in its 108-year history and sold for $253,000, an auction record.

“Among automobiles, it was the unrestored cars that commanded the greatest attention and, as a result, many made records,” Bonhams reported in a news release.

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1937 Morgan Super Sports

For example, a unrestored 1937 Morgan Super Sports three-wheeler from the Du Pont Collection sold for $88,000, more than three times its pre-sale estimated value.

Automobilia also was offered, and had a 99 percent sell-through, with a one-of-a-kind Oilzum advertising diorama selling for $11,875.

“We’re very pleased with this year’s sale,” Eric Minoff, Bonhams head of sale, said in a news release. “We had keen international interest, a strong sell-through rate, impressive results with many individual lots making records, and a well-attended, highly successful auction.
“This year’s event once again demonstrates that motorcars with sound provenance and in original condition are increasingly sought after by collectors.”

Top 10 sales, Bonhams’ Preservation auction, Simeone museum, 2015:

  1. 1936 Wanderer W25 K roadster, $319,000
  2. 1909 Ranier Model D 45/50HP 7-passenger touring, $253,000
  3. c. 1835 Brathwaite and Erickson “Mississippi” locomotive, $220,000
  4. 1962 Jaguar E-type Series 1 roadster, $154,000
  5. 1935 LaSalle Series 50 convertible coupe, $126,500
  6. 1928 B&O RR-built “1831 York” locomotive, $121,000
  7. 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk, $99,000
  8. 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible coupe, $99,000
  9. 1937 Morgan Super Sports, $88,000
  10. 1929 Franklin Series 135 faux cabriolet, $77,000

(All prices include buyer’s premium)

Bonhams next sales are the Zoute Sale, today in Belgium; the Lonati Collection of American Motorcycles, October 17 at Stafford, England; the Bond Street Sale, December 6 in London; the London to Brighton Veteran Car sale, October 30 in London; the Defender 2 Million Sale, December 16 in London; and the Scottsdale Motorcar Auction, January 10 in Arizona.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.