September 2017 Auction Highlights

We’re going to start (for the second recap in a row) with a sale from Worldwide Auctioneers. The Cadillac “Die Valkyrie” was sold for an undisclosed amount (which is kind of lame). The top (reported) sale was $539,000 for this 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

A previously-featured Stoddard-Dayton sold here as well, bringing $118,800. Now let’s talk about this sale. The Auburn sales are usually a buyer’s paradise. In fact, this year was the closest I’ve yet come to registering as a bidder and attempting to buy a car. I had my eye on this 1921 Packard Single Six Sedan.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

It had a pre-sale estimate of, I think, $20,000-$30,000 or something in that ballpark. I had a gut feeling that it would go low, as it was selling at no reserve. With buyer’s premium, I was willing to pay $15,000. The final bid? $14,850. Instead of being there, I was in the hospital, having a child. I’d say I did just fine on the weekend. Other cars will come along. Oh, you can check out more results here.

The other Auburn sale for September was that of Auctions America. The top two sales were both Duesenbergs that we featured. The SJ Sweep Panel Phaeton was #1, bringing $2,300,000. The other, Fleetwood-bodied Model J, sold for $990,000. A distant-relative of the Duesenbergs was the Buehrig Carriage-Roof Coupe that sold here for $25,850. We award Most Interesting to this 1974 AMC Hornet Hatchback. Seriously? Yes, this was the car from The Man With the Golden Gun that performed one of the greatest car stunts in movie history. It sold for $110,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Photo – Auctions America

Let’s hop to RM Sotheby’s London sale. Two of the cars that sold here have been featured on this site previously. They are this Marlboro Steam car (which sold for about $12,146) and this De Tomaso Nuovo Pantera mockup for about $25,348. The top sale was this 2004 Ferrari Enzo that brought approximately $2,383,042.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Hispano-Suiza K6 failed to sell and complete results can be found here.

Dragone Auctions held a sale in Lime Rock, Connecticut in early September. We featured an early Cadillac that brought $80,940. The top sale was another Caddy, this one a rakish 1931 Cadillac V-16 Convertible Victoria by Lancefield for $577,500. Check out full results here.

Photo – Dragone Auctions

Finally, Bonhams’ second Goodwood sale of the year. We only featured one car from this sale, the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Fastback, and it failed to sell. The top sale, however, was this 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona for $801,151. Check out more results here.

Photo – Bonhams

Cadillac V-12 Phaeton

1934 Cadillac V-12 Series 370D All-Weather Phaeton by Fleetwood

Offered by Mecum | Dallas, Texas | September 6-9, 2017

Photo – Mecum

Mecum has actually sold this car (at least) twice before. They sold it out of a collection in 2012 for $200,000 and in Houston 2014 for $165,000. And they’re offering it again, this time in Dallas. We’ll see what it brings, but it makes you wonder why no one wants to continue to own this gorgeous four-door V-12 convertible.

The Series 370D was the 1934 version of Cadillac’s V-12 model that dated back to the 1931 370A. The 370B was for 1932, the 370C for 1933, and the 370D was for ’34. Actually, they sold the 370D again in 1935… low sales counts probably contributed to G.M. not slightly re-engineering an “E” variant. Twelve cylinder Cadillacs could be had through 1937.

That luscious, silky-smooth V-12 is a 6.0-liter unit that makes 133 horsepower. This car rides on the 146 inch wheelbase and the body is by Fleetwood, which by this point was a GM subsidiary. This is quite a rare body style, with only three examples built. V-12 Caddys from 1934 and 1935 are very rare in general, with only 1,098 examples built between the two years in total. Based on previous sales history of this chassis, it will likely sell for about $150,000, if the owner doesn’t have too high a reserve on it. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Mecum’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $130,000.

Cadillac Model A

1903 Cadillac Model A Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Dragone Auctions | Lime Rock, Connecticut | September 3, 2017

Photo – Dragone Auctions

When the Henry Ford Company went belly-up in 1902, the company’s investors brought in Henry Leland to appraise what was left. Instead of giving them an assessment, Leland convinced them to reorganize the firm and the Cadillac Automobile Company was formed. It’s first model was this runabout that used a Leland-designed engine.

The first Cadillacs were built at the end of 1902 and these were not technically called “Model As.”  There were some of the same model built in 1903 (as 1904 models) that differed only in that they had more power and a detachable top. These were officially called “Model As.” This is likely one of the cars constructed in 1902 that pre-dated the official Model A, but most people just put all of these cars under the Model A umbrella. Confused yet?

That Leland-designed engine is a 1.6-liter single-cylinder that makes 6.5 horsepower (which correctly dates this as a 1903 model built in 1902). This perfectly restored example is one of just 2,497 examples built. It cost $850 when new and will bring likely at least 100 times that next weekend. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $80,940.

