Breaking news! Sotheby’s acquires 25 percent interest in RM Auctions

Art of the Automobile was an RM/Sotheby's joint venture auction in the fall of 2013 | RM photos by Darin Schnabel
Art of the Automobile was RM/Sotheby’s joint venture in the fall of 2013 | RM photos by Darin Schnabel

RM Auctions and Sotheby’s are moving from joint-venture to full partnership with Sotheby’s taking a 25 percent financial interest in the classic car auction house founded and led by Rob Myers.

Sotheby’s, established in England in 1744 and the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has an option to increase its ownership percentage in RM in the future.

Packed house at Sotheby's New York facilities for Art of the Automobile sale in 2013
Full house at Sotheby’s New York facilities for Art of the Automobile sale in 2013

In the meantime, RM events will be rebranded as RM Sotheby’s auctions, beginning with the upcoming sale March 14 on Florida’s Amelia Island.

Toronto-based RM and Sotheby’s have worked together in the past, most notably in the fall of 2013 when the Art of the Automobile auction at Sotheby’s New York City facilities produced nearly $63 million in sales within two hours. Even before the new partnership, they had announced another Art of the Automobile sale for the fall of 2015.

RM gives Sotheby’s entry into the growing classic car marketplace. Sotheby’s gives RM access to the wider world of collectors of art, jewelry, wine, etc.

“The partnership that has been formed between RM Auctions and Sotheby’s is undoubtedly the most effective way for us to reach the ever-growing worldwide audience of collectors who take a keen interest in the collector car asset class,” Rob Myers, chairman of RM Auctions, said in a news release.

“No other organization in the world has a client base as far-reaching as Sotheby’s and since we have worked so closely and successfully with them in the past, it makes perfect sense that we form a strategic partnership that creates a truly worldwide platform for collector cars. It’s an exciting time in our company history, and for the hobby at large.”

Will Ferraris become the new sought-after masterpieces by art collectors?
Will Ferraris become the new sought-after masterpieces by art collectors?

“Sotheby’s is thrilled to join the clear market leader in this field,” said Bill Ruprecht, Sotheby’s president, chairman and chief executive. “RM has established a formidable position that will only be strengthened by this new phase in our relationship.

“Just last year, RM set a new benchmark for a collector car auction with their flagship Monterey sale totaling more than $140 million, eclipsing the previous record they had established in 2013.  The incredible synergy between our businesses, including significant overlap of top collectors and a focus on new markets, will be further strengthened as we work together to expand the classic car collector base.”

“RM’s ownership of the high end of the market coupled with our global client network positions us for great success at a time when the market for investment-quality motor cars has never been stronger.”

The news release announcing the new partnership notes that, “This long-term investment comes as the more than $2 billion market for the finest automobiles continues to grow, presenting increasing opportunities for both companies.”

RM recently began its 36th year doing classic car auctions. It is based in Canada and has offices in California and Europe. Sotheby’s has 90 offices in 40 nations around the globe.

RM’s $22 million sale revs up Retromobile

The RM auction venue in Paris | RM photos by Tim Scott / Fluid Images
The RM auction venue in Paris | RM photos by Tim Scott / Fluid Images

Although the classic car market is strong enough that five car owners could turn down bids in excess of $1 million — in one case more than $2 million — RM’s second annual Paris auction generated more than $22 million in sales Wednesday as Retromobile, Europe’s huge winter celebration of classic cars, got underway.

And while five owners declined to accept million-dollar bids, five others accepted them as 54 of 67 vehicles sold, led by a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso Berlinetta that brought $1,859,480 (prices reported include buyer’s fees and are converted from bidding done in euros).

That's the Hotel des Invalides just behind the auction tent
That’s the Hotel des Invalides just behind the auction tent

“It’s fantastic to return to Paris,” Max Girado, auctioneer and managing director of RM Europe said in a news release. “We are delighted that the sale is now well-established on the European calendar. The auction room was absolutely packed and the atmosphere was terrific, so it’s no surprise that we are able to achieve such a strong result.

“It is always our objective to concentrate on quality rather than quantity and the average lot price of €333.000 is testament to that.”

That average price translates to $381,285.

RM’s inaugural sale at Retromoible in 2014 generated $23.7 million in sales, led by a 1955 Jaguar D-type that sold for nearly $5 million with two other cars selling for $2.6 million or more.

