Hometown History At Hershey
Annual auction offers prominent and local classics
Andy Bolig - September 18, 2013 11:27 AM
1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Convertible RoadsterPhoto: Nidermaier Pictures LLC © 2013 Courtesy of RM Auctions
Select automobiles from the Estate Collection of Jim MillerPhoto: Darin Schnabel © 2013 Courtesy of RM Auctions
Final countdown underway to RM’s annual Hershey, Pennsylvania auction, held October 10 – 11 during the historic AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet
RM Auctions, the world’s largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, returns to the Hershey Lodge, October 10 – 11, for its highly anticipated annual Hershey sale. Held during the celebrated AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet (October 9 – 12), the auction attracts collectors from across the U.S. and around the world.
Leading a roster of 116 vehicles slated to cross RM’s Hershey auction podium is a highly sought after 1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Convertible Roadster, chassis no. 7803565. One of only nine built and one of just six known to survive, this Chrysler is regarded by marque specialists as a correct, accurate, and superlative example of the Imperial model. Originally delivered new on February 25, 1933 in Chicago, the car made it into the hands of collectors by the early 1960s. The Chrysler passed through several respected collectors before making its way into the collection of Dr. Ed Rittenhouse, who commissioned Walt Johnsen of The Auto Shop in Bainbridge Island, Washington, to fully restore the automobile to the highest of concours standards. The result was, and still is, simply stunning, with the car finished in a highly attractive straw color with beige fenders, a beige leather interior, and a tan cloth top. After the work was completed in 2006, the car was debuted at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it achieved the recognition of winning a class award at Pebble Beach, followed by being judged 100 points and winning the CCCA Warshawsky Award for Best of Show at a meet in January of 2008. In June of that year, the vehicle also won a Senior Award, followed by the Designer’s Choice Award and Class of 1933 Award at Meadow Brook Hall and a Best of Show Award at Forest Grove in 2009. Following its showing, it was re-acquired from Rittenhouse by a noted collector that owned it in the early 1990s. Retaining its original 135 hp, 384.8 cubic inch “Red Head” inline eight-cylinder engine, body, and chassis, this example is a pleasure to drive and is exceptionally restored (Est. $550,000 - $650,000).
RM Auctions is also honored to present a selection of 14 motor cars from the Estate of Jim Miller without reserve at its upcoming Hershey sale. Described as a man on a mission who loved the hunt, the offering spans 40 years of American automotive history ranging from a 1929 Pierce-Arrow to an all original 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30, in addition to numerous woodie wagons. Highlights include a beautifully authentic 1947 Ford Super DeLuxe Sportsman, featuring an award-winning concours restoration (Est. $175,000 - $225,000); quite possibly the finest 1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria in existence, boasting an incredible, high-point restoration and loaded with options, including factory air conditioning (Est. $60,000 - $75,000); a 1948 Plymouth Special Deluxe Six Station Wagon, showing less than 40,000 actual miles from new and considered the best, unrestored example in existence (Est. $45,000 - $60,000); and an all original, unrestored 1934 Packard Eight Phaeton, just two owners from new (Est. $80,000 - $100,000).
“RM has a strong track record of offering motor cars from prominent collections and cars steeped in history at its Hershey sale,” says Gord Duff, car specialist, RM Auctions. “This year’s event will be no exception as we present cars with not only significant American automotive history, but with genuine Pennsylvania history as well, a great match for the AACA meet that has been a tradition for collectors across the country for so many years”.
Also slated to cross the podium and perfectly matched to the Pennsylvania setting is a 1935 Packard Super Eight Convertible Sedan. A genuine piece of Philadelphia history, the unrestored and incredibly well-preserved Packard was owned and kept for 70 years by George Gordon Meade Easby, whose family descended from seven signers of the Declaration of Independence and whose great-grandfather and namesake, General George Meade, was a hero of the Civil War as the leader of the Battle of Gettysburg. Easby and the Packard made their home at the Baleroy Mansion on Mermaid Lane in Philadelphia’s affluent Chestnut Hill neighborhood, along with an enviable collection of antiquities including Napoleon’s furniture, Marie Antoinette’s clock and the mansion’s famously active ghosts. Easby believed in the ghosts, claiming he saw them regularly, and the Baleroy Mansion eventually became known as one of the most haunted homes in America. An 18-year-old Easby purchased the Packard Super Eight new on July 9, 1936 from Goldner Brothers, of Germantown, Pennsylvania. The vehicle was used regularly up until 1947 when it was put up on blocks in the carriage house at the Baleroy Mansion, where it remained until 2010. The car is still titled in the name of its original gentleman owner (Est. $120,000 - $150,000).
Additional notable sale highlights include:
• a rare 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Station Wagon presented in virtually “like new” condition. Originally delivered by an authorized dealer in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, this vehicle benefits from long-time, loving ownership by known Pennsylvania enthusiasts for virtually as long as the AACA has been meeting in Hershey. Owners include the late, long-time AACA and CCCA member Harold Zulick, who kept the car for an astonishing 55 years, treating it to a no-expense-spared restoration in the early 1990s, after which it was awarded Grand National honors in AACA competition (Est. $75,000 - $95,000).
• a beautifully restored 1938 Packard Super Eight Convertible Coupe, reportedly originally owned by Paul “The Waiter” Ricca, an associate of Al Capone’s. Following Capone’s 1932 imprisonment for tax evasion, Ricca became the de facto head of the Chicago “outfit” and ruled for 40 years. Likely the finest model that survives today, the level of accuracy and detail to be found in this automobile is unmatched by any other contemporary eight-cylinder Packard (Est. $150,000 - $175,000).
• one of the finest original and unrestored 190 SLs on the planet, this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Roadster boasts just three owners and only 28,000 actual miles from new. Imported to Texas for the original owner, the car is said to be only the second 190 SL to arrive in the U.S. and is perfectly suited to luxurious cruising with its excellent road manners and stylish good looks (Est. $85,000 - $100,000).
In addition to the auction, RM returns as the presenting sponsor of this year’s Night at the Museum at the AACA Museum, October 9. A great kick start to Meet week festivities, Night at the Museum offers a venue to celebrate the motoring hobby with other enthusiasts while also raising important funds to support the AACA group of families and its mission to preserve automotive history. New this year, the AACA has introduced a Monte Carlo Night theme where guests can try their luck at a number of gaming tables and exchange their winnings for the chance to win a variety of fabulous prizes. For further details and ticket information, visit nightatthemuseum.org.
Full event details for RM’s Hershey auction, including the digital catalogue are available online at www.rmauctions.com or by calling toll free 1 800 211 4371 (+1 519 352 4575 outside North America).
For Your Information:
Sale dates: October 10-11; auction commences each evening at 6:30 p.m. ET
Preview dates: October 10-11; doors open at 10 a.m. ET
Location: The Hershey Lodge, 325 University Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033
Admission: Admission to the previews is complimentary for all guests. Entry to the auction is limited to registered bidders and consignors only. Bidder registration is $200 USD and includes an official auction catalogue and admission for two (2) to the preview and auction.
For those unable to attend the event in person, Internet, absentee, and phone bidding options are available and the auction will stream live at www.rmauctions.com to provide real-time coverage of the sale.