Classic 1939 Pontiac 'Ghost Car' makes $308,000 at RM Auctions


2015-06-26 12:30:19


Classic 1939 Pontiac 'Ghost Car' makes $308,000 at RM Auctions

Brave bidders fought over the ethereal-looking machine at a day of big sales in Michigan

A 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six "Ghost Car" was spirited away for $308,000 at RM Auctions' classic car sale in Michigan on Saturday, July 30.

The Plexiglas machine, believed to be the first see-through car ever produced in the US, comfortably met its $275,000-475,000 estimate at the much-anticipated auction.

General Motors, in conjunction with the chemical company Rohm and Haas, produced the vehicle for the 1939-1940 World's Fair in New York at a cost of $25,000.

A second vehicle, made a year later, is presumed to have ended up on the scrapheap.

An unkind commentator might argue that since its bankruptcy in 2009, ghost cars are the only vehicles General Motors has been producing, making this reminder of GM in better days even more appealing to collectors.

It was the first time the car, said to be in great condition and with only 86 miles on the clock, had appeared at auction since the early 1980s.

A 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six Ghost Car made $308,000

Although not roadworthy, its unusual styling and history, along with its unique status, ensured a good performance at the auction block.

"It was a great atmosphere in the auction room," RM Auctions spokesperson Amy Christie told newspaper the Detroit News.

A 1932 Packard convertible sedan, once owned by jazz singer Al Jonson, was the top lot at the sale: changing hands for $1.1m, just $500,000 below its high estimate.

Meanwhile, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe "Gull Wing" sold within estimate for $676,500.

Paul Fraser Collectibles will bring you all the big classic car auction news over the coming months, so make sure you check back here regularly.

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