Media Release


The Brucker Collection

Collectors Establish Benchmark Values for Iconic Pieces by Kustom Kulture Originators Von Dutch, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, and Robert Williams in First Ever Public Offering

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (May 13, 2006) – RM Auctions’ newly established Pop Culture Division today concluded its highly successful Brucker Brothers’ Kustom Kulture Collection auction at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The special sale was a first-ever public offering of greatest cache of famed artwork and memorabilia from the most influential Kustom Kulture artists of the 20th Century including icons Von Dutch, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Robert Williams and others.

The single-day sale offered more than 500 unique and original lots (all at no reserve) from the collection of brothers Jimmy and Danny Brucker. The Brucker family opened the “MovieWorld: Cars of the Stars” Museum in 1970 and served as patrons for the Kustom Kulture movement when they hired Roth as Art Director for the Museum and subsequently Von Dutch when he arrived in his famed traveling mobile workshop bus. Jimmy Brucker, after being introduced to Robert Williams, immediately offered himself as the patron for the revolutionary artist. MovieWorld closed in 1973 and this amazing collection, that includes everything from original drawings and sketches to full-sized paintings and custom vehicles, went into storage for more than 35 years in the legendary Santa Paula, CA airplane hangar once owned by actor Steve McQueen.

“The name Von Dutch has become an international icon, but the man behind the name is one of the most influential and enigmatic artists of the 20th century,” said Rob Myers of RM Auctions. “The creative legacy of Dutch and the other artists represented during the sale continue to cast a long shadow over today’s pop culture world. Serious collectors bid in person and online setting benchmark prices for the Kustom Kulture art with lots going for five, even ten times the estimate.”

Headlining the Saturday auction was one of the most important pieces of Von Dutch memorabilia ever offered for sale, Von Dutch’s Personal Paint and Pin-Striping Box, which sold for $310,500. This personal paint box, inherited from his father, was carried by the artist throughout his legendary career as he created and enhanced the famous Von Dutch pin-striping technique.

In addition, Von Dutch’s “Originator of Modern ‘Pin’ Striping,” a handcrafted metal sign featuring Dutch’s trademark flying eyeball design, sold for $149,500, more than eight times the high estimated sale price. The collection also featured significant, above-estimate prices for Von Dutch’s personally engraved tools of the trade including a body hammer ($4,600), Binks spray gun ($10,350), and custom letter opener ($3,670).

The auction also featured spectacular painting by Juxtapoz magazine founder Robert Williams entitled “In the Land of Retinal Delights.” This painting, completed by the artist in 1968 and considered the epitome of the imagination of the Kustom Kulture movement, sold for $184,000, the highest price ever paid for an original Robert Williams painting sold at auction.

Among the most recognizable Kustom Kulture offerings were the iconic ‘Rat Fink’ sketches of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth including the “Rat Fink’s Revenge” sketch, which hammered down for $9,775 after spirited bidding. The Rat Fink motif was one of the original concepts drawings for cars, models, decals and characters that the Bruckers purchased from Roth Studios upon its closure.

Another hot item was the 1936 “Topper Car” created for and used by Cary Grant in the movie “Topper” before it began its second life as the Gilmore Oil Special. This one-of-a-kind custom car sold for $132,000.

Legendary actor Steve McQueen was a formidable collector of Kustom Kulture artwork and his influence and attitude permeate the Brucker collection. Several items from McQueen’s personal collection were also offered including the Von Dutch-custom engraved locks for the airport hangar ($12,650), McQueen’s handprints in cement block ($2,905), and the ‘well-used’ keys to his Beverly Hills Hotel Suite ($1,035).

“The Brucker sale was an extremely successful first offering from our new Pop Culture Division,” said Ian Kelleher, RM’s Managing Director and Head of the Los Angeles-based division. “Whether it’s cars or memorabilia, our company’s greatest attribute is understanding the client’s passion and emotional relationship to their collection. The Bruckers built this collection over 35 years and we worked closely with them to insure their family’s history and the cultural significance of the Kustom Kulture movement and artists was an integral part of the auction.”

Other notable items auctioned during the sale included: · 1968 Howmet Turbine Race Car ($264,000) · Von Dutch’s “Good-Bye Cruel World” painting ($110,000) · The 1970 Von Dutch BMW 600 the “Toad” car ($99,000) · Robert Williams “Pachuco Cross” painting ($44,000)

A full list of auction results are available at

RM Auctions announced the formation of the Pop Culture Division in February 2006 and opened a Los Angeles office situated within the West Hollywood offices of CMG Worldwide, the industry leader in intellectual property rights management. RM’s Pop Culture Division will handle the finest memorabilia in the fields or entertainment, rock n’ roll, fine art, history and sports.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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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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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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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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

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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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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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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

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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

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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