Motor City

  • RM Sotheby’s continues successful sales run in Michigan generating $7.4 million at its 21st annual Motor City auction
  • 1930s-era American classics claim top sales led by 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Dual-Cowl Phaeton at $852,500
  • European highlights include a 2001 BMW Z8 for $192,500 and a 1989 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe for $176,000
  • Detroit-area auction acts as prelude to today’s Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s
  • Complete Motor City results available at
  • RM Sotheby’s continues summer calendar in Monterey, California, August 13 – 15, followed by annual London, UK sale on September 7


PLYMOUTH, Michigan (July 26, 2015) – RM Sotheby’s, the world’s largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, generated $7,425,450* with 79 percent of all lots sold at its annual Motor City sale, July 25 in Plymouth, Michigan.


Returning as the official auction of the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s, RM’s 21st annual auction in the Detroit area saw fantastic weather for the Friday open-air preview, followed by spirited bidding in both the room and over the phone at the Saturday sale. Interest was received from 30 states across the country, as well as from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, with nearly 25 percent of bidders representing new RM Sotheby’s clientele.


American classics led the charge at the 3.5 hour auction, with handsome 1930s examples commanding strong prices to secure the top three sales of the day. The star of the auction, a striking 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Dual-Cowl Phaeton, originally owned by Duesenberg Motors President Lucius B. Manning, realized $852,500 after competition from numerous bidders on the phone and in the ballroom. The Motor City-made 1933 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Sport Phaeton awed the packed auction room with its stunning looks, achieving $583,000 to applause from the crowd. Rounding out the top three, an award-winning 1934 Auburn Twelve Salon Speedster far exceeded pre-sale expectations at a final $506,000.


“This year’s sale has once again proven that Motor City is one of the leading events celebrating the American automobile, and a fantastic venue for pre-war classics,” says Gord Duff, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “The top three results are reflective of the solid prices we’ve seen throughout 2015 for beautifully restored, concours-quality American Classics, and all three are a perfect fit for the Concours weekend.”


For 2015, RM Sotheby’s expanded its Motor City offering, adding select European sports cars and late model collectibles to the mix. The sale enjoyed a strong start with a highly sought after triple-black 1989 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe, achieving an above-estimate $176,000 following tremendous pre-sale interest. Additional impressive results for on-the-rise European examples included a 1988 Lamborghini LM002, and a 2001 BMW Z8, each generating $192,500. Finally, the most incredible of modern American supercars, a 2005 Ford GT, showing fewer than 370 actual miles, sold for $319,000. 


RM Sotheby’s Motor City Top Eleven Sales


Lot 156 - 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Dual-Cowl Phaeton                            $852,500
Lot 138 - 1933 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Sport Phaeton                $583,000
Lot 121 - 1934 Auburn Twelve Salon Speedster                                               $506,000
Lot 131 - 2005 Ford GT                                                                                           $319,000
Lot 137 - 1930 Packard Deluxe Eight Dual-Cowl Sport Phaeton                   $308,000
Lot 135 - 1929 Stutz Model M Four-Passenger Speedster                              $302,500
Lot 136 - 1934 Pierce-Arrow Twelve Convertible Coupe Roadster               $297,000
Lot 155 - 1938 Packard Super Eight Sedanca deVille                                      $220,000
Lot 132 - 1968 Shelby GT500 KR Convertible                                                   $203,500
Lot 141 - 2001 BMW Z8                                                                                          $192,500
Lot 142 - 1988 Lamborghini LM002                                                                     $192,500


Complete results from RM Sotheby’s 2015 Motor City sale are available at


RM Sotheby’s continues its busy summer calendar with the return of its flagship Monterey, California sale, August 13 – 15. Extended to three days in 2015, the highly anticipated auction will lift the gavel on approximately 150 blue-chip collector cars. The digital catalogue for RM’s traditional Friday / Saturday Monterey sales, as well as that for The Pinnacle Portfolio, an unprecedented private collection to be presented August 13, is available for viewing at The company will conclude its summer calendar, September 7 with the presentation of its annual London sale, the official auction of the UK’s Concours of Elegance.