The AACA week in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is one of those must visit-attend events for any real car collector. There are miles of swap meet offerings, hundreds of cars for sale in the car corral, and a great RM Sotheby’s auction at the Hershey Lodge.
Unlike many RM Sotheby’s sales, there is a serious focus here on collectible full-classic American automobiles at this sale, with something at just about every price point you can imagine, from entry-level to the top-tier. If you are a fan of American classic automobiles, there is definitely a car for you at this auction.
Though there are quite a few European cars at the sale as well, all but one of my picks is a car built in the U. S. of A. I know this is not my usual list but I think you will understand why I picked the cars I did.
The auction starts Thursday with a second-day of sales Friday.
1917 Cadillac Type 55 opera coupe
I don’t quite know what it is about these early Cadillacs that attracts me, possibly the styling, which I find elegant yet still subtle, or perhaps it’s the build quality of these great cars, but I have really become interested in the brand duding this era. This specific car has charm and elegance for miles as well as more passenger leg room than any 2-seater of the era (though it does have a front fold-away jump seat that is best left folded away). A stunning early Cadillac that is eligible for practically anything that I am betting is quite nice to drive. If you have ever read Clive Cussler’s Issac Bell series, this is the kind of car that bell would want in his garage.
1948 Playboy A48 convertible
I will start by saying I have never seen one of these cars in my life. This may sound like not to big a deal, but i have attended 20 straight years of concours and auctions and this is a car I never even knew existed. It’s a cute car that is one of only 91 built. Playboy was a post-war startup company founded by a Packard dealer named Louis Horowitz, a Pontiac engineer, and a service station owner named Norman Richardson. The little car never really succeeded in the marketplace, but it is rare and cute and this example is in amazing condition.
1951 Kaiser Deluxe Golden Dragon sedan
This is another car I had not ever seen. You notice that I took fron- and side-view pictures of the car as it is completely different from every angle. The interior picture shows seating that looks as if it was made from Dragon skin, which is what collectors call it. If you wondered why you never see dragons in the wild anymore, guess you might want to blame Kaiser as it looks like it made car seats for these cars out of them. This car is outrageous and interesting and one of only 1,622 that were built, and for only four months, making them quite a limited production car.
1937 Cord 812 cabriolet
I honestly think the Cord is possibly the most original and one of the most stunning American pre-war automobile designs that is also backed with advanced engineering. This one in Ganges Green, a factory-correct color, is again something I have never seen on a Cord before, and is the perfect illustration of how cars can look so very different depending on the colors they are painted. I love the color and the elegance that this Cord has and I would love to have it in my garage.
1961 Cadillac Series Sixty Special sedan
The 1960s were, to many, the end of an era for Cadillac as being one of the world’s finest luxury cars. This Series Sixty is a fantastic restoration that cost much more than this car is worth. The fact that someone took the time to restore the car as well as this one speaks to me of the one you want to buy. The car is elegant, roomy, and amazingly well appointed, with special order factory Ostrich grain leather, power headlight control, fog lamps and power seats to name a few. Just the thing to take friends out to a nice dinner inane arrive in grand style.
1937 Rolls-Royce 25/30 saloon
First, some of you may have figured out that I love Rolls-Royce as a brand and this one of design by coachbuilder Lancefield is a perfect example of the kind of Rolls that you drive yourself as opposed to being driven it. The understated elegance of this car, combined with a nicely done restoration of literally every part, make it the Rolls 25/30 to buy. These cars represent an incredible value in todays market and if I were going home with just one single car from the Hershey sale, this would be the one.