“Die Valkyrie”

1955 Cadillac Die Valkyrie Concept Car by Spohn

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 2, 2017

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Yesterday we featured a car owned by Brooks Stevens. Today we feature a car designed by Brooks Stevens. Stevens was an industrial designer best remembered in automobile circles for designing some great cars. In the 1950s he wanted to build a nice ride in the European tradition at a time when there were a lot of European-American cars coming out from American manufacturers.

So he took a 1954 Cadillac chassis and penned an original body for it. There’s a swooping “V” at the front, a long hood, and a removable hardtop for open air driving. The body was built by Spohn of Germany and the engine is an all-American 5.4-liter V-8 making 230 horsepower.

Dubbed “Die Valkyrie” after the Wagner opera, you can just imagine that famous piece of music emanating from this car as it stalks up behind you, that big V at the front trying to root you off the road.

This car was shown at the 1954 Paris Auto Salon and the 1955 New York Auto Show. Stevens bought the car for his wife from the financial backer who funded the project. It remained in his stewardship until 1997 when the current owner acquired it. It’s a one-of-one custom GM Concept Car and should bring big money when it goes under the hammer in Auburn. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1912 Cadillac

1912 Cadillac Model 30 Four-Passenger Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Arlington, Texas | April 21, 2017

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The Model 30 was introduced by Cadillac in 1909 and it was the first model that really pushed Cadillac to the top of the heap among American automakers. The model underwent slight changes (and engine enlargements) year after year until it was ultimately replaced for 1915.

Over the years, a variety of body styles were offered and this car sports a Four-Door Touring body which was the entry-level style offered in 1912. The price would’ve been $1,800. It’s powered by a 4.7-liter straight-four making more than 40 horsepower. That engine, famously, has a built-in starter. No crank required! If only modern IndyCars could figure out how to use that same, 100-year-old technology.

Let’s talk appearance: this car has a wonderful patina and is all-original. We’ll call it “time warp condition.” And it has an amazing story: last used on the road in 1923, a man bought it from a used car dealer in 1935 for $10! It’s amazing and will sell without reserve. If you have the know-how (or resources) to get this back to roadworthy condition, it’s a must-buy. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Worldwide’s lineup.

Update: Sold $36,300.

Saoutchik Cadillac

1948 Cadillac Series 62 Cabriolet by Saoutchik

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Cadillac Series 62 was introduced in 1940 and the third generation was introduced in 1948 (and was built through 1953). The cars were barely distinguishable from the down-market Series 61, but you tell them apart by their extra chrome and the fact that the Convertible was not available on the 61. But this is no ordinary Series 62. Nor is it any ordinary Cadillac.

Only two bare chassis were sold by Cadillac in 1948 and both went to Saoutchik in France for dramatic coachbuilt bodies. This windswept design on this Three-Position Cabriolet is similar to Talbot-Lagos of the period. It is powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 making 150 horsepower.

Not much is known about the early history of this car but it was restored in the 1990s and is beautiful, from the design to the colors. Just everything about it. Only two of these were built, and good luck getting your hands on the other one. It should bring between $1,000,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.

Update: Sold $907,500.

Cadillac Town Car

1940 Cadillac Series 75 Town Car by Brunn

For sale at The Auto Collections | Las Vegas, Nevada

Photo - The Auto Collections

Photo – The Auto Collections

The second generation of the Cadillac Series 70 (and its derivatives) was introduced in 1938 and lasted through 1940. This series was Cadillac’s mid-level model in 1940, being flanked on either side by the entry-level Series 40 and the top-of-the-line Sixteen. For 1940, this series included the Series 62, Series 60 Special, Series 72, and Series 75.

The engine in the Series 75 is a 5.7-liter V-8 making 140 horsepower. Cadillac and their in-house coachbuilder Fleetwood offered a bunch of different bodies for the Series 75. But for a wealthy Ohioan, these options were not enough. So he went to The Brunn Company and ordered what was to be the final Brunn Town Car ever produced. The body is all aluminium and almost all custom from Brunn, save for the hood and front fenders.

The car is said to drive splendidly and it has been winning awards for decades. It is all-original and well-preserved and can be yours for $175,000. Click here for more info.

Cadillac Town Car

1942 Cadillac Series 60 Special Town Car by Derham

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

At first glance, this car screams “owned by the head of a movie studio but never actually driven by that person.” Taking a step back and thinking about the larger story of the time, we see that America had just been attacked and that this was one of the final new cars built by Detroit prior to the war.

In fact, this car is one of just two Derham-bodied Town Cars on Cadillac’s Series 60 Special chassis for 1942. The engine is a 150 horsepower 5.7-liter V-8. The car started life as a Series 60 Special Imperial Sedan (which was a mid-range Caddy for ’42) and then it was shipped to Derham in Pennsylvania to be converted to this chauffeur’s machine you see here.

It was delivered new to someone in New York and the present owner acquired it in 1974 and restored it. It’s a fairly unique machine in that most Cadillacs were bodied in-house by this point – and most Post-War Cadillacs were too, making this the last of its kind. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $79,750.

