B&B Readies for Inaugural LeMay Museum Auction

TACOMA, WASHINGTON (September 7, 2009) – Collectors of classic motorcars will assemble Friday and Saturday, September 11-12, 2009, at the Bicentennial Pavilion at Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington, as international auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields roll into town to offer autos from the LeMay Collection to the highest bidders. While many of the desirable cars stand as classic superstars of automotive engineering, several rarities will be offered alongside cars that elicit the boyhood fantasies of grease monkeys and petrol heads everywhere.

Public previews of the 230 motorcars on offer open on Friday, Sept. 11 at 9AM. Session One of the two-day auction begins at 6:30PM on Friday, continuing at 10AM on Saturday. The illustrated online catalog is at: www.bonhams.com/us and media are invited to preview and attend the exciting auction— when the final lot crosses the auction block, multiple millions will have been bid for four-wheeled and two-wheeled machines.

Most Valuable motorcars to be sold include: an iconic fire red 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL gullwing coupe (est. $500/600,000); a 1937 Packard V-12 convertible sedan (est. $250/300,000); a 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III limo (est. $325/350,000) and a 1939 Cadillac V-16 convertible (est. $200/225,000). Several sports and luxury models will be sold, such as a ‘57 Porsche Speedster, 1950s and ‘60s Ford Thunderbirds, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Corvettes and Ferraris – including local legend Dale Chihuly’s race-ready 1998 Ferrari Challenge (est. $55/60,000).

Late model entries include the 2005 Panoz Esperante GTLM (which could bring $90,000) and a custom-painted 1999 Dodge Viper RT/10 which could zoom to $130,000. Some of the oldest vehicles on offer include a 1915 Mack truck, a 1918 Duplex flatbed and a 1918 Ford Model T. To the uninformed, several cars seem appropriate for the federal Cash for Clunkers program – but their auction estimates exceed the Fed’s $4,500 allowance: a 1970 Cadillac Eldorado is estimated at $5/7,000; a 1969 VW Beetle and a light blue 1947 Studebaker could each bring $6/8,000; a 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire 2-door hardtop is estimated at $20/25,000 and a ’66 Pontiac GTO could bring as much as $50,000.

The auction will be action-packed and the assembled crowd could include local and international car collectors, VIPs, museum curators, and members of the trade. Visit www.butterfields.com for more.

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