HomeMediaRM Sotheby's has a Duesie of a sale at Hershey

RM Sotheby’s has a Duesie of a sale at Hershey


1930 Duesenberg on the block and on its way to a $2.09 million sales price | RM Sotheby’s photos by Darin Schnabel

With historic and “fresh-to-the-market” cars doing very well, RM Sotheby’s reported $11.58 million in sales at its 10th annual collector car auction held in conjunction Thursday and Friday with the AACA Eastern Division Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Ninety percent of the lots on the docket sold, led by a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton that went for $2.09 million after being out of 54 years of ownership by the same family. One of only three Murphy-bodied dual-cowl phaetons, the car was retrieved from storage at the airport in Mexico City in 1962.

“The opportunity to sell a Model J is always special,” Gord Duff, RM Sotheby’s car specialist, said in a news release. “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.

“The fantastic price achieved for the Duesenberg goes to show that history and long-term ownership add significant value to an already rare car,” he added.

“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.”

In addition to the top-selling Duesenberg, the other top-five vehicles were a 1935 Auburn Eight supercharged speedster, a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster, a 1932 Lincoln Model KB boattail speedster and a 1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 41 convertible Victoria.

David Holls-designed Lincoln on the block

The boattail Lincoln was designed by famed General Motors staffer David Holls and was considered “the Lincoln that never was.” Its sale price far exceeded its pre-auction estimate of $200,000 to $275,000.

The Mercedes and a garage-found 1957 Porsche 356 A Speedster were the only non-American cars in the top 10. The Porsche had been in storage for 40 years in a garage in Texas until just weeks before the Hershey auction.

There were other noteworthy sales, including a 1925 White Model 15-45 Yellowstone Park tour bus that sold for $88,000, nearly double its pre-sale estimate.

RM Sotheby’s reported that bidders at the auction came from 18 countries.

Top 10 sales, RM Sotheby’s at Hershey Fall Meet 2016

  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

(Prices include buyer’s premium.)

Garage-found Porsche 356 Speedster on the block

RM Sotheby’s concludes its 2016 auction calendar November 25-27 with the “Duemila Ruote” (2000 Wheels), a sale of a single collector’s 430 cars, 150 motorcycles, 60 boats and bicycles, bobsleds and automobilia, all without reserve, in Milan, Italy. The auction location coincides with the Milano AutoClassica Classic Car Show.

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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