RM Sotheby's auction brings $6.4 million in Motor City
RM Sotheby's latest Motor City auction in Michigan realized $6.4 million, with bids flying in from nine countries and 35 states across the U.S.
Leading the sale was a the 1929 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Convertible Coupe, described as "one of the most significant American motor cars of the Classic Era".
Featuring coachwork by Murphy, the Coupe was one of just 25 examples ever produced, and had spent years in the collection of Eric Bardeen, a long-time member of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club.
Mr Bardeen consigned his beloved car to raise funds for Hillsdale College, a non-profit, classical liberal arts college in Hillsdale, Michigan, and it soared to $1.54 million.
From 1920s elegance to a post-Millennium masterpiece, the sale's second-biggest lot was parked at the opposite end of the spectrum. Regarded as "America's ultimate Supercar", the Saleen S7 is capable of speeds more than 240 mph, and the Twin Turbo model offered in Michigan - believed to be one of the lowest mileage examples in existence – quickly accelerated to a final price of $632,500.
Throughout the auction, pre-War American machines were in high demand. Notable results included a 1934 Pierce-Arrow Eight Silver Arrow, one of just five known surviving examples, which realized $242,000; a 1933 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster which sold for $365,000; a 1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet which fetched $187,000; and a 1938 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster which sold for $330,000.
Several classic European cars also caught the eye, such as a 1955 Jaguar XK 140 MC Drophead Coupe which easily beat its high estimate to sell for $187,000, and a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 220 SE Cabriolet which sold for $165,000.
"Our Motor City auction continues to be a very consistent venue and provides a fantastic and fitting backdrop to celebrate America's rich automotive history," said Gord Duff, specialist at RM Sotheby's.
"We were delighted to offer such great vehicles as the Duesenberg Model J and the Cord L-29 as part of this year's lineup; their solid results reflect a continued healthy appetite for quality American Classics.
"The Duesenberg Model J sale was a particular highlight – it was great to be able to support the fundraising efforts of Hillsdale College with such a strong result, and to see the car go to a great new home. All in all, it's been another great hobby weekend in the Motor City!"
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