Million-dollar Packard tops RM at St. John’s

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Formerly part of the late Frank Kleptz Collection and referred to as the “ghost car,” this auto show-display, plexiglas-bodied 1939-’40 Pontiac Deluxe Six sedan sold for $280,000 at the RM at St. John’s auction.

 
Story and photos by Angelo Van Bogart

Several Detroit-area locals lamented the fact that collector vehicles were selling slowly in their hometown, but RM Auctions had a different story to tell after its July 30 sale, held in conjunction with the Concours d’Elegance of America at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Mich. Of 70 cars offered, 60 were declared sold for an exceptional 85.7 percent sell-through rating.

The sale boasted strong advertising, exceptional cars and a new and lavish setting that combined for a successful auction. The event, formerly held at Meadow Brook Hall, was moved to a ballroom at the Inn at St. John’s with plenty of bidder seating and a turntable to spin cars as if they were Detroit dream machines.

In reality, there were several dream machines at the sale. The 1939-’40 Pontiac Deluxe Six sedan made of plexiglas and long in the collection of the late Frank Kleptz sold within its estimated range for $280,000 ($308,000 after 10 percent buyer’s commission was added). Although the pre-sale buzz around this car was the strongest of any other car offered during the sale, its price was overshadowed by two Classic-era heavy hitters: a Duesenberg Murphy convertible sedan, called sold for $640,000 before commission, and the top sale of the day, a 1932 Packard with convertible sedan coachwork by Dietrich hammered at $1 million before commission.

Among mid-range cars, there were a few surprises from the Oldsmobile camp. The old adage, “if the top goes down, the price goes up” may need to be updated to “if the tailgate goes down, the price goes up” after a 1958 Oldsmobile 88 Fiesta four-door hardtop station wagon bested an upmarket 1953 Oldsmobile 98 convertible. Both red cars came from the Don Kizziar collection and were in similar condition, but the J-2-equipped wagon sold for $47,500 compared to $37,500 for the dual-carbureted convertible.

Prewar automobiles had an exceptional showing at the RM at St. John’s auction. (Above) Owned by one family for 90 years, this 1913 Pathfinder touring sold for $105,000. (Below) Formerly owned by entertainer Al Jolson, this 1932 Packard Twin Six convertible sedan with Dietrich coachwork sold for $1,000,000.


RM at St. John’s
Plymouth, Mich., 7-30-2011
Angelo Van Bogart reporting

Vehicles listed were declared sold.
Reportedly, 70 were offered.

Year/Make/Model                                Price/Condition

1930 Auburn 8-125 2d Cabr Conv, 8-cyl, SMts    $82,500    2
1957 Austin A35 DeL 2d Sed, 4-cyl, 34-hp    $30,000    2
1936 Buick Spl 2d Sed, 8-cyl, 93-hp, sold to benefit McPherson College    $26,000    2

1907 Cadillac M 4d Trg, 1-cyl, 10-hp, ex-Harrah Coll    $42,500    2
1930 Cadillac 452-A 4d Sed, V-16, Madame X, Trippe lamps    $135,000    3
1931 Cadillac 370-A 4d DC Phae, V-12, Trippe lamps    $182,500    1
1933 Cadillac Fleetwood 452-C 4d Limo, V-16, 7P, body #18, 30K    $145,000    3
1942 Cadillac 62 2d Conv, Hydra-Matic, w/spotlight    $85,000    2
1953 Cadillac Eldo 2d Conv, #345    $135,000    2
1957 Cadillac Eldo Brgm 4d HT, A/C, w/o vanities    $70,000    2
1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brgm 60 Spl 4d Sed    $8,000    3
1954 Chevrolet Corvette 2d Rds, 6-cyl, Powerglide, Pennant Blue, 40K    $62,500    3
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2d Conv, A/C, w/cont kit & fender skirts    $75,000    1
1931 Chrysler Imperial 4d Sed, ex-Walter P Chrysler car, LeBaron body, SMts, w/trunk    $67,500    3
1935 Chrysler C2 Imperial Airflow 2d FBk, w/bumper guards    $60,000    2
1949 Chrysler Royal 4d Sta Wag, woodie, orig alligator int, 3 seat, w/road lamps    $52,500    3
1961 Chrysler 300G 2d Conv, Wedge 413-cid, w/Cross Ram intake, swivel buckets, orig spare    $165,000    2
1937 Cord 812 4d Beverly Sed, SC V-8, w/road lamps    $60,000    3
1951 Crosley Hot Shot 2d Rds, 4-cyl, 265-hp, 3-Spd    $18,000    3

