RM’s Staluppi ‘Cars of Dreams’ Museum sale generates $11.5M

Top-sellers – 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500-KR Convertible (left) and 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible (right) pictured in front of the 1918 Herschell-Spillman 32’ Carousel (Photo by Eugene Robertson © 2012 courtesy RM Auctions)

RM Auctions concluded its 2012 calendar on a high note Dec. 1 in Florida, generating more than $11.5 million in sales with 100 percent of all lots sold at its John Staluppi “Cars of Dreams” Collection sale in North Palm Beach.

The result of a decade of dedicated collecting by respected collector and successful entrepreneur, John Staluppi, the single-day auction presented a magnificent range of American automobiles and memorabilia before a standing-room only crowd. Capturing the attention of the global collector community, bidders hailed from 10 countries, including as far away as Brazil, Germany and Australia. On a national level, bidders represented 42 states across the United States.

“We’re thrilled with the results from the John Staluppi ‘Cars of Dreams’ Museum sale,” says Donnie Gould, partner and specialist, RM Auctions. “Well-respected in the hobby, John had a very precise collecting philosophy that focused on securing only the ‘best of the very best’. The results from the sale reflect the great quality and presentation of the offering. Numerous lots attracted enthusiastic bidding with prices frequently exceeding their estimates. All in all, it was a great auction and a fitting end to what has been a record year for RM.”

The automobile offering comprised a wide variety of some of the finest, rarest and most desirable American automobiles ever produced, with a strong emphasis on convertibles and performance cars. Headlining the list of 113 automobiles on offer was a magnificently restored 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible. Considered near the pinnacle of Cadillac’s post-war flamboyance, the brilliant Mandan red convertible drew lively bidding to sell for a strong $299,750. The remarkable sales price represents a new world record for a 1956 Cadillac Convertible sold at auction.

In addition to the sale-topping ’56 Cadillac, other highlights from the same marque included a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible for $206,250 and a 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible also for $206,250 – a new auction record for the 1960 model year.

Record-setting 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible (Photo by Eugene Robertson © 2012 courtesy RM Auctions)

Other notable sales included a rare Acapulco Blue 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500-KR Convertible which garnered an impressive $264,000; a 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala Custom Hardtop Coupe, equipped with an 840 bhp, LS-9, supercharged V-8, selling for $198,000; and a 1966 Ford Mustang Convertible, realizing a strong $78,100.

In addition to the automobiles, the auction also featured an eclectic assortment of memorabilia. Leading this segment of the sale was a historic 1918 Herschell-Spillman 32’ Carousel which spurred a lively bidding war, eventually selling for $460,000 to applause from the crowd.

Other notable memorabilia highlights included a one-of-a-kind large-scale Lionel train layout, measuring approximately 30 feet long by 15 feet wide and nine feet tall, another lot that well-exceeded estimate, bringing $103,500; and a fully-functioning, authentic Cretors Antique Popcorn Wagon which sold for $63,250.

RM Auctions – The John Staluppi “Cars of Dreams”Museum Top Five Sales

  • Lot 163 – 1918 Herschell-Spillman 32’ Carousel – $460,000
  • Lot 220 – 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible – $299,750
  • Lot 232 – 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500-KR Convertible – $264,000
  • Lot 264 – 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible – $206,250
  • Lot 283 – 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible – $206,250

Full results from the John Staluppi “Cars of Dreams” Museum Collection, along with additional information on upcoming RM events, is available online at rmauctions.com.


If you love post-WWII automobiles and want a detailed guide to help identify American cars from 1946-1975, check out our Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975 by John Gunnell!



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