Lot 150

Arizona 2024

1931 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Sedan by LeBaron


$335,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Phoenix, Arizona



Serial No.
16 145 678
Engine No.
16 695
Body No.
US Title
  • Well-known history, documented in Dyke W. Ridgley’s Marmon Sixteen Roster
  • Original body and engine
  • Recently fitted with new cylinder heads and clutch
  • Very well-sorted example for driving enjoyment
  • CCCA Full Classic

One of just 75 known surviving Marmon Sixteens, the especially handsome convertible sedan offered here has had its ownership history traced by historian Dyke W. Ridgley back to the late 1950s, when it was in the ownership of someone recorded only as Ballard. In 1962 it was sold by Mr. Ballard to longtime Classic Car Club of America member, Robert “Bob” Mellin of Richmond, Michigan, who passed it to another collector in that state in 1974. Soon thereafter it was purchased by the prolific Oklahoma-based collector, restorer, and auctioneer, James Leake, who retained it in his private collection for several years.

In 1987 the Marmon was purchased from the Leake stable by Sam Vaughan, an oil and natural gas magnate in the small town of Uncertain, Texas, who was at the time building a large collection of vintage automobiles, held by his business as an investment. Following his untimely passing in 1989, the car was sold at a landmark auction of the Vaughan collection to an enthusiast in Ontario, who maintained it for the next 22 years.

In this ownership the car was shown at the Marmon Muster, winning the President’s Trophy in 1991 and the People’s Choice Award in 1992. Despite these laurels it was deemed still worthy of further improvement. Its body and chassis were restored in 1995 to 1996 by Stan Uher of Classic Coachworks in Blenheim, Ontario, and the engine fully rebuilt by the late, respected technician John Forsythe of Fremont, Ohio. Mr. Forsythe’s work included cleaning the engine block, which was internally ceramic-coated; fitting new cylinder sleeves, sealing rings, and machined pistons; rebabbiting the main bearing and connecting-rod bearings, and maching them to the proper crank dimensions; polishing the crankshaft; and installing a “new old stock” oil pump. Shortly before its acquisition by the present owner it was fitted with new cylinder heads—an important note for any Marmon Sixteen—as well as a new clutch.

More recently maintained as an excellent driver, this splendid CCCA Full Classic is ideal for local showing or as a superb tour and CARavan automobile, with rich history, fine lines and, of course, abundant, world-class performance from one of the greatest engines of its time.