The Guyton Collection | Lot 366
1931 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Sedan by LeBaron
$170,800 USD | Sold
| St. Louis, Missouri
4 May 2019
- Formerly owned by William Snyder and William Raithel
- Documented in Dyke W. Ridgley’s Marmon Sixteen Roster
- Older restoration with a national award-winning past
- Offered with a set of new cylinder heads, original sales literature, and service information
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Like all great pieces of art, the Marmon Sixteen was one man’s vision of perfection. Automobile pioneer Colonel Howard Marmon created a triumph of pattern-making and foundry technology, containing at its heart an all-aluminum V-16 engine on a state-of-the-art chassis. With 200 hp from over 490-cu in., the car was capable of out-accelerating a Duesenberg Model J, yet it cost one-third as much. It was dressed by Walter Dorwin Teague Jr., an MIT student working for his father’s industrial design firm, whose crisp lines, devoid of gratuitous ornamentation and characterized by sharp design shapes, embodied the lean sportiness of the age.
It was a design in which superb styling and world-class engineering existed with harmonious balance, as has seldom been seen before or since. Like a fine Swiss watch or the best mahogany speedboat, it whispered quietly but firmly of its owner’s wealth and exquisite taste.
The Guyton Sixteen is one of the few whose original owner is known; Indiana title records identify him as having been Edward McConnell of 21 West 42nd Street in Indianapolis. Like most all Classics it had a period as a “used car,” when it was creatively used by a small-town deputy sheriff as a police car. In 1948, it was sold by its owner’s son, John Steeds, to 17-year-old William Snyder. Snyder drove the car in his last year of high school and on dates, and it obviously made a major impression; as a successful businessman he would go on to become an early and significant Marmon Sixteen enthusiast and collector. Mr. Snyder went to college out of state and had to sell the car to a Mr. Chittenden of Bedford, Ohio. It next passed in the early 1950s to Clarence Stevens of Munson, Ohio, then later that decade to J.M. Owen of Dayton.
In the late 1970s the car was advertised for sale by Mrs. Richard Seybold of Tipp City, Ohio, a member of the Studebaker family. It was sold to William Raithel of Rochester, New York, who found the original close coupled sedan body to be in very poor condition, the car having been used to house chickens. Fortunately, Mr. Raithel had earlier acquired a correct and original Sixteen convertible sedan body at Hershey and had this body restored on the newly purchased Sixteen chassis and engine by Wilkinson & Sharpe and his own shop.
The restoration work was completed by 1985, and Mr. Raithel enjoyed exhibiting the car for a decade, earning 2nd in class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1988 and achieving both an AACA National First Prize and a CCCA Senior First Prize (no. 1689). He then sold the car, via the Blackhawk Collection, to Fred Guyton in 1996.
Largely maintained on exhibit in Mr. Guyton’s museum since, the car is now an older restoration. Recent inspection showed that the car retained its original LeBaron body number tag from 1931. Significantly, the convertible sedan is offered with a set of the new, improved Marmon Sixteen cylinder heads, from the recent reproductions produced by Gary Severns and Dyke Ridgley, which should prove a boon to any new caretaker who intends to drive the car as Colonel Howard Marmon intended.