The sell-through rate last year was 78 percent but exceeded 80 percent this year.

The top-10 sales this year were:

  1. 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso Berlinetta (Lot 135), $1,859,480
  2. 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS (Lot 144), $1,635,060
  3. 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster (Lot 150), $1,410,640
  4. 1990 Ferrari F40 (Lot 146), $1,346,520
  5. 1965 Iso Grifo A3/C Stardale (Lot 157), $1,186,220
  6. 1964 Aston Martin DB5 (Lot 139), $961,800
  7. 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta (Lot 152), $807,912
  8. 1939 Bentley 41/4-Litre “Honeymoon Express” (Lot 141), $769,400
  9. 1958 Ferrari 250 GT coupe (Lot 130), $664,100
  10. 1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Spyder (Lot 129), $629,750

    Cars on display at RM's Paris venue
    Cars on display at RM’s Paris venue

Bid to more than $1 million each but still falling short of the owners’ expectations were a 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C2500 Sport Berlinetta, a 1935 Delahaye 135 S, a 1969 Porsche 911 S, a 1977 Lamborghini Contact LP400 “Periscopio” and a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Sports Lightweight.

Bids were placed during the auction by people from 34 countries.

In addition to 54 vehicles, the Paris sale included four lots of “nostalgia” that sold for another $154,059.75, topped by a 1997 Ferrari F1 racing engine that brought nearly $67,000.

The auction was RM’s second of the year, following its $63.7-million Arizona sale. RM’s next auction is March 14 at Amelia Island, Florida.

 

Rare 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica cabriolet being sold for charity at RM’s Amelia Island auction

The 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica short-wheelbase cabriolet is one of just seven built | RM Auctions photos
The 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica short-wheelbase cabriolet is one of just seven built | RM Auctions photos

One of the most valuable automobiles ever offered at an Amelia Island, Florida, auction – a rare 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica short-wheelbase cabriolet – highlights RM Auctions’ sale March 14 of 90 classic cars. But most significantly, proceeds from the sale of the beautiful V12-powered sports convertible will be donated to the current owner’s foundation for the education of children.

The matching-numbers Ferrari cabriolet (chassis number 1945 SA) with coachwork by Pinin Farina is the third of only seven short-wheelbase Superamericas built and it has been fully restored by a Ferrari specialist. RM estimates its value as between $6 million and $7 million.

The 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Spider is another auction star
The 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Spider is another auction star

“It’s an absolute privilege to have been entrusted with the sale of 1945 SA at our upcoming Amelia Island sale,” Gord Duff, RM car specialist, said in a news release. “As our recent Arizona sale showed, there’s a continued strong appetite for great open-top Ferraris, and this 400 SA is certainly among the best of its breed.

“The true definition of sporting elegance, 1945 SA combines stunning design with high performance. Visually, it is beautiful in every respect.”

RM says its Florida auction, which takes place the day before the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, boasts “a field that represents RM’s finest offering in the event’s 17-year history.”

Among the cars offered for sale are a Zagato-bodied 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Spider valued between $2.3 million and $2.6 million, a highly original 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk II with Vantage specification estimated at $650,000 to $850,000, and a “condo find” single-owner 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona estimated at $600,000 to $750,000.

For more information about the RM Amelia Island auction, see rmauctions.com.

 

Barn-found collection provides spice as Retromobile gears up to celebrate its 40th anniversary

1911 Delahaye 135 cabriolet among barn-found vehicles being sold at Artcurial auction at Retromobile | Artcurial photo
1911 Delahaye 135 cabriolet among barn-found vehicles being sold at auction at Retromobile | Artcurial photo

‘The Past Still Has a Future” is the theme for the 40th Salon Retromobile, Europe’s massive annual classic car celebration and break from winter, which this year takes place February 4-8 inside the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, and not far from the Eiffel Tower.

Automakers bring cars from their museums, major classic car dealers bring their finest vehicles, and Artcurial, Bonhams and RM stage major auctions, with Artcurial’s featuring all of those barn-found vehicles from the Ballion Collection.

How large is the show itself? Consider more than 500 classic vehicles displayed in an exhibition center that spans half-a-million square feet, and with 100,000 people in attendance over the days of the show.

