RM Auctions continued its strong track record in Hershey, Pennsylvania, generating more than $10.7 million in total sales with a remarkable 95 percent of all lots sold at its annual sale held during the Eastern Division AACA National Fall Meet.
Highlighted by a magnificent series of Brass and Classic Era automobiles, the two-day sale saw approximately 120 automobiles, joined by a selection of vintage motorcycles and memorabilia, cross the auction podium before a packed house. The standing-room only audience was joined by bidders on the phone and via the Internet, resulting in numerous, spirited bidding wars. Reflecting RM's international clientele, bidders hailed from 17 countries around the world, including as far away as Germany, Israel, and New Zealand.
American classics were the toast of RM's 2012 Hershey auction, with a pair of majestic Duesenbergs, each offered fresh to the market from the distinguished Ray Bowersox Collection, claiming top sales honors. Rolling onto the stage to great applause from the crowd, the star lot of the weekend, an exceptional 1931 Duesenberg Model J Dual Windshield 'Barrelside' Phaeton by LeBaron, J299, attracted spirited bidding in the room and on the phones, eventually selling for an impressive $1,292,500. One of just seven examples built and of six known survivors, the famous J299—an esteemed part of the Bowersox Collection since 1985—was the winner of the epic 1932 "celebrity" race at Lake Muroc against the Marx brothers' Mercedes-Benz, a spectacular provenance pronounced as being almost as valuable as the car itself. Also from the Bowersox Collection, and garnering strong interest from collectors, was a supremely elegant 1929 Duesenberg Model J Sport Sedan, J139, with coachwork by the Walter M. Murphy Company. Offered for the first time since 1979, the handsome Model J, one of only two sporting examples, realized $792,000.