Daydream machines: Paging through RM Sotheby’s sales catalog

1953 Ferrari 212 Inter coupe is gorgeous to behold | RM Sotheby's photo by Darin Schnabel
1953 Ferrari 212 Inter coupe is gorgeous to behold | RM Sotheby’s photo by Darin Schnabel

So, I was away from home for a few days — attending the vintage motorcycle auctions in Las Vegas — and when I returned home the neighbors texted that a package had come while I was gone and they’d bring it over. The package contained the catalogs for RM Sotheby’s upcoming Arizona Auction — one for the Thursday sale and the other with the Friday docket.

Armed with a supply of Post-it Flags, I paged through some 525 pages of photos and descriptions of the cars and now share with you those that captured my flags.

Note: Each  classic car enthusiast has very personal tastes, so what I flagged is not necessarily what anyone else might flag. Some psychiatrist might have a field day examining what my choices say about my personality.

For what it’s worth, or at least for your entertainment, here are the cars I flagged (and that I’ll be eager to see in person when RM Sotheby’s arrives at the Arizona Biltmore):

Lot 103: 1974 Citroen 2CV6, a freaky French car, little changed throughout more than half a century in production, and presented in a shocking yellow-and-black paint scheme. But this one was part of Craig McCaw’s collection and reportedly underwent a diligent restoration, so I’m figuring it’s ready to roll down the road — or across a farmer’s field (and without breaking any eggs).

1962 APAL-Porsche | RM Sotheby's photo (David Gooley)
1962 APAL-Porsche | RM Sotheby’s photo (David Gooley)

Lot 104: 1962 APAL-Porsche 1600 GT coupe. I’m not familiar with APAL (Application Polyester Arme de Liege), but the catalog notes that it built dune buggies in France as well as some 150 of these appealing coupes built around Porsche 356 and VW components.

Lot 122: 1934 Auburn Twelve Salon Speedster, a stunningly low and long pre-war beauty with plenty of provenance, having been owned by Gordon Apker and Malcolm Pray, and written about by Griff Borgeson.

Lot 133: 1929 Duesenberg Model J disappearing top Torpedo convertible coupe, with Murphy coachwork and Hollywood credits (in the 1937 movie, She Had to Eat). But what caught my attention was the fact that it originally was owned by David Gray. Turns out Gray’s father, John, invested $10,500 in a new car company in 1903, and 16 years later, he sold his stock in the Ford Motor Company for $26 million.

Pathfinder logo on the radiator
Pathfinder logo on the radiator

Lot 144: 1913 Pathfinder Series XIII A five-passenger touring, because I think the Pathfinder logo is very cool and because this car was owned by the same family until 2006.

Lot 155: 1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible, which, like me, is 68 years old — and based on how amazing it looks, maybe it’s time for me to undergo a frame-off restoration.

Lot 157: 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr convertible sedan, which is almost as appealing to my eye as that ’47 Caddy.

Lot 170: 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Newmarket convertible sedan, built in Springfield, Massachusetts with Brewster coachwork, a polished metal hood and huge polished wheel covers that look like warriors’ shields.

1966 Alfa police car | RM Sotheby's (Ned Jackson)
1966 Alfa police car | RM Sotheby’s (Ned Jackson)

Lot 203: 1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super ‘Polizia,’ which takes its nickname because it was recommissioned to look like a real Italian police car. As the catalog puts it, the car drives like a Lotus but with sirens and a roof-mounted blue bubble light.

Lot 227: 1953 Ferrari 212 Inter coupe, in red with a black top. Yes, please.

Lot 229: 1952 Cunningham C3 coupe, in two-tone blue with a silver top. Yes, please.

Lot 230: 1911 Lozier Model 51 7-passenger touring. This is another car from McCaw’s collection, with only four owners in its 105 years, which taken part in some 80 vintage vehicle rallies and runs at 78 mph at 1,800 rpm in fourth gear.

1933 SS 100 Jaguar | RM Sotheby's (Darin Schnabel)
1933 SS 100 Jaguar | RM Sotheby’s (Darin Schnabel)

Lot 231: 1939 SS 100 Jaguar 2 1/2-liter roadster, with red and black, one-off Figoni-inspired coachwork!

Lot 236: 1934 Duesenberg Model J town car, originally owned by Ethel Dorrance, widow of John Dorrance, who was working for the Joseph Campbell Preserve Co. when he devised a way to produce condensed canned soup.

Lot 242: 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster, which, if RM Sotheby’s is correct, will become the first car to sell for eight figures at an Arizona classic car auction.

Lot 245: 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS berlinetta, a car clothed within a gorgeous Zagato body.

Lot 248: 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Torpedo sports, this one with an interesting if brief history with the Ford Motor Co. design department.

Lot 251: 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra ‘Dragonsnake.’ This car emerged from Shelby’s shop as CSX 2093 but very quickly was redone to Dragonsnake specification and became an NHRA national champion and record-holder.

Lot 254: 1953 Cadillac Series 62 coupe, one of two built by Ghia, and the other one is the famed Rita Hayworth car.

1953 Cadillac Series 62 coupe | RM Sotheby's (Darin Schnabel)
1953 Cadillac Series 62 coupe | RM Sotheby’s (Darin Schnabel)

Larry Sig

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