Cord, Rolls, Cobra lead bidding at RM Auction’s Auburn sale

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A 1930 Cord L-29 (left) and a 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra continuation were top sellers | RM Auctions

A mixed bag of collector cars ranging from classic to recent, domestic and European, led the bidding at RM Auctions’ four-day Auburn, Indiana, sale that totaled more than $6.85 million in vehicles and automobilia.

A “marvelously restored” 1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Phaeton Sedan, an ACD Club Category One-certified car, was the highest seller at $157,300.  Jump ahead 85 years to the next top sale, that of a 2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith at $156,750. 

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A Corvette on the auction block

Next up was 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 CSX 8001, the first of Shelby American’s 8000 continuation series, at $104,500, followed by a 1988 1/2 Ferrari Testarossa at $99,000.  The fifth top seller was another car from the classic era, a 1932 Packard 900 Coupe Roadster, which went for $94,600. 

The Auburn Spring sale started this past Wednesday and Thursday with more than 800 pieces of automotive memorabilia, led by the impressive Bob Strauss Collection of signs and collector items.

The top automobilia seller of the collection was a Ford Jubilee Neon Sign, which went for $63,250.  A Gas Flying A Chicken Wings Logo Neon Sign surpassed its pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$20,000, bringing $27,730.

David and Susan Landow with their Zenith Award-winning 1931 Buick

“Once again, the Antique Automobile Club of America held its annual Grand National Meet at Auburn Spring, welcoming 400 cars, along with 200 judges and thousands of guests,” RM Auctions said in a news release. “The meet saw hundreds of incredible cars on display, including 16 finalists for the Zenith Award, bestowed upon the best restoration of the year.

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“The 2019 award went to a stunning 1931 Buick 8-94 Sport Roadster owned by David M. Landow of Bethesda, Maryland. The seven-year restoration project ‘wowed’ the public and other competitors alike.”

The top-10 sellers at the Auburn Spring auction were:

  1. 1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Phaeton Sedan, $157,300
  2. 2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith, $156,750
  3. 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 CSX 8001, $104,500
  4. 1988 1/2 Ferrari Testarossa, $99,000
  5. 1932 Packard 900 Coupe Roadster, $94,600
  6. 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL, $93,500
  7. 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible,$84,150
  8. 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III BJ8, $81,400
  9. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 427/390 convertible, $81,400
  10. 1954 Packard Caribbean convertible, $80,300

RM Auctions, a division of RM Sotheby’s, holds its flagship Monterey, California, auction on August 15-17 during Monterey Car Week. 

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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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