Cadillac NART Zagato

1970 Cadillac NART Zagato

Offered by Stanislas Machoïr | Nice, France | October 17, 2015

Photo - Stanislas Machoir

Photo – Stanislas Machoir

Luigi Chinetti and his North American Racing Team (NART) are legends in American (and worldwide) motoring. He was the man who brought Ferrari to America and the initials of his racing team mark some of the world’s most valuable Ferraris.

In 1969 or 1970, Chinetti met with GM with the idea to create something exotic based on one of their cars. So, using a modified 1969 Cadillac Eldorado chassis, Chinetti (and his son, Luigi Jr., who helped pen the body), created this unique one-off creation.

It is powered by a mid-mounted 8.2-liter V-8 making 400 horsepower. The car is rear-wheel drive as opposed to the Eldorado’s standard front-wheel drive layout. The body was constructed out of aluminium by Zagato in Italy. Styling cues are a mix of both European performance and GM parts bin.

Unfortunately, General Motors never really gave the car any consideration for production but Zagato did show it at the 1971 Turin Motor Show and Chinetti showed it again in New York later that year as well. It’s a super unique piece of history – perfect for collectors of Cadillacs, General Motors concept cars, Zagato concept cars – and even Ferraris. It all ties in. It should bring a respectable $280,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Five Pre-1920 Cars from RM’s Hershey Sale

1911 Stanley Model 63 Toy Tonneau

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

It’s everyone’s favorite steam car – the Stanley steamer. The company’s 1911 range was robust, with the Model 63 being one of two 10 horsepower models offered. It was available only in this body style with seating for five.

It is powered by a two-cylinder steam engine making 10 horsepower. The 60-Series cars from Stanley were in production from 1910 through 1913. In all, 1,165 were built with 219 of those being the Toy Tonneau. Steam cars aren’t everyone’s thing as they take special dedication and know-how to operate. But those that love them really love them. This car sort of defines early steam motoring and it has been fully restored. Check out more info here.

Update: Sold $115,500.


1907 Procter Two-Passenger Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Procter is a marque that doesn’t appear in most automotive history books (and if it does it is often misspelled as “Proctor”). That’s because the company was more of a person than an actual company. And Albert Procter only built one car. This one.

Originally fitted with a single-cylinder engine, the car was later upgraded to use 1.6-liter twin-cylinder engine from a 1903/4 Ford Model A. It produces eight horsepower. Procter built the car for himself, instead of purchasing another man’s product. He only ever wanted to build one car. So that’s what he did.

Procter’s daughter sold the car before WWII and the engine was stripped out of it. But the car survived and passed between collections before finally being given a new engine. It’s not road-worthy as it is all-original, but it could be made to run. Click here for more information.

Update: Sold $18,700.


1914 Cadillac Four Speedster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Cadillac offered only one model line in 1914 – the Four, so named because of it’s mighty 6.0-liter straight-four engine that pumped out 40/50 horsepower. The Four was offered in a variety of body styles (seven to be exact), none of which was a Speedster

This car was sold new in Jersey City, New Jersey and has known history back to 1979 when its then-owner fitted this racy two-passenger Speedster body on it. The car looks quite sporting and rather imposing. The body is described as “Mercer-style,” but if I were to hazard a guess I would say that if this car were bearing down on you, you would notice it is quite a bit larger than a comparable Mercer. It needs a quick mechanical freshening to go motoring but is otherwise excellent. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $46,750.


1910 Cameron Model 24 Open-Back Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Cameron was one of what has to be quite a limited number of automobile manufacturers to set up shop in Rhode Island. They operated there from 1902 through 1906 before moving to Massachusetts (before finally settling on Connecticut until they went out of business in 1920). The company was founded by the Everett and Forrest Cameron.

Early cars had twin-cylinder engines, but a large number of four-cylinder models would be offered – and even some sixes. This car is powered by a 2.9-liter straight-four making 24 horsepower. The Model 24 was only offered in this basic body style and only for one model year (which may have been 1911). This example is in great shape and is ready to go. Click here for more information.

Update: Sold $55,000.


1915 Studebaker Model SD-4 Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Studebaker was one of America’s great companies. With roots back to the 1850s, the company adapted and lasted through 1967 when times just got too rough. But back in earlier, happier days, their products were sought-after by the masses. And that’s why I like this car so much. If you’ve ever seen footage shot in a big city, like New York, sometime around 1920, give or take, you may have noticed the abundance of automobiles swarming the streets. And they all look more or less the same from a distance. Quite a large number of them are probably Model T Fords. But then you have to realize that some of them are very rare cars today.

This Studebaker looks like it could’ve been used in an episode of Boardwalk Empire or something. It’s generic enough without being too generic. This was an everyday car. And that’s why it’s so interesting. The SD-4 was powered by a 3.2-liter straight-four making 30 horsepower. Studebaker’s four-cylinder model was renamed with every year, so the SD-4 was for 1915 only. It was available as a two-passenger Roadster or a this four-passenger Touring. You know this was somebody’s family sedan – 100 years ago. Think of the stories… and check out more here from RM.

Update: Sold $16,500.