RM Auctions celebrated a now 48-year Labor Day tradition this past weekend with its annual Auburn Fall sale (30 August – 2 September) at the Auburn Auction Park in Indiana. The four days of spirited auction action resulted in $21.7 million in total sales, with a strong 81 percent of all lots sold, representing a 12 percent increase in sales over 2017.
Collectors and enthusiasts flooded the Auburn Auction Park to view the more than 700 cars on offer and activities for the entire family to enjoy, with record crowds across Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Bidders hailed from 14 countries and 45 states across the U.S., with more than 30 percent representing first-time RM Auctions clientele.
The top sale of the auction was the 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, a first-year example which sold for a final $852,500 just after it crossed the block. The result was closely followed by motor cars from the highly anticipated Richard L. Burdick Collection, most notably by the 1929 Duesenberg Model J Sedan with period coachwork by Derham/Bohman & Schwartz, which incited a bidding competition between bidders in the room and on the phone before selling for a final $737,000 to a private onsite bidder. The 1929 Auburn 120 Eight Speedster from the collection also saw significant interest, achieving a final $330,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $150,000 – $200,000. Rounding out the ACD trio offered from the collection, the 1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet exceeded high estimate at $165,000. Additional cars from the Burdick Collection will be offered at RM Sotheby's Group events across 2018 and 2019.
"It was a fantastic weekend for enthusiasts of all ages in Auburn, and we were thrilled to build on a tradition that brought tens of thousands to the Classic Car Capital of America," said Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby's Group. "The auction arena was packed on numerous occasions throughout the weekend, and we saw an increase in sales with fewer vehicles, and a clear increase in the quality of our consignments over last year. We also received great feedback from both buyers and sellers on the change to single-ring auction style, which proved successful in drawing more bidders to each car offered. Our top five Auburn Fall sales demonstrate the success of numerous categories of collector cars in Auburn, from American Classics through European sports cars and modern performance. We look forward to continuing the tradition next year."
RM Auctions also saw strong results for additional vehicles offered from private collections at Auburn Fall, including for a 2006 Ford GT displaying only 4.4 miles, which sold for a final $357,500 to cheers from the crowd. The Shrine of the Holy Grille Collection, which featured one of the most comprehensive groups of Edsel motor cars in the world, also drew strong interest on Friday, with record prices for the marque achieved. Meanwhile, the 1976 Ford Escort 1100 GL Sedan formerly owned by Saint Pope John Paul II saw interest from collectors both in the room and on the phone, eventually bringing a final $121,000 with proceeds to benefit the O'Quinn Foundation.