McCormick’s bringing nearly 600 collector cars for Palm Springs auction

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This 1936 Packard V12 limo is believed once owned by film star Charlie Chaplin | McCormick's photos

The McCormick family, which has been conducting laid-back collector car auctions in Palm Springs, California, for the past 31 years, will offer nearly 600 vehicles during its November 17-19 sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

One of McCormick’s twice-a-year events at the desert-oasis resort community, the upcoming auction will include some strong entries that have never been “on the revolving auction circuit before,” according to a company news release.

The Packard has a formal chauffeur compartment

Among them is a 1936 Packard LeBaron All Weather Cabriolet that has some significant ties with Hollywood, including supposed ownership by iconic silent-film star Charlie Chaplin, who was an avid fan of luxury cars.

The V12-powered Packard, with just over 11,000 miles showing on its odometer, also appeared in the movie Betsey and on the Remington Steel television show, where it was driven in a chase scene. Hunter Green with black fenders, the Packard has an estimated value between $100,000 and $150,000.

The Mercury has a clear tinted-glass roof section

A 1954 Mercury Monterey Sun Valley two-door hardtop with the distinctive tinted-glass roof panel also will be auctioned, carrying with it the story of an obsessed owner who wanted to recapture his school days of driving such a car that was owned by his father. He found an identical Sun Valley and set about bringing it back to showroom condition.

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“As usually goes with these cases, he got carried away with the project, and counting up the receipts realized he had over $100 thousand invested,” McCormick says in the news release. “But that was OK as he has the best in the world.”

While the classic Mercury might not be expected sell for quite that amount, it is apparently a gorgeously restored automobile that should spark some bidder interest.

The Corvette has won NCRS Top Flight honors

What’s described as a correctly restored 1956 Chevrolet Corvette roadster that won the coveted NCRS Top Flight Award in 2016 will be offered in Palm Springs, featuring its original 225-horsepower V8 and Powerglide automatic transmission. A well-optioned California car, the Corvette has power windows, Wonder Bar radio and other factory and dealer upgrades.

“It is rare to see a ’56 Corvette with the correct early engine components, including the dual-quad carburetors, the rare oil pan with passenger side dipstick, correct ignition shielding, generator mounting bracket and super-rare 2-bolt exhaust manifolds,” the auction company says in the release.

For more information about the McCormick sale, visit the auction website.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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