HomeThe MarketBrass Era vehicles top RM Sotheby's sale at Hershey

Brass Era vehicles top RM Sotheby’s sale at Hershey


‘Yellow Peril’ Oldsmobile racer is on the block | RM Sotheby’s photo by Darin Schnabel

RM Sotheby’s experienced its most successful Hershey auction this week with $16,344,387 million in sales.

With the sale being conducted in conjunction with the annual AACA Eastern Division Fall Meet, brass-era vehicles were popular with bidders. The cars that sold for the most money were a 1913 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-A seven-passenger touring that went for $830,500, a 1911 Oldsmobile Autocrat “Yellow Peril” racing car that brought $698,500 and a 1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghose landaulette that sold for $577,500.

“Hershey proved once again to be the perfect venue for the offering of important early automotive design,” Gord Duff, can RM Sotheby’s car specialist, said in a news release after the two-day auction.

1913 Pierce-Arrow tops sales list at Hershey | RM Sotheby’s photo by Drew Shipley

“Brass Era powerhouses were the hit of the week, with the most exciting moment coming as our auctioneer Max Girardo opened bidding on the 1913 Pierce-Arrow, igniting a fierce competition that had the crowd roaring with every raise of a paddle.

“At another level of the market, expert restorations stood out, with top-tier examples bringing well-deserved prices.”

The 1913 Pierce-Arrow had a pre-auction estimated value of $550,000 to $650,000 , but soared beyond in strong bidding.

The sale attracted bids from residents of 20 nations, according to RM Sotheby’s, which also reported that more than 20 percent of bidders were new clients for the auction house. The sell-through rate for the auction was an impressive 96 percent. RM Sotheby’s said the total sales figure represented a better than 16 percent increase compared with last year’s Hershey sale.

RM Sotheby’s news release noted that “best-of-category” American classics also exceeded their pre-auction estimates. A 1923 Duesenberg Model A sport phaeton, being offered from 67 years of ownership, sold for an auction-record $374,000. A 1924 Marmon Model 34C 2-passenger speedster went for $203,500 while a 1934 Pierce-Arrow Eight two-passenger coupe brought $154,000 — nearly double its pre-auction estimate — and a 1936 Chrysler Imperial Airflow sedan sold for $176,000.

1914 Rolls-Royce sell for $577,500 | RM Sotheby’s photo by Greg Keysar

Memorabilia offered at the sale also did well, with a P-51 Mustang model airplane from the Richard Roy estate collection selling for $21,850, more than triple its high pre-auction estimate.

Top 10 sales, RM Sotheby’s Hershey auction, 2015

    1. 1913 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-A Seven-Passenger Touring, $830,500
    2. 1911 Oldsmobile Autocrat “Yellow Peril,” $698,500
    3. 1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost landaulette, $577,500
    4. 1932 Packard Twin Six Individual Custom Sport Phaeton, $440,000
    5. 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Torpedo Tourer, $434,500
    6. 1914 Packard Six Five-Passenger Touring, $412,500
    7. 1911 National Model 40 Speedway Roadster, $385,000
    8. 1936 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster, $385,000
    9. 1923 Duesenberg Model A Sport Phaeton, $374,000
    10. 1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 Four-Passenger Runabout $330,000


RM Sotheby’s concludes its 2015 auction calendar December 10 with the Driven by Disruption sale in New York City, where some 30 vehicles will be offered, each of which showcases “the extremes of motoring history and the molds that were broken by engineers and designers in pushing the automotive envelope,” the auction house said.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
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.

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