RM Sotheby’s conducted its 15th annual Hershey auction at the Hershey Lodge during the Antique Automobile Club of America’s (AACA) Eastern Division Fall Meet. Total sales across the two-day auction grossed $12,984,210 with 98% of all lots sold. The auction drew outstanding attendance as the cars crossed the block in front of a packed auction room with bidders from across the U.S.

The sale offered an exceptional lineup spanning over 80 years of automotive history which included The Collection of Robert Thayer featuring three stunning American classics. Being a client of ours for almost three decades, Mr. Thayer entrusted us to sell his prized possessions in Hershey since we had carefully sourced each example for him. The top selling car was the 1931 Duesenberg Model J Roadster “Green Hornet”. This CCCA Full Classic is one of very few true roadsters on the Model J chassis and would be welcomed to any number of important concours and club events. This example struts a wonderful, storied history with Duesenberg enthusiasts and sold for a price of $1,650,000. Following the Duesenberg was the 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster. Presented in well-maintained concours restoration, this exceptional Auburn will be warmly welcomed to any number of events and sold for $891,000. Rounding out the top three sales was the 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight Roadster. One of the finest extant 745 Deluxe Eight Roadsters and one of just a handful genuine examples believed to still be in existence, this Roadster brought $407,000.

Another significant Collection to go under the hammer on Friday was the Collection of Les Holden. The collection offered five American classics with four selling over their high estimate. The most notable from the Collection was the 1909 Peerless Model 19 Touring. Featured in numerous magazines and driven in many tours over six decades, this Peerless is one of just two surviving T-head, 40 hp 1909 Model 19’s and smashed its presale estimate of $150,000, selling for $286,000.

An additional two American classics left the auction room with a selling price that exceeded their pre-sale estimates. Both restored to a level beyond what is normally seen makes it nearly impossible to find any others like them. The 1934 Pierce-Arrow Model 840A Convertible Sedan is a one-off example and highly respected in Pierce-Arrow circles. This 840A struts an outstanding concours-quality restoration and is a two-time Pierce-Arrow Society Best in Show winner. Offered from the Collection of Charles Gillet, this Sedan brought $330,000. The 1931 Buick Series 90 Sport Roadster was acquired in the early 1990s by one of the nation’s most dedicated Buick collectors. This Sport Roadster notably wears a national first prize CCCA badge – an indication of the car’s high state of presentation and sold for $222,750.

Worthy of mention is the beautifully restored 1948 Diamond T 201 Pickup. Known by enthusiasts as “the Cadillac of Trucks”, this example was offered from 26 years of single ownership and brought the crowd to an applause as it hammered at a remarkable $176,000 – well over its presale estimate.

Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s said: “It was great to return live in Hershey alongside the AACA and welcome back our good friends and long-time clients to our 15th annual sale. This weekends results prove that the brass era and classics market is very much alive and well. Presenting such a diverse offering across all price ranges really shows our ability to sell well throughout all faucets within the market. Our team of specialists did a great job sourcing the very best examples for all categories and this weekend demonstrated that buyers continue to be eager to take them home.”

Top 10 Sales


Lot 279

    1931 Duesenberg Model J Roadster "Green Hornet"



Lot 278

    1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster



Lot 277

    1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight Roadster



Lot 266

    1934 Pierce-Arrow Model 840A Convertible Sedan



Lot 248

    1909 Peerless Model 19 Touring



Lot 155

    1931 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton



Lot 280

    1931 Buick Series 90 Sport Roadster



Lot 157

    1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet



Lot 177

    1904 Winton 20hp Rear-Entrance Tonneau



Lot 165

    1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Town Car Prototype



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