Renault's stand is typical of how European automakers showcase their history at Retromobile | Retromobile photo
Renault’s stand is typical of how European automakers showcase their history at Retromobile | Retromobile photo

Featured displays

Featured displays will focus on Pegaso and the history of the Spanish marque, the Corrado Lopresto collection of Italian coachwork, the vehicles produced by French automaker Matra, a display of 50 years of motorsports photography by DPPI, the French photographic agency, and from the Musee des Blindes, the only surviving working example of the Royal Tiger, the German tank considered the largest, heaviest, most powerful and most destructive ever.

Then there are the three Bugatti Royales coming from the Cite de l’Automobile in Mulhouse to help celebrate Retromobile’s 40th anniversary. It will be the first time the cars — the Coupe Napoleon, the Roadster and the Limousine — will be showcased in Paris, and with the Roadster now restored to its original Esders coachwork after its second owner installed a chauffeur-style coupe body on the chassis.

In addition to the featured exhibits, Bugatti, Citroen, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault and Skoda will have special displays. Among those features will be the 60th anniversary of the Citroen DS; the stunning Mercedes 540 K Streamliner; the anniversaries of several Peugeot models (including a Type 163 found after being abandoned in a shed near Lyon for nearly 70 years); the 50th anniversary of the Renault 16; the 60th anniversary of the Alpine brand; the only surviving 1950 Skoda 966 Supersport racing car; and the 1905 Laurin & Klement Voiturette A, the first car ever produced in Czechoslovakia.

And that’s not all: A special tribute to Carroll Shelby will showcase a Le Mans-winning Ford GT40, a Shelby Cobra 427, and a Shelby Cobra 289, while the Wimille, a revolutionary post-war car by Jean-Pierre Wimille, will be displayed on its 70th anniversary.

1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider goes from shed to sale | Artcurial photo
1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cal Spider: From shed to sale | Artcurial photo

Auctions

Artcurial stages its sale February 6 and the event has been very much anticipated because of the discovery, after half a century in open sheds in western France, of some 60 cars from the Baillon Collection, a recent amazing barn find. However, the auction will include more than those cars, with some 175 automobiles on the docket.

Also in the sale is a 1927 Bugatti Type 43 Grand Sport driven by Malcolm Campbell, a 1932 Bugatti Type 55 cabriolet, three rare Maserati convertibles, a 1934 Mercedes0-Benz 380 K Cabriolet A, and the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 given to Jane Fonda by her then-husband French filmmaker Roger Vadim.

Bonhams showcases Campari's 1931 Alfa | Bonhams photo
Bonhams showcases Campari’s 1931 Alfa | Bonhams photo

Bonhams will offer more than 300 cars, motorcycles and items of automobilia February 5 at the Grand Palais, where the featured lots will be a pair of Alfa Romeos, the ex-Giuseppe Campari 1931 6C 1750 4th series supercharged Gran Sport Spider and a 1930 6C 1750 Supercharged Gran Sport.

Campari started working at Alfa as a teenager and became a successful racer, winning the 1924 French Grand Prix, the 1928 and 1928 Mille Miglia and the 1930 Italian Grand Prix. The 1930 model being offered was raced by Boris Ivanowski, an officer in the Russian Imperial Guard who was exiled in Paris after the Russian revolution.

French war hero designed Lancia coachwork | RM photo by Darin Scannable
French war hero designed Lancia coachwork | RM Darin Schnnable

RM staged its Paris debut in 2014 and returns this year to Place Vauban, site from December 4, 2014, until February 1 of the Festival Automobile International, a display of concept cars and tribute to car designers.

The RM catalog includes some 60 vehicles, including the 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C2500 Sport Berlinetta known as the “Mussolini Mistress” car, a 1935 Delahaye 135 S that raced three times at Le Mans and was owned for many years by Hean-Philippe Peugeot, and a Pourtout-bodied 1934 Lancia Belna Eclipse that features a retractable hardtop.

The 1939 Alfa was a gift from the Italian dictator to his mistress, Claretta Petacci. In the spring of 1945, the car was disguised with Spanish diplomatic license plates and Petacci and several family members joined a convoy that included Mussolini and that was headed for Switzerland. But the convoy was stopped by partisans, the dictator and his mistress were captured and soon were executed.

An American Army Air Corps officer took the car to the United States, where at one point it was owned for several years by Ron Keno, father of the Leigh and Leslie Keno of Antiques Roadshow fame.

