HomeThe MarketAuctions America tops $21.5 million at Auburn sale

Auctions America tops $21.5 million at Auburn sale


At $880,000, 1931 Duesenberg Model J was highest-priced car sold at Auburn Auction Park | Auctions America photos

Auctions America’s annual Fall Sale, held over the Labor Day weekend at the Auburn Auction Park in northeastern Indiana, posted more than $21.5 million in sales with a 79 percent sell-through rate. The event drew more than 85,000 visitors, a record attendance, including bidders from 45 states and 12 countries. Auctions America said 30 percent of those bidders were new customers.

It being Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival weekend in Auburn, it was no surprise that a pair of Duesenberg Model Js were the high-dollar sales. A 1931 Model J convertible sedan sold for $880,000 while a 1933 “Queen of Diamonds” sunroof Berline with coachwork done in France by Franay sent for $715,000. Prices include buyer’s premium.

Wendell’s sale generates money for books for children in hospitals

Other top sales were a 1931 Cadillac V12 convertible coupe by Fleetwood at $368,500; the mechanical elephant, Wendell, at $275,000; and a resto-mod 1963 Chevrolet Corvette split-window coupe and a 1937 Cord 812 supercharged phaeton, each selling for $236,500.

More than $90,000 of the proceeds from the sale of Wendell are earmarked for an Auburn-area charity, Kate’s Kart.

The 2016 sales total of $21,555,338  was well beyond the $19,684,914 figure posted at the same auction a year ago even though there was no million-dollar sale this year but there was one last year (a 1929 Duesenberg Model J convertible coupe that sold for $1,402,500). The sell-through rate last year was 73 percent; again, a figure far exceeded this year.

“Our best weather yet, an exceptional lineup of cars and an exhilarating range of activities for enthusiasts of all ages led to strong attendance at Auburn Fall,” Megan Boyd, an Auctions American car specialist, said in a news release.

“There was a terrific energy and atmosphere across the park during all four days; bidding was enthusiastic both in the room and over the phones.

“It’s also safe to say that the Auburn Auction Park has truly become a family destination, with a fantastic turn out of young enthusiasts onsite to see the incredible range of collector cars, as well as drawn by the exciting docket of traditional and new events for kids, including the KidZone, the Ultimate Race Fan Experience, and Monster truck rides and shows.”

Franay-Bodied Duesenberg sells for $715,000

Nearly 850 vehicles crossed the twin auction blocks during the sale, which also included more than 550 lots of automobilia.

In addition to the money raised in the sale of Wendell, professional athlete and car collector Bill Goldberg auctioned a pair of commemorative championship wrestling-style belts, each raising $40,000, one for the Honor Flight Northeast Indiana and the other for Wounded Warriors of South Florida.

Top 10 sales, Auctions America Auburn Fall sale 2016

  1. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan, $880,000
  2. 1933 Duesenberg Model J Sunroof Berline by Franay, $715,000
  3. 1931 1931 Cadillac V12 Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood, $368,500
  4. Mechanimals “Wendell” the Mechanical Elephant, $275,000
  5. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Resto-mod Coupe,  $236,500
  6. 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton, $236,500
  7. 1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, $220,000
  8. 1929 Auburn 8-90 Speedster, $187,000
  9. 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, $181,500
  10. 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible, $177,100

(Prices include buyer’s premium.)


Auctions American’s next sale is scheduled for November 5 in conjunction with the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance in South Carolina.

More than 85,000 people attended the four-day Labor Day weekend auction and other activities
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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