Fred Guyton not only was an architect who led the design of everything from corporate headquarters to theme parks but over the course of four decades, he also put together his own outstanding collection of primarily pre-war classic cars.
Guyton died in September 2018 and this past weekend, RM Sotheby’s handled the deaccession sale of his collection of more than 70 historic vehicles and hundreds of lots of automobilia and other objects. The two-day sale was conducted on a no-reserve basis at his collection in St. Louis and generated $11.7 million.
“We are thrilled with the results for the Guyton Collection, which truly exceeded our expectations in every way,” RM Sotheby’s car specialist Donnie Gould said in the company’s post-sale news release. “The entire team was honored to present such an exceptional collection and the prices achieved go to show just how well-respected Fred’s name and eye for quality were within the hobby.
“(It was) wonderful to witness just how beloved a fixture in the hobby Fred was.”
The auction was the 34th such private-collection deaccession sale for RM Sotheby’s.
Beverly Guyton, widow of the collector, thanked RM Sotheby’s for the way “they approached every step of the process with a proper understanding of Fred’s vision and passion for his collection.
“We’re delighted that the collector car community now shares in the legacy of his beloved automobiles and prized collectibles,” she added.
Bidders represented 27 countries around the world, RM Sotheby’s said.
“The car offering ignited spirited bidding and achieved strong prices across the board, led by a fascinating, award-winning 1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Roi des Belges in the style of Barker, which saw an extended bidding contest, eventually bringing a final $1,325,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $800,000 – $1,000,000,” RM Sotheby’s said.
“Special Rolls-Royce models stole the show on Saturday, with a one-of-two 1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III ‘Parallel Door’ Saloon Coupe drawing eyes and bids to a final $423,000 (est. $150/250k), and a highly desirable, largely original 1925 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster selling for a final $280,000 (est. $175/225k).
“Other European highlights include a 1927 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport, one of Mr. and Mrs. Guyton’s favorite cars, which sold for a final $362,500 (est. $200/300k).”
Among American classics, a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan, sold for $1,105,000 and one of four surviving 1927 Duesenberg Model X Dual-Cowl Phaetons brought $527,500.
A 1930 Ruxton Model C Roadster sold for a record $747,500. Also exceeded pre-sale estimated values by a considerable amount were a 1932 Nash Advanced Eight convertible sedan that sold for $340,500 and a 1903 Cadillac Rear-Entrance Tonneau that brought a record $190,400.
The auction included more than 500 objects of automobilia, sports collectibles, art and furniture. The Titanic Pub bar sold for $84,000 after a pre-sale estimate of $15,000 to $20,000, a Rolls-Royce V-12 Merlin display engine and tool kit brought $57,000 and a painting, Night Rider, by Peter Helck, sold for $48,000.
Top 10 sales, RM Sotheby’s The Guyton Collection 2019
- 1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Roi des Belges, $1,325,000
- 1930 Duesenberg Model J convertible sedan, $1,105,000
- 1930 Ruxton Model C roadster, $747,500
- 1930 Packard 734 Speedster Eight Phaeton, $665,000
- 1927 Duesenberg Model X dual-cowl Phaeton, $665,000
- 1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III ‘Parallel-dor’ saloon coupe, $423,000
- 1930 DePont Mondel G convertible Victoria, $368,000
- 1927 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport, $362,500
- 1932 Nash Advance Eight convertible sedan, $340,500
- 1928 Hispano-Suiza H6B cabriolet de ville, $335,000
(Prices include buyer’s fee.)
RM Sotheby’s next auction is May 25 at Villa Erba on Lake Como in Italy, with the annual Auburn Spring sale scheduled for May 29-June 1 in northeast Indiana.