The 1934 Lancia has coachwork done by Marcel Pourtout and designed by Georges Paulin, a dentist who designed a succession of beautiful cars in post-war France. Paulin was part of the French Resistance, passing secrets though his dental office until being caught and executed in the spring of 1942.

Eclipse was Paulin’s name for the retractable hardtop that stored beneath a rear-hinged rear decklid.

 

RM, Sotheby’s planning another NYC sale

Bidders spent nearly $63 million in two hours in 2013 'Art of the Automobile' auction | RM photo
Bidders spent nearly $63 million in two hours last year at ‘Art of the Automobile’ auction | RM photos

In the fall of 2013, RM and Sotheby’s “set out to create the finest automobile auction that there has ever been,” which is how RM founder Rob Myers put it. That sale was the “Art of the Automobile” auction and was staged in New York City, where people are accustomed to purchasing major works of art but not significant collector cars.

Many saw the sale and especially its location as more of a risk than an opportunity, but RM and Sotheby’s were rewarded for their work: The auction included just 31 carefully selected vehicles — 28 classic cars, two motorcycles and an 1892 horse-drawn coach — and generated nearly $63 million in sales in just two hours.

Though there has been no formal announcement yet —RM’s offices are closed for the holidays — the RM catalog for its upcoming Arizona auction includes a two-page advertisement for an “Art Automobiles” auction to be staged in conjunction with Southeby’s in “Fall 2015.”

After the inaugural sale in 2013, Myers suggested that, “What we have established here in New York is a complete demonstration of how to bring some of the world’s rarest and most exceptional automobiles to market, in both an exciting and visually arresting way. Furthermore, the sale has successfully brought many new collectors into the market for the first time, which is fantastic news for our hobby.”

Sixteen cars sold for $1 million or more at the sale in 2013, with 11 bringing auction-record prices. A 1964 Ferrari 250 LM led the parade at $14.3 million.

1964 Ferrari 250 LM brought $14.3 million
1964 Ferrari 250 LM brought $14.3 million

Also significant was the fact that a 1955 Maserati Spyder drew 23 bids before selling for $4.455 million and a 1969 Ferrari 250 GT competition special was the subject of a 22-bid battle before it sold for $7.04 million.

At the opposite extreme, the auctioneer suggested an opening bid of $1 million for the 2011 “Bleu Nuit” Bugatti Veyron. A voice responded “$2.1 million.” The room went silent and the car sold with no additional bidding.

The advertisement in the RM Arizona auction catalog notes that it is accepting consignment inquiries for the fall 2015 sale.

Mussolini-linked ’39 Alfa Romeo in RM’s Paris auction

The evocative Alfa Romeo 6C wears a coachbuilt body by Touring | RM Auctions
The evocative Alfa Romeo 6C wears a coachbuilt body by Touring | RM Auctions

Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini wreaked havoc in Italy during the 1930s and into the wreckage of World War II. His reign of death and destruction left the country in ruins.

Yet, he also left behind something beautiful, and here it is: The 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Berlinetta by Touring that he gave to his famous paramour, Claretta Petacci, just as the drums of war began to roll. His mistress used the coachbuilt masterpiece during the European conflict, driven by chauffeur Franz Spögler, who years later confirmed the identity of the evocative automobile, according to auction house RM, which will offer the car in February at its Retromobile sale in Paris.

Spögler also said that this is the very car in which Petacci and members of her family drove in a desperate bid to escape Italy in 1945, only to be stopped by partisans as they approached the border near Lake Como. She and Mussolini later were executed by an angry citizenry, their bodies hung together on public display.

Mussolini’s mistress used the Alfa during World War II | RM Auctions
Mussolini’s mistress used the Alfa during World War II | RM Auctions

Now restored, the historic and stunningly aerodynamic coupe would be an A-list collector car even without its provenance. However, its connection with the notorious Mussolini should boost its value considerably.

After World War II, the car was shipped to the United States by a U.S. Army officer. It was rediscovered in the 1970s stored on a New York farm, after which it was brought back to original condition by renowned Alfa Romeo expert Francesco Bonfanti.

