Auction Recap: RM Sotheby's Hershey 2016

The annual RM Sotheby’s Hershey (Pa.) auction has become a key attraction and part of the AACA Eastern Fall Meet’s tradition, assembling some of the most collectible prewar American cars in the world. This year, 113 cars sold out of 126 offered for a 90 percent sell-through rate and an overall sales total of $11,538,513. Last year’s Hershey auction was a bigger event, with 156 cars selling out of 168 offered and a sales total of $13.6 million. Average price, however, was up this year at $102,111 compared to the $87,482 average price last year.

Typically dominated by prewar and veteran motorcars, this year’s sale was no different. A glorious Murphy-bodied 1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton with original chassis, body, firewall and engine was easily the auction’s most expensive car at $2.09 million, but other stars included a 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster for $880,000, a 1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 41 Convertible Victoria for $456,500 and a McFarlan-bodied 1927 Duesenberg prototype (that helped inspire the later Model J) for $340,000.

This year’s Hershey sale did feature more postwar cars than usual, and some of the more interesting ones included a 1960 Volvo PV 544 Sport for a hefty $34,100, a 1955 Packard Caribbean Convertible for $77,000, a 1958 Buick Limited Convertible for $90,750, an all-original barn find 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster for $341,000 and an unusual little 1963 Sunbeam Rapier Convertible for $8,250.

Overall top 10: 

1. 1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton sold for $2,090,000
2. 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster sold for $880,000
3. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster sold for $825,000
4. 1932 Lincoln Model KB Boattail Speedster sold for $605,000
5. 1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 41 Convertible Victoria sold for $456,500
6. 1957 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster sold for $341,000
7. 1927 Duesenberg Model A/Y Phaeton Prototype sold for $340,000
8. 1937 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan sold for $275,000
9. 1932 Cadillac V-16 Five-Passenger Sedan sold for $220,000
10. 1937 Lincoln-Zephyr Coupe sold for $187,000

The next RM Sotheby’s collector car auction will be the Duemila Ruote sale, held concurrently with the Milano AutoClassica show on November 25-27, 2016. Over 430 cars will be offered, along with over 150 motorcycles, 60 boats and numerous automobilia items from a private Italian collection.