The historic Auburn Auction Park in Auburn, Indiana, will become a giant treasure chest of automotive memorabilia June 1-3 when Auctions America by RM offers the largest private collection of high-quality scale models, fine art paintings, original signs and rare vintage mascots the auction company has ever consigned. In addition to the thousands of “automobilia” items, which will all sell to the highest bidders during the three-day Auburn Spring auction, more than 600 American muscle cars, Classics, foreign sports cars and hot rods will cross the block.
“Automobilia is great fun for collectors whether their budgets are big or small,” said Auctions America by RM’s President Donnie Gould. “Some enthusiasts buy scale-model cars because they can’t afford the full-size versions; others buy them to put on a desk while the full-size version sits in the garage. Not everyone can afford a million-dollar 427 Cobra, but a well-made scale model might go for a few hundred dollars.”
Model cars offered at Auburn Spring range from 1/24-scale Franklin Mint models in batches of five (est. $150 – $350) to a 1/8-scale Conti 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder (est. $10,000 – $15,000). A five-figure price tag for a model might seem like a lot, but it’s quite a bargain compared to the $10 million it would take to purchase one of the 10 full-size NARTs Ferrari built. The star of the collection is a Sapo Modelltechnik model of a 1913 Mercer 35J Raceabout with a 14.5-inch wheelbase and more than 3,000 individual parts. Considered one of the finest detailed models ever, the Mercer has been appraised at $18,000 to $25,000.
Vintage airplane models such as a Pan Am jet airliner (est. $250 – $500) and World War II B-17 bomber (est. $500 – $1,000) will go to new hangars, and a 110-inch-wide recreation of Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis is expected to soar to an altitude between $2,500 and $5,000.
Mascots, those chrome- and brass-plated sculptures that sit atop the radiator caps of vintage cars, are another category of great interest to automobilia collectors, and the Auburn Spring auction is offering some historically significant examples. Several different versions of Rolls-Royce’s Spirit of Ecstasy are expected to sell for between $300 and $500, a 1930s Duesenberg mascot is valued between $500 and $800 and appraisers expect an unusual aftermarket rooster mascot to fetch between $500 and $1,000.
Several famous paintings by highly regarded automotive artists will be offered with no reserve at Auburn Spring. Tom Hale’s “Swan Mascot” (est. $3,000 – $5,000), Ken Eberts’ “Hershey” (est. $5,000 – $8,000) and Alfredo De la María’s “Rolls-Royce” (est. $7,000 – $10,000) are just a few of the framed originals that bidderswill eagerly seek.
“The best thing about automobilia is that it doesn’t take up much room,” said Gould. You can enjoy a piece in your house or office when there’s no time to get to the garage and play with the big cars. Auctions America is really proud to have have consigned such a large, high-quality private collection.”
The automobilia lots will cross the block on Friday at 11:00 a.m., Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and Sunday at 11:00. During the three-day auction, Carlisle Events will host the swap meet and car corral, which will feature hundreds of parts vendors and special-interest cars for sale.
Tickets to the auction are $10 for a daily pass or $25 for a full event pass, and admission is free for the preview on Thursday, May 31. The auction runs Friday, June 1, through Sunday, June 3. Internet, absentee and telephone bidding options are available for those unable to attend the event in person. Full event details and a list of auction offerings are available online at www.auctionsamerica.com or by calling toll free 877-906-2437 (or +1 260-927-9797 outside North America). The auction will stream live online at www.auctionsamerica.com to provide real-time coverage of the event.