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HomeThe Market'Green Hornet' Duesenberg roadster leads RM Sotheby’s auction in Hershey

‘Green Hornet’ Duesenberg roadster leads RM Sotheby’s auction in Hershey

80 years of automotive history results in a 98 percent sell through totaling $13 million

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A rare 1931 Duesenberg Model J Roadster known as the Green Hornet topped RM Sotheby’s 15th annual Hershey, Pennsylvania, auction, which spanned 80 years of automotive history and achieved a total just under $13 million with 98 percent of the lots sold.

The Duesenberg, one of the few true roadsters on the Model J chassis, sold for $1.65 million (all final results include auction fees) during the two-day auction, held in conjunction with the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Eastern Division Fall Meet. 

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1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster

Following the Duesy at the Hershey auction was the sale of a 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster, a concours-restored example that went for $891,000, and a 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight Roadster, one of just a few genuine examples extant and sold for $407,000.

Several of the American classic offerings sold well beyond their pre-auction estimated values, including a 1909 Peerless Model 19 Touring that “smashed its presale estimate of $150,000, selling for $286,00,” RM Sotheby’s said in a news release.

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1909 Peerless Model 19 Touring

“An additional two American classics left the auction room with a selling price that exceeded their pre-sale estimates,” the release added. “Both restored to a level beyond what is normally seen makes it nearly impossible to find any others like them.”

Those cars were a 1934 Pierce-Arrow Model 840A Convertible Sedan, a one-off example that went for $330,000, and a 1931 Buick Series 90 Sport Roadster wearing a first-prize CCCA badge, which sold for $222,750.

The auction company also called out the sale of 1948 Diamond T 201 pickup truck as worthy of note.

auction, ‘Green Hornet’ Duesenberg roadster leads RM Sotheby’s auction in Hershey, ClassicCars.com Journal
1948 Diamond T 201 pickup truck

“Known by enthusiasts as ‘the Cadillac of trucks,’ this example was offered from 26 years of single ownership and brought the crowd to an applause as it hammered at a remarkable $176,000 – well over its presale estimate,” the auction release says.

Gord Duff, global head of auctions for RM Sotheby’s, noted that, “This weekend’s results prove that the Brass Era and classics market is very much alive and well.”

The top-10 sales for the Hershey auction were:

1. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Roadster “Green Hornet,” $1,650,000.00

2. 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster, $891,000.00

3. 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight Roadster, $407,000.00

4. 1934 Pierce-Arrow Model 840A Convertible Sedan, $330,000.00

5. 1909 Peerless Model 19 Touring, $286,000.00

6. 1931 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton, $242,000.00

7. 1931 Buick Series 90 Sport Roadster, $222,750.00

8. 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet, $198,000.00

9. 1904 Winton 20hp Rear-Entrance Tonneau, $198,000.00

10. 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype, $187,000.00

RM Sotheby’s next live collector car auction takes place in London on November 6. For more information and complete results from Hershey, visit the auction company website.

Bob Golfen
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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