The Guyton Collection | Lot 375
1930 Du Pont Model G Convertible Victoria by Waterhouse
$368,000 USD | Sold
| St. Louis, Missouri
4 May 2019
- The 1931 New York Automobile Show car
- Beautiful custom coachwork by the famed Waterhouse
- Multiple award-winning concours restoration
- Formerly owned for decades by Henry Meyer
- One of the very finest Du Pont automobiles available
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
THE DU PONT AUTOMOBILE
The Du Pont automobile was the product of Delaware munitions scion E. Paul du Pont, who after World War I, in 1919, repurposed his Wilmington marine engine factory to build high-end automobiles. They were what is known as “assembled” cars, meaning that they were composed largely of mass-produced components, but were distinguished by using only the finest materials available, including Continental inline eight-cylinder engines, and by being built with the greatest of care. Especially noteworthy were the gorgeous bodies produced for the chassis by the East Coast’s finest coachbuilders, attracting the attention of a “who’s who” of Jazz Age celebrities who eagerly became Du Pont owners.
By the time that Du Pont Motors entered bankruptcy in 1932, approximately 537 cars had been produced. Relatively few have survived, and the majority of these are held in the long-term ownership of the du Pont family or in museums.
THE WATERHOUSE CONVERTIBLE VICTORIA
Car number G-985 is the sole survivor of six Du Ponts bodied by the famed Massachusetts coachbuilder Waterhouse as their seductive convertible victoria, a style which they are widely credited with popularizing in the U.S. Waterhouse’s G. Briggs Weaver designed a top mechanism that allowed for a large convertible top that folded flush and low with the body, while the body itself featured very simple lines and trim that accents its elegance.
This car is recorded by Du Pont historian Stan Smith as having been originally finished entirely in Toledo Brown with brown leather upholstery and Espania Red wheels. It was shipped on Christmas Eve of 1930 to A.J. Miranda, the Du Pont dealer in Manhattan, and was exhibited at the 1931 New York Automobile Show.
Reportedly the car spent the war years in a junkyard before being removed to legendary Duesenberg mechanic Jim Hoe’s facility, where it was acquired by early enthusiast, Henry Meyer. Meyer restored the Du Pont to functional condition, after which it was his regular automobile for several years, before being put away into storage. In the 1960s he eventually decided that, as he wrote, “this splendid survivor deserved at least as much attention as a Chippendale chair,” and completed a restoration to the concours standards of the time, dividing the work between himself and the great Ralph Buckley. The Du Pont was then widely shown for many years and was the subject of a detailed cover feature in the Summer 1983 issue of The Classic Car.
Meyer maintained his beloved Du Pont well into the 1980s. It was then acquired by Leonard Urlik of California, from whose estate it was purchased by Fred Guyton in 2000 – fulfilling a 30-year dream of Du Pont ownership. Mr. Guyton wrote of retrieving the car from its storage atop California’s Mount Baldy, not long before a firestorm swept the area! It was brought to the Midwest and meticulously restored to a modern concours standard of fit and finish, with the body, paintwork, and upholstery by D&D Classic Automobile Restoration of Covington, Ohio. During the restoration it was decided to “lighten” the car’s sober original color scheme, by keeping the original Toledo Brown hue on the fenders, running boards, and frame, but employing a lighter color for the body and radiator, with the wheels and striping in the original Espania Red and a contrasting Haartz cloth and leather top.
The Guyton Du Pont has been shown widely and with much success over the years, including a Class Award at the 2005 CCCA Museum Grand Experience, presented at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and most recently at the 2015 Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance. It has also seen another spate of magazine appearances, including in the CCCA Spirit of St. Louis Region magazine, The Spirit, and the Michigan Region magazine, Torque, copies of which are both included in its file along with considerable additional photographs, correspondence, and documentation from throughout its long life.
Rare is the opportunity to acquire a Du Pont car, and rarer still is the opportunity to purchase the only survivor with the famous Waterhouse convertible victoria body – a true landmark of Classic Era quality and design.