“Few cars that have passed through our hands have had quite the important historical context that this Alfa Romeo can boast,” Augustin Sabatié-Garat, car specialist for RM Auctions Europe, said in a news release. “That it is also one of the most desirable of all pre-war grand touring cars and beautifully restored by the world’s leading marque expert, makes it an unbelievable prize for any serious collector.”

One piece of irony: The Alfa Romeo returned to Lake Como in 2007, where it won best in class at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

The RM Auction is scheduled February 3-4 at Place Vauban during the Retromobile celebration of great old cars.

RM Auctions will handle downsizing of Andrews Collection in May, 2015

This was the first 1963 Shelby 289 Competition Coupe that Carroll Shelby sold | Darin Schnabel photo for RM
This was the first 1963 Shelby 289 Competition Coupe that Carroll Shelby sold | Darin Schnabel photos for RM
The Andrews, Chris (left) and Paul
The Andrews, Chris (left) and Paul

At one point, the father-and-son team of Paul and Chris Andrews had more than 150 vehicles in their classic car collection.

However, said Paul, “When you get down to it, the most fun you can have in a car is using it how it’s meant to be used… on the road.”

On May 2, 2015, the Andrews will pare their museum-filling collection via RM Auctions, which will stage the single-vendor sale at the Andrews’ facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

“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 told RM. “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.”

In addition to some 75 vehicles, the sale will include automobilia the Andrews have collected.

RM’s announcement of the sale said the Andrews Collection is “unrivalled in terms of its quality, presentation and historical significance” and “represents years of acquisition by lifelong enthusiast and successful entrepreneur Paul Andrews and his son Chris, an accomplished artist and businessman in his own right.

Mae West inspired the shape of this Duisenberg
Mae West inspired the shape of this Duisenberg

“The father and son’s shared passion for the hobby, commitment to excellence and dedication to preserving automotive history is immediately apparent when touring their impressive museum,” RM said in the announcement. “It is also reflected in a meticulous and very precise collecting philosophy, which has seen them actively research every acquisition, nurture relationships with the world’s leading experts in a variety of marques and genres, as well as commission work from the top craftsmen and restorers in the country.

“Ultimately, however, all the activity surrounding the collection has proven to be quite challenging and time consuming for the Andrews. Aside from the mechanical work required to keep the cars in superb shape, their museum is used multiple times each year for a variety of charity events in Fort Worth.

“Add to that family and professional commitments (Paul sold his company in 2007 although is yet to retire), and the result is a near round-the-clock endeavor, which takes them away from that which brings them the most joy.”

Rob Myers, RM founder and chairman, said, “Paul and Chris have not only built one of the world’s leading collections, but have curated it in such a way that ensures each car is on the button and ready for any rally or driving event. It is, without question, one of the finest collections we’ve had the privilege of offering.”

1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica
1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica

Cars being offered at the auction include hot rods and American classics, sports and GT cars, highlighted by:

The “Ethel Mars” 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ town car, created for candy heiress Ethel V. Mars but designed with actress Mae West in mind.
A 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica short-wheelbase cabriolet, the last of seven bodied by Pininfarina and with covered headlamps, which was displayed as the factory show car in 1962 at the Geneva and New York auto shows.
A 1963 Shelby 289 Competition Cobra that was one of three factory racers and the first such car Carroll Shelby sold to the public.

There’s much more, as well as automobilia including neon and porcelain signs, hand-made model cars, mascots and even musical instruments.

Here’s a video preview featuring the Andrews.

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Sam Pack Five Star Collection sale totals $11.5 million

Sam Pack poses with 1967 Shelby 427 Cobra that sold for $1.29 million |Andrew Olson photo for  RM/Auctions America
Sam Pack poses with ’67 Shelby 427 Cobra that sold for $1.29 million |Andrew Olson for RM/Auctions America

With a 1967 Shelby 427 Cobra leading the way at $1,292,500, the RM and Auctions America sale of the Sam Pack Five Star classic car collection generated more than $11.5 million at an auction staged over the weekend at Dallas.

Pack, a Ford executive turned Ford (and other automotive brands) megadealer, has spent more than a decade assembling his collection of some 500 vehicles, predominantly Fords. The auction included more than 130 of his cars, all sold with no reserve.

In addition to the 427 Cobra, a 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra sold for $880,000 (prices include buyer’s premium) and a 2006 Ford GT with only 13 miles on its odometer that brought $418,000, continuing the strong recent showing of the late-model Ford supercars at auction.

