RM Auctions returned to Hampton, New Hampshire, 23–24 June for the company's concluding presentation of The Dingman Collection, achieving an overall $7,027,334 in total sales, with all lots finding new homes across the two-day auction event. The Dingman Collection, offered entirely without reserve, comprised the remarkable cars and collectibles of the late Mr. Michael Dingman, long-time Ford Motor Company Director and one of the most important Ford collectors of modern times.
The auction followed RM's previous successful offerings of lots from The Dingman Collection in both 2012 and 2006 and drew tremendous bidder interest from 36 states across the U.S. and from as far afield as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Asia. In addition to a packed house throughout the weekend, The Dingman Collection drew significant remote bidding interest, with 30 percent of bidders participating via the Internet, and 20 percent via telephone. Notably, 40 percent of all bidders represented first-time RM Sotheby's Group clientele.
"We saw wonderful attendance at The Dingman Collection sale from start to finish," said Alain Squindo, Chief Operating Officer, RM Sotheby's Group, following the auction. "Discerning collectors recognize the quality associated with the Dingman name and the late Mr. Dingman's meticulous collecting philosophy, and they came out in droves to add an important piece to their own garages. The entire RM Auctions team was honored to present this incredible collection on behalf of the Dingman family."
The bulk of The Dingman Collection comprised historic pieces of Americana, including more than 500 exquisite neon, porcelain, and metal signs. Amongst a host of fascinating pieces was the Hamburger and Shake Neon Sign, which soared past estimate to a final sale price of $48,000 (Estimate: $15,000–$20,000), while signs from iconic American brands such as John Deere, Lincoln, Ford, and Shell performed strongly as well. The much-buzzed-about Silk City Diner by Paterson Vehicle Company, an authentic, beautifully restored 1940s American diner, also impressed with a final price of $336,000. Additional collectibles highlights include the Ford 24-Stud Flathead V-8 Cutaway Display Engine (1946–1948), which had the entire phone bidding desk on its feet, bringing $45,600 against a pre-sale estimate of $4,000–$6,000.
Following the auction, Mrs. Elizabeth Dingman, wife of the late Mr. Michael Dingman, commented: "RM Auctions is to be commended on a fabulous job showcasing The Dingman Collection in this weekend's auction. I want to commend each and every person for their sensitivity and professionalism as my family and I processed the sale of my husband's beloved treasures. I felt RM respected and valued each piece, which allowed us to go through the letting go process of the Collection itself, which was so near and dear to my husband's heart. I know Michael Dingman is smiling, knowing his treasures not only went to those who will continue the historic journey, but that his family was treated with such dignity and care, affording us the opportunity to calmly participate throughout the two-day process."