1935 DeSoto Airflow SG 4d Sed    $25,000    1
1929 Duesenberg J Murphy Berline 4d Conv Sed, J288/2307, Pilot Ray driving lamps    $640,000    2
1934 Duesenberg J 2d BT Spds, SC, J134, Walton/Gassoway coachwork    $460,000    3

1909 Ford T 4d Trg Mod, early ’09 s/n, Town Car replica    $60,000    1
1930 Ford A 2d Rds, w/grille guard    $23,000    3
1935 Ford Brewster 4d Town Car, 85-hp    $45,000    3
1942 Ford Sup DeL 4d Sta Wag, woodie, 3 seat, w/radio & fog lamps    $80,000    2
1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner 2d Conv, 292-cid, Fordomatic    $45,000    3
1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner 2d Conv, 292-cid, 2x4V, w/cont kit    $39,000    3
1957 Ford Fairlane Sunliner 2d Conv, 312-cid, 245-hp, 3-Spd, WW    $57,500    2
1957 Ford Fairlane 500 2d HT, F code SC 312-cid, 1 of 27    $65,000    3

1967 Jaguar XK-E I 2d Conv, 4.2L, 4-Spd, #s matching    $90,000    1
1954 Kaiser Darrin 2d Rds, 6-cyl    $67,500    3

1929 Lincoln 2d Cabr, w/rear spare    $32,500    1
1933 Lincoln Brunn KB 2d Vic Conv, V-12    $122,500    3
1939 Lincoln K LeBaron 4d Conv, 3,500 orig miles, ex-King George & Queen Elizabeth tourer, orig    $270,000    3
1941 Lincoln Zephyr Custom 4d Limo, w/power division window    $42,500    2
1942 Lincoln Cont 2d Cpe, V-12, w/o fender skirts    $31,000    2

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 2d GW Cpe, w/Rudge whls    $615,000    2
1963 Mercedes-Benz 230SL 2d Conv, 4-Spd, w/HT, A/C, road lamps    $30,000    2
1957 MGA 2d Cpe, KO    $20,000    2
1969 MGC GT 2d Cpe    $27,000    1
1948 Nash Ambassador Custom 2d Conv, w/road lamps    $32,500    3


This J-2-equipped 1958 Oldsmobile 88 Fiesta hardtop station wagon sold for $47,500 at the RM at St. John’s auction.

1909 Oldsmobile X3 4d Trg, 4-cyl, 40-hp    $65,000    2
1953 Oldsmobile 98 2d Conv, 303-cid, 210-hp, 2x4V, Dynaflow, w/Autronic Eye    $37,500    3
1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta 2d Conv    $130,500    2
1958 Oldsmobile 88 Fiesta 4d HT Sta Wag, J-2 Ed, 371-cid, 312-hp, 3-Spd, A/C, w/transportable radio    $47,500    3
1962 Oldsmobile Starfire 2d HT, A/C, console tach, w/Protect-o-Plate    $35,000    2

1930 Packard 734 2d Spds Mod, Trippe lamps, boattail replica    $170,000    1

1932 Packard Twin 6 1006 4d Conv Sed, w/individual Dietrich coachwork, ex-Al Jolson car    $1,000,000    3

1938 Packard 12 1608 2d Conv Cpe, R/S, SMts, Trippe lamps, w/trunk rack    $150,000    2
1939 Packard 12 1708 4d A/W Cabr, V-12, Brunn coachwork    $162,500    1
1953 Packard Caribbean 2d Conv, Auto, w/cont kit, Polaris Blue    $85,000    2
1956 Packard Caribbean 2d Conv Mod, A/C, non-orig black finish    $92,500    2
1956 Packard Caribbean 2d HT, 374-cid, 310-hp, 2x4V, Ultramatic    $37,500    3
1957 Packard Clipper Country Sed 4d Sta Wag, SC 289-cid w/McCullough supercharger, Auto, ex-Art Astor Coll    $55,000    2
1913 Pathfinder 4d Trg, 4-cyl, 40-hp, 5P, w/self starter, one family owned for 90 years    $105,000    2
1920 Pierce-Arrow 32 4d Sed, 6-cyl, 7P, 138-inch wb    $55,000    1
1939 Pontiac DeL 6 4d Sed, plexiglas “ghost car”    $280,000    3

1951 Studebaker Commander 2d Conv, V-8, Auto, w/back-up lamps    $27,500    3
1974 Triumph TR6 2d Conv    $16,000    3

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