The sale of much of Paul and Chris Andrews’ classic car collection figured to be huge, and it was, with 78 vehicles and some cherished automobilia and other items selling Saturday for in excess of $53.88 million, which RM Sotheby’s claims is a record for a single-vendor automobile auction.
Consider that the recent sale of the Ron Pratte collection by Barrett-Jackson totaled $40.44 million, that RM’s sale in 2012 of the Milhous brothers’ museum produced $38.3 million, or that Gooding & Company’s auction in 2006 of the Otis Chandler collection reached $36 million.
Kruse Auctions dispersed most of William Harrah’s amazing 2,000-vehicle collection for a reported $100 million, though through a series of auctions over the course of three years in the late 1980s.
Paul Andrews and his son, Chris, began collecting cars around 15 years ago.
“We want to get down to a smaller number of cars – perhaps 15 to 20 – that we very much enjoy driving and that we can use on events with the family,” Chris Andrews has been quoted. “There are a number of events we’d still like to try overseas and here in the United States, and in order to do that, we need to focus on a more manageable collection.”
The quality of the Andrews’ collection is reflected in the fact that 16 of their vehicles sold for $1 million or more at the sale held in the family’s museum-style collection building in Fort Worth, Texas.
RM Sotheby’s reported that bids were received from 16 nations and that one-third of bidders were first-time RM Sotheby’s classic car auction clients.
“Paul and Chris have been such strong mainstays in the classic car industry over the past 15 years, and to see their extraordinary efforts and commitment to preserving automotive history rewarded with such fantastic results is hugely gratifying,” Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division said in a news release.
“The sale attracted tremendous interest from around the world, with 33 percent of bidders new to RM Sotheby’s. There is certainly no better introduction to the exciting world of collector cars than through the incredible offerings of the Andrews Collection.”
While a Ferrari was sold for the most money, a pair of Packards and a pair of Duesenbergs demonstrated strong interest in pre-war American classics.
The Andrews’ 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica short-wheelbase cabriolet, the last of seven designed by Pininfarina, sold for $7,645,000 (including buyer’s fee) to top the sale. But next on the list came a Dietrich-bodied 1934 Packard Twelve individual custom stationary coupe at $4,180,000, the “Ethel Mars” 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ town car at $3,630,000 and a 1931 Duesenberg Model J “disappearing-top” convertible coupe at $3,520,000.
A 1963 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Aerodinamico long-wheelbase coupe brought $2,860,000 and a 1934 Packard Twelve sport couple sold for $2,200,000.
A 1938 Packard Eight cabriolet with unique Graber coachwork brought $1,760,000, a 1930 Cadillac V-16 convertible sedan brought nearly $2 million and a 1931 Marmon Sixteen convertible coupe went for $1,320,000.
“The seven-hour sale… established a new auction benchmark for American Classics, with a number of exceptional, coach-built examples well-exceeding expectations,” RM Sotheby’s said in its post-sale news release.
“At a time when Ferraris and post-war European sports and GT cars have dominated the classic car market, it is fabulous to see blue-chip American Classics enjoy the spotlight,” Kelleher said. “The results speak for themselves and reflect the incredible quality of the Andrews Collection as a whole.”
Million-dollar sales, RM Sotheby’s Andrews Collection auction:
- 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet, $7,645,000
- 1934 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Stationary Coupe, $4,180,000
- 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Town Car, $3,630,000
- 1931 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Convertible Coupe,$3,520,00o
- 1963 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico, $2,860,000
- 1934 Packard Twelve Sport Coupe, $2,200,000
- 1962 Shelby 289 Competition Cobra, $1,980,000
- 1930 Cadillac V-16 Convertible Sedan, $1,925,000
- 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, $1,842,500
- 1938 Packard Eight Cabriolet, $1,760,000
- 1962 Chevrolet Corvette ‘Gulf Oil’ Race Car, $1,650,000
- 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe, $1,320,000
- 1931 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Coupe – $1,320,000
- 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study, $1,210,000
- 1955 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon, $1,217,500
- 1934 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Convertible Sedan, $1,045,000
(Prices include buyer’s fees)
Other noteworthy sales included a 1956 Ford F-100 custom for $374,000; a 1963 split-window Chevrolet Corvette that sold for $253,000 (more than double its pre-auction estimate); a 2011 custom electric Tron: Legacy motorcycle recreation that brought $77,000; a Mercedes-Benz SSK model that sold for $52,900; and a “Pig Sandwich” neon sight that went for $36,800.
“The RM Sotheby’s team has truly become an extended part of our family,” Chris Andrews said. “In our minds, there is no one else who could’ve done such a great job and achieved such terrific results. Their attention to detail is second to none.”
RM Sotheby’s next sale is May 23 at Ville Erba in conjunction with the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este weekend on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.