Jacksonville, FL. February 11, 2008 –Preeminent international auction house, RM Auctions will return to Amelia Island next month to celebrate a decade of offering the world’s finest automobiles at the region’s elegant Ritz-Carlton.
The glamorous auction, annually held in conjunction with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, is regarded as one of North America’s top collector car events, attracting fashionable collectors from across the continent and as far away as Europe. This year’s event, to be held March 8, is set to continue the grand tradition, presenting more than 90 investment-quality automobiles for auction.
“At RM Auctions, we are dedicated to uniting the world’s finest motor cars with the people who most appreciate them,” said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions.
“Over the past 10 years we have had the privilege of offering an exquisite range of vintage motor cars on Amelia Island and welcoming passionate collectors to the region. With another line-up of notable consignments for this year’s event, we look forward to returning to Amelia Island next month.”
Two of the star attractions of the auction line-up are a pair of historic Model J Duesenbergs with impeccable provenance. No stranger to the spotlight, the Model J is regarded as one of the most outstanding examples of design and engineering of the classic era; the introduction of the Model J in 1929 was considered so significant, it halted trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Included in this distinguished duo is a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by LeBaron (engine number J103), the first long wheelbase car built and one of the handful of cars exhibited at the Model J’s New York Auto show launch. The importance of this particular example is elevated by its fascinating ownership history. J103 was sold new to Canadian entrepreneur and capitalist, Sir William Cornelious “Billy” Van Horne, one of the most powerful businessmen in Canada at the time. As President of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, Van Horne was responsible for connecting Northern Ontario to Canada’s Pacific Coast by rail. He was also Canada’s Duesenberg agent. Following Van Horne’s ownership, J103 was subsequently sold to another Canadian iconoclast, William Christie, heir to the Christie Cookie Company.
The other Model J poised to cross the block next month is a 1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy, engine number J395. Destined for fame, this automobile found its way into the Pacific Auto Rentals collection in the late 1940s, one of the best-known suppliers of antique and classic cars to Hollywood television and movie producers.
For many years, J395 was considered the centerpiece of the Pacific Auto Rentals collection, starring in such films as “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”, and “Gable and Lombard”. J395 continued to be seen on the Hollywood set until the late 1970s, serving as Frank Buck’s personal car in the highly successful series, “Bring ’em Back Alive.”
“To many collectors, part of the charm and attraction of classic cars lies in their individual histories,” added Kelleher.
“Not only are these Model J Duesenbergs some of the best surviving examples, but they have fascinating stories. As witnesses to celebrity history, they lead you to ponder the wonderful tales you could discover if only cars could talk,” he said.
Other notable highlights of the upcoming auction include a pair of rare, custom-built motor cars for Edsel B. Ford, former President of the Ford Motