RM does $21.7 million during Auburn Festival weekend

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1929 Duesenberg Model J sells for $737,000 at Auburn auction | RM Auctionsphotos

RM Auctions posted $21.7 million in sales with a strong 81 percent sell-through rate at its Auburn Fall sale over the Labor Day weekend at Auburn Auction Park in northeastern Indiana. The sale coincides with the annual Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival.

The overall sales figure marked a 12 percent improvement compared with 2017 figures, RM Auctions said. More than 700 cars crossed the block this year.

Topping the sale was a first-year, 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster that sold for $852,500. 

A 1929 Duesenberg Model J sedan from the Richard L. Burdick Collection brought $737,000. The car carries coachwork by Derham/Bohman & Schwartz.

Two other cars from the Burdick collection also sold, a 2919 Auburn 120 Eight Speedster brought $330,000, more than double its lower pre-auction estimate of $150,000, and a 1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet topped its $160,000 high estimate, selling for $165,000.

RM Auctions also announced that additional cars from the Burdick collection will be offered at RM Sotheby’s Group sales later this year and in 2019.

“It was a fantastic weekend for enthusiasts of all ages in Auburn, and we were thrilled to build on a tradition that brought tens of thousands to the Classic Car Capital of America,” Gord Duff, global head of auctions for RM Sotheby’s Group, was quoted in the company’s news release.

“The auction arena was packed on numerous occasions throughout the weekend, and we saw an increase in sales with fewer vehicles, and a clear increase in the quality of our consignments over last year. 

“We also received great feedback from both buyers and sellers on the change to single-ring auction style, which proved successful in drawing more bidders to each car offered. 

2006 Ford GT had been driven less than 5 miles when it crossed the auction block

“Our top five Auburn Fall sales demonstrate the success of numerous categories of collector cars in Auburn, from American Classics through European sports cars and modern performance,” he added. 

Those top 5 sales were:

  1. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster, $852,500
  2. 1929 Duesenberg Model J sedan, $737,000
  3. 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider conversion, $442,750 
  4. 2006 Ford GT, $357,500
  5. 1929 Auburn 120 Eight Speedster, $330,000
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(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

RM Auctions said bids were submitted from residents of 14 countries and 45 U.S. states, and that 30 percent of those bidding were first-time RM Auctions clients.

RM noted that the Ford GT showed only 4.4 miles driven since new.

A 1970 Plymouth Superbird sold for $173,250, a 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster went for $222,750 and a 1965 Jaguar E-type Series 1 4.2-liter roadster brought $148,500.

The 1976 Ford Escort 1100 GL sedan formerly owned by Pope John Paul II sold for $121,000, with proceeds benefiting the O’Quinn Foundation.

Another featured sale involved vehicles from The Shrine of the Holy Grille Collection, a group of Edsels offered on the second of the four-day auction.

RM Sotheby’s next auction is scheduled for September 5 in London. Its new North American sale is October 11-12 at Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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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.

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