Oldsmobile built only 159 seven-passenger touring cars in the Limited series during 1911, so for one to come up at auction is extremely rare. Originally purchased for the president of the Brewyn-White Coal Company in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, it is one of three known to survive and the only one never restored.
When deemed no longer useful or practical for the time, this car was stored away in a barn, until discovered by William Swigart in the 1950s. Recognizing its value as an artifact, he resisted any temptation to commence restoration, instead preserving it in its original condition.
Recently taken out of 50 year storage and museum display, it is wonderfully patinated and complete, except for top and top irons, which, like a speedometer, were optional in 1911. The exterior finish is much deteriorated, but, aside from a few fender dents and tears, the sheet metal wears its complex contours without blemish.
The leather upholstery, including armchair-style jump seats in the rear, is worn and shows tears in some areas.
While currently fitted with a pair of unrestored and incorrectly sized headlamps, the proper original set on the Limited would have been Solarclipse 950 headlamps with either green or clear magnified lenses. These would have been matched with comparable Solarclipse side lamps and a single tail light.
The auction, run by RM Auctions, included a number of unrestored vehicles from the Swigart family-a collection that was started by W. Emmert Swigart in the late 1930s. The event marked this first time RM had conducted an auction at Hershey.
Nearly 120 cars were shown at the auction. Other interesting vehicles sold included:
– A 1929 Dusenberg Model J Double Cowl Phaeton. Sale price was $1.65 million.
-A 1933 Stutz DV32 Dual Cowl Phateon with LeBaron coachwork. Sale price was $797,500.?
-A 1930 duPont Mode G Le Mans Speedster. It sold for $704,000.?
-A 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux coupe, which sold for $528,000.
In addition to the RM sale, antique car buffs from around the world spent $6 million on some of the rarest automobiles, including a one-of-a-kind 1932 Duesenberg J Rollston Formal Sedan.
The Duesenberg sold for $962,500, topping all sales at the seventh annual Hershey Auction held by Kruse International in conjunction with the Antique Automobile Club of America’s annual antique car show. Part of the auction proceeds will benefit the AACA Antique Auto Museum at Hershey.
Nearly 500 cars went on the block during the three-day auction, and nearly three-quarters were sold.
The other cars offered included a 1904 Thomas Model 27 race car, a 1997 Mercedes-Benz V-12 coupe and a 1957 Simca One concept roadster.
Other cars sold at the Kruse auction included:
-1957 Simca One concept car roadster, $550,000;
-1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, $154,000;
-1941 Cadillac Cadrod convertible, $123,750;
-2005 Bentley GT, sold for $118,250;
-1956 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible, $107,250;
-1988 Rolls Royce Corniche convertible, $89,000;
-1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz two-door convertible, $86,900;
-1965 Shelby Cobra convertible, $86,350.