A 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial roadster sold for $351,000. Also topping a quarter-million dollars were a 1969 Shelby GT500 convertible Mustang at $280,500 and a 600-horsepower 1939 Lincoln Zephyr custom coupe at $253,000. An F-Code 1957 Ford Thunderbird brought $247,500.

A 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, raced during the 2006 and 2007 NASCAR seasons by Jeff Gordon, brought $165,000. The 2005 Ford Sport Trac Adrenalin concept car, unveiled at the 2005 New York Auto Show, tripled its pre-auction estimate by selling for more than $173,000.

The $126,500 that bought a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 benefited Holy Angels, a residential and training campus in Shreveport, Louisiana, for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. A portion of the auction admission fees also went to Holy Angels.

“We were incredibly honored to have been entrusted by Mr. Pack to handle this sale, and thrilled to continue our strong track record in Texas,” Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Auctions’ and Auctions America’s West Coast Division, said in a post-auction news release.

“The results reflect not only a great group of motor cars, but an appreciation for the passion of a true gentleman and collector. Mr. Pack’s unwavering commitment to quality was industry-known and wonderfully represented by the offering this weekend. As an owner, he instilled confidence in many of the first-time bidders and veteran collectors in attendance, who were more than happy to take home a car of excellent presentation and condition. All in all, it was a fantastic sale with plenty of spirited bidding and numerous lots exceeding expectations.”

The auction concluded RM’s 2014 sales calendar. Auctions America has one event left, its BidAnywhere sale “virtual live” auction held entirely via the Internet on November 21.

 

RM to auction 132 cars from Sam Pack collection

Texas car dealer Sam Pack is auctioning off part of his 500-car collection | RM Auctions
Texas car dealer Sam Pack is auctioning off part of his 500-car collection | RM Auctions

A Texas-sized herd of top-grade collector cars comes to auction next week when RM Auctions offers 132 vehicles from the immense collection of Dallas auto dealer and renowned car enthusiast Sam Pack. The sale will be held by RM and its Auctions America division November 14-15 at the Pack Automobile Museum in Farmers Branch, Texas, where the influential Ford dealer will sell off part of his approximately 500-vehicle collection to make room for more.

Three eras of Shelby Cobras will be auctioned | RM Auctions
Three eras of Shelby Cobras will be auctioned | RM Auctions

Pack is known for gathering some of the finest examples of automotive classics. The sale will include primo examples of Detroit muscle, ’50s and ’60s cruisers, street rods and customs, sports cars, concepts and modern collectibles.

“Almost every decade and genre is represented,” RM says in a news release.

The Sam Pack Five Star Collection represents more than a decade of careful acquisition by a lifelong devotee of fine vehicles, according to RM. Pack was a financial pro at Ford Motor Co. before striking out on his own in 1980 by purchasing his first Ford dealership, which has grown into a network of 10 car dealers, including four “Five Star Ford” locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

But beyond his business success, Pack became best known for his passion in collecting great examples of motoring history.

“I’ve had a love affair with cars since I was a teenager; it’s in my DNA,” Pack said. “Fortunately, for me, it’s continued through my professional and business career. It’s a passion shared and supported by my family – they get as much joy out of the cars as I do.”

The cars coming to auction are overwhelmingly vehicles made in the U.S., predictably highlighted by special Ford products, such as a trio of Shelby Cobras, a 1957 Thunderbird F-Code, a 1970 Mustang Boss 302, and about 60 others spanning 92 years of Ford heritage. The oldest car in the grouping is a 1920 Ford Model T and the latest is a 2012 Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca.

Pack’s 1970 Mustang Boss 302 will sell for charity | RM Auctions
Pack’s 1970 Mustang Boss 302 will sell for charity | RM Auctions

Some other top examples among the diverse offerings are a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr coupe custom, a 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Roadster by LeBaron and a 1959 Porsche 356A 1600S convertible D by Drauz.

Other highlights include a 1941 Ford custom pickup custom formerly owned by hot-rod legend Boyd Coddington; a 1950 Ford V8 Custom Deluxe station wagon, believed to have been originally owned by actor Jon “Hurricane” Hall; and a 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS NASCAR, campaigned by Jeff Gordon during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Pack is known as a generous civic leader and philanthropist, which will be exemplified by the sale of his 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 that, along with partial proceeds from the auction’s admission price, will benefit Holy Angels, a residential and training campus for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities in Shreveport, Louisiana.

