American Classics, European Convertibles, and Cars of the Stars: SoCal Car Culture Comes to RM Sotheby's Santa Monica


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By: RM Sotheby's

American Classics, European Convertibles, and Cars of the Stars: SoCal Car Culture Comes to RM Sotheby's Santa Monica  • RM Sotheby's presents latest featured entries for its now single-day Santa Monica sale, 24 June at the historic Barker Hangar

• Highlights include a highly original, California-bred 1929 Duesenberg Model J, a beautiful Light Green Poly 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, and a 1970 Mercedes-Benz 250 C owned from new by Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas

Santa Monica digital catalogue now online at www.rmsothebys.com

CULVER CITY, California (1 June, 2017) – RM Sotheby's is delighted to announce recent entries for its upcoming Santa Monica sale, 24 June at California's historic Barker Hangar. Set to lift the gavel on more than 170 desirable motor cars and select memorabilia, the one-day sale presents the best of SoCal car culture. In addition to the previously announced lineup of Ferrari supercars and iconic customs, RM Sotheby's has gathered a fantastic selection of sought-after American Classics, iconic Mercedes-Benz convertibles, and vehicles with exciting celebrity provenance for the fifth annual auction.

Latest highlights for the sale are led by six handsome American Classics and customs offered from a prominent private collection, entirely without reserve. The star of the group is a fully correct, pure, California Duesenberg. The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Murphy, J-259, was delivered new to Singer Sewing Machine heir Arthur K. Bourne, who spotted one of the first Model Js while golfing at Pebble Beach. Bodied by Murphy coachbuilders of Pasadena, the Duesenberg was equipped with numerous features specified by Bourne, including a full-size home radio installed in the back of the front seat, a secret compartment under the driver's seat for stowing valuables, and Mercedes-Benz-style Zeiss headlights. The wealthy playboy also equipped the car with a police siren, which remains present today. Bourne had Bohman & Schwartz modify the car in 1934 with lowered, skirted fenders, a metal trunk, redesigned running boards, and a long radiator to accommodate mountain and desert driving, which he enjoyed until 1947, when the car was placed in storage. The Model J then passed through a handful of owners, including former CCCA president Richard Gold, who retained the car for over three decades before it was sold to its current owner. Never fully restored, the ACD Club Category-One certified Duesenberg comes to Santa Monica with its original chassis, engine, firewall, and body— a truly unique Murphy-bodied Model J, treasured since new (Est. $800,000 - $950,000).

Additional highlights from the private collection include an authentic 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster, body no. 73, which still wears its coveted original Fleetwood two-passenger roadster body. The CCCA Full Classic's older restoration presents well in attractive Brewster Green and black over brown leather upholstery, and it is well-accessorized with Pilot Ray driving lights, cowl-mounted spotlights, dual horns, Goddess mascot, proper luggage rack, and more. With well-known, enthusiast ownership history, this is one of the most desirable Classics in today's market (Est. $450,000 - $550,000). Rounding out the group is a largely original 1948 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible, showing less than 65,000 miles (Est. $100,000 - $140,000); a beautifully restored 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible (Est. $50,000 - $70,000); a high-quality 1932 Ford V-8 Roadster Street Rod (Est. $50,000 - $70,000); and, a high-performance 1932 Ford V-8 Deluxe 'Three-Window' Coupe Street Rod (Est. $35,000 - $40,000).

A staple in SoCal car culture, a pair of iconic European convertibles also highlight the single-day Santa Monica sale, led by a recently restored 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster. The ultimate in style and performance, the 300 SL is finished in the unique combination of Light Green Poly over a Dark green interior, and is ready for reliable road use on vintage rallies, long-distance tours, or even as a daily driver (Est. $1,100,000 - $1,300,000). The 300 SL is joined at the auction by another icon of 1960s luxury, a matching-numbers 1967 Mercedes-Benz 300 SE Cabriolet. The preferred choice of well-heeled American buyers in period, this particular 300 SE is one of fewer than 100 U.S.-spec examples for 1967, and comes to auction stunning in its original Dark Blue, wearing a recently refreshed restoration (Est. $240,000 - $280,000).

No auction within a stone's throw of Hollywood would be complete without a few cars of the stars. RM Sotheby's Santa Monica auction presents a 1970 Mercedes-Benz 250 C purchased new by Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas from Hollywood Mercedes and owned by the singer-turned-actress ever since. The well-equipped Mercedes-Benz saw Phillips through the filming of several movies, as well as early morning call times on the set of Knots Landing. Offered out of single-ownership and still wearing its original California blue plate, the car comes complete with its original service manual bearing Michelle Phillips name (Est. $20,000 - $30,000, without reserve). Also set for the Barker Hangar auction podium is a 1965 Lincoln Continental Executive Limousine by Lehmann-Peterson. One of just 15 produced for the model year, the Lehmann-Peterson limousines were favored by celebrities and government officials alike; this particular example was owned by none other than Steve McQueen in the 1970s, as evidenced by a copy of the title. A well-maintained reliable driver in original condition, what better way to arrive in style (Est. $100,000 - $150,000).

As a prelude to the Santa Monica auction, select sale highlights will be available for advance preview at upcoming Southern California events, including the San Marino Motor Classic (June 11) and the Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance (June 18).


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    For further information on the Santa Monica sale, please visit www.rmsothebys.com, or call +1 310 559 4575 to speak with an RM Sotheby's car specialist. The Santa Monica digital catalogue is available online here: http://bit.ly/2rfU76K.

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    About RM Sotheby's

    RM Sotheby's (formerly RM Auctions) is the world's largest auction house for investment-quality automobiles. With more than 35 years' experience in the collector car industry, RM's vertically integrated range of services, from private treaty sales and auctions to estate planning, and financial services, coupled with an expert team of car specialists and an international footprint, provide an unsurpassed level of service to the global collector car market. In February 2015, RM formed a strategic partnership with Sotheby's, uniting the two companies for the full calendar of future automobile auctions. For further information, visit www.rmsothebys.com.

  • Photo credit: RM Sotheby's
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