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RM Sotheby’s once again celebrated the American automobile at Hershey Lodge during the world-renowned AACA Fall Meet with $15,932,802 in total sales and an incredible 96 percent sell-through rate across two days (5-6 October). Representing one of the company’s top Hershey performances to date in the sale’s eleven-year history, results were driven by bidders from 20 countries, and highlighted by several important private collections presented amongst the 140 cars on offer.

The Thomas F. Derro Collection, one of the Northeast’s greatest collections of American automobiles, offered entirely without reserve, stole the show on Friday evening, with many lots achieving or exceeding estimates. Drawing tremendous pre-sale interest, the twelve-car Derro Collection was led by the 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow, the very first of just four examples and a mere three survivors, which brought a final $2,310,000 following an extended contest between bidders in the room and on the phone. An Art Moderne monument, the Silver Arrow is the irreplaceable centerpiece for any collection of Full Classics—a true showstopper. Additional highly anticipated highlights from the Derro Collection include an exceptionally restored, award-winning 1935 Duesenberg Model J Cabriolet with one-off European coachwork by d’Ieteren, which sold for $1,485,000, a striking 1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible with the optional D500 Hemi V-8 engine which well-exceeded expectations at $341,000 (Est. $200k/250k), and a 1941 Packard Custom Super Eight One Eighty Convertible Victoria, used in the popular 1970s NBC television series “Banacek”, which brought a strong $407,000.

The Thursday evening sale session also featured an important collection of cars offered from the estate of the late Ralph Whitworth, the country’s foremost collector of hot rods and customs. The group was led by the 1932 Ford “Pete Henderson” Roadster, the well-known ’32 Ford that famously beat an undefeated quarter horse in 1944, which saw tremendous pre-sale interest and eventually sold for a final $192,500 (Est. $160k/180k). Deuce Coupes were in high demand on the night, with another 1932 Ford Three-Window Coupe Hot Rod with original speed equipmentsoaring past estimate to reach $90,750 (Est. $50k/65k).

"The RM Sotheby’s Hershey auction remains one of the premier destinations for die-hard Classic and Brass era enthusiasts and the results over the course of the two-day auction simply reaffirmed the strength of the market and depth of the consignments for this year’s stellar offering,” said Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions for RM Sotheby’s, following the sale. “Headlined by notable estate collections; The Thomas F. Derro and Ralph Whitworth Collections respectively, RM Sotheby’s was honored to have been chosen to represent such esteemed names in the hobby. It goes to show that the mix between cars with outstanding provenance against the backdrop of our annual Hershey sale continues to provide the recipe for sweet success”.

Stand-out American Classics of exceptional provenance also shone outside of the private collections. Thursday evening saw a 1936 Cadillac V-16 Convertible Sedan by Fleetwood, one of the very finest first generation examples extant, bring a well-deserved $715,000. Sympathetically restored from an outstanding original example, the V-16 was exhibited for six decades at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and came to Hershey having had just two private owners since 1949. On Friday, an authentic, factory-supercharged 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Cabriolet delighted the packed auction room when it reached a final $412,500 following interest from multiple parties (Est. $300k/350k).

Proving that collectors are willing to pay strong money for the truly special cars at all levels of the market, one of the most anticipated and most unique lots of the Thursday sale was the iconic 1937 White Model 706 Yellowstone Park Tour Bus. Originally supplied to Yellowstone National Park and now upgraded for modern enjoyment, the ultimate party bus ignited a fierce competition between nearly 20 bidders on the phone and in the room, smashing its presale estimate at a final $165,000 (Est. $30k/40k). On Friday evening, an immaculately restored, Canadian-delivery 1961 AMC Metropolitan 1500 Convertible also charmed its way past high estimate, attracting a bidding contest that eventually saw it sold at$74,250 (Est. $30k/40k).

RM Sotheby’s Hershey 2017 Top Ten Sales

RM Sotheby’s continues a busy week, partnering with Ferrari to host their 70th anniversary celebrations in New York City this weekend, 7-8 October. The auction house is displaying ten iconic automobiles hand-selected by Ferrari at Sotheby’s Manhattan headquarters showcasing top models across seven decades. Ferrari is also displaying cars at landmarks across the city, including at Rockefeller Plaza—where Michael Schumacher’s Monaco Grand Prix-winning Ferrari F2001 will be on view ahead of its offering at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 16 November in New York—the first collector car ever offered in a Sotheby’s art sale. RM Sotheby’s rounds out its 2017 auction calendar with a return to Manhattan on 6 December for the third iteration of the company’s sale at Sotheby’s global headquarters. Entitled “ICONS”, the event will celebrate the cutting edge of automotive design, presenting a curated roster of 40 of history’s most iconic automobiles from the world's most admired marques.

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