For more information about the Sam Pack Collection sale and a full catalog of the vehicles, visit www.rmauctions.com.

Among the custom cars is this unique 1939 Lincoln Zephyr | RM Auctions
Among the custom cars is this unique 1939 Lincoln Zephyr | RM Auctions

‘Family’ cars do very well at RM’s Hershey auction

1930 Cadillac from Moir's A2Z collection sells for $1.1 million at Hershey auction| RM
1930 Cadillac from the A2Z collection sells for $1.1 million at Hershey auction| RM

This being Hershey, not Monterey, the catalog for the annual RM Auction was packed with pre-war classics, not Ferraris and similar multi-million-dollar sports cars. Nonetheless, the sale generated $14,074,250 in transactions and a very strong 93-percent sell-through rate.

“We’re ecstatic about the results,” RM car specialist Gord Duff said in a post-event news release.

The sales total was the best for an RM auction in conjunction with the annual AACA Fall Meet at Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“The incredible prices realized demonstrate RM’s proven success in presenting exceptional single-vendor collections within our catalogue sales, with both the Cars of John Moir and the Jeffrey Day Collection exceeding expectations,” Duff said.

“Overall, the results reflect the incredible quality presented, along with our ability to match the right product to the right venue,” he added. “Hershey has certainly topped off what has been a record-breaking year of catalogue sales for our team.”

It was one of Moir’s alphabet cars — a 1930 Cadillac V16 roadster — that topped all sales at $1.1 million.

“I think the original owner of the V16 Cadillac, my grandfather, John Moir Sr., would be very proud and very happy,” said John Moir, son of John Moir Jr., who assembled and was custodian of the family car collection for many decades.

The Cadillac became the “C” car in Moir Junior’s unique A-to-Z Collection of 26 cars, each car with a name starting with a different letter of the alphabet. Overall, those 26 cars sold for nearly $2.4 million, with prices (all prices reported include buyer’s premium fees) ranging from $4,500 for a 1956 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle to (and we’re excluding the Caddy here) $155,000 for a 1937 Packard Six station wagon.

In addition to Moir’s alphabet cars and a group known as the AC Master Class, the auction featured the expansive 50-car Jeffrey Day Collection of primarily Ford-produced vehicles.

The top sale among the Day cars was a 1956 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria Skylner “Glass Top” that sold for $165,000, which RM reported as a new auction-price record for such a vehicle, but another Day vehicle sold for even more, though it wasn’t a motorcar. It was an 1860 Abbott-Downing Stagecoach that brought $330,000.

“Selling a family collection is a large emotional challenge,” said Moir. “It’s been a pleasure and an honor to deal with the people at RM Auctions who understand that and who take the care to be emotionally supportive, responsible, and timely, making it a smooth and gratifying experience.”

The room was full and the bidding was 'spirited] | RM
The room was full and the bidding was ‘spirited] | RM

RM reported not only a full-house audience but “spirited contests both in the room and over the phones.”

Bids came from 17 countries, with more than 25 percent of those bidders being newcomers to RM auctions. A total of 157 vehicles were sold.

Among the auction highlights were the sale for $825,000 of a 1905 Fiat 60 HP Five-Passenger Tourer originally owned by August Anheuser Busch Sr., and, for $522,500, a 1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton.

Top-10 sales, RM Auction at Hershey

  1. 1930 Cadillac V16 Roadster, $1,100,000
  2. 1905 Fiat 60 HP Five-Passenger Tourer, $825,000
  3. 1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton, $522,500
  4. 1930 Cadillac V16 Sport Phaegon, $412,500
  5. 1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 53 convertible roadster, $407,000
  6. 1958 AC Ace-Bristol, $351,000
  7. 1860 Abbott-Downing Stagecoach, $330,000
  8. 1941 Chris-Craft 27′ Model 115 Custom Runabout “Runaway Jane,” $258,500
  9. 1930 Cadillac V16 Madame X sedan cabriolet, $242,000
  10. 1935 Auburn Eight supercharged cabriolet, $220,000

(Prices include buyer’s premium.)

RM concludes its 2014 auction calendar November 14-15 with the Sam Pack Collection sale in Dallas.