Media Release


Vintage Motor Cars at Meadow Brook Hall

Classic Pre-War American Cars Make their Mark as Successful Sale Nets 38 Percent Increase Over 2004 Auction with Million Dollar Duesenberg and World Record L-29 Cord Sedan

BLENHEIM, Ontario, Canada (August 11, 2005) – RM Auctions’ Vintage Motor Cars at Meadow Brook Hall hosted another record-breaking event with sales of just under $9 million, an impressive 38 percent increase over 2004 totals indicating a strong demand for investment quality collector cars. RM posted a sell-through rate of 90 percent during the single-day auction on the grounds of the celebrated Meadow Brook Hall estate in Rochester, Michigan. The prestigious sale, hosted in conjunction with the annual Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, consisted of 89 important collector vehicles spanning eight decades of automotive design history.

“There is still a tremendous interest in American classics with ‘20s and ‘30s Cords, Packards and Cadillacs bringing strong bids along with notable prices for the two rare Duesenbergs,” said RM Auctions founder Rob Myers. “Over the years, we have seen these “Pre-World War II” classic cars significantly increase in value at a more consistent rate than other post-war classics”. “These cars will always in high demand as they represent a good, sound investment and true automotive craftsmanship”, adds Myers.

Some of the top sales at Meadow Brook Hall included:

1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Torpedo Phaeton - The auction’s top seller was hammered down at $1,650,000. This supercharged model with coachwork by Walker LaGrande is one of only 36 factory-built SJs, and one of only two original LaGrande Torpedo Phaetons ever built. The SJ is considered the pinnacle of American luxury performance autos, never equaled or even realistically approached in concept or luxury.

1931 Cord L-29 Phaeton Sedan – Selling for $236,500, which is believed to be a world-record price for this model, it is one of the few remaining L-29 versions, and has garnish major concours awards at Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Cranbrook, Hershey and Meadow Brook.

1955 Mercury D-528 “Beldone” Concept Car – The most aggressive and surprising bidding at the auction was for a one-off Ford concept vehicle built to test advance automotive concepts. The car was restyled by “King of Kustomizers” George Barris for the Jerry Lewis movie The Patsy. The car sold for $187,000, much more than its pre-sale estimate, pointing to the current popularity on concept vehicles on the collector market.

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe - Another rare Duesenberg with coachwork by the Murphy Body Company, sold for $825,000. Generally considered to be the best looking of Murphy’s designs with its “clear vision” pillars exuding a sportier, more open appearance while improving driver visibility.

1930 Packard 745 Convertible Victoria – This pre-war coachbuilt classic was sold for $269,500 reflective of the perfect 100 point score it received at the 100th Anniversary Packard National Meet and Best in Class award earned at the 2004 Meadow Brook Concours.

In all, a total of 20 vehicles surpassed the $100,000 threshold including an exceptional 1973 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino that sold for $115,500 to a collector in Denmark. For full auction results, please visit

Celebrating more than 26 years in the collector car industry, RM Auctions, Inc. and its sister companies are responsible for acquiring, restoring and selling of the world’s rarest and most expensive vintage automobiles including Best of Show winning cars at the prestigious Meadow Brook and Pebble Beach Concours. For additional information on RM Auctions, Inc., please call (800) 211-4371 or visit the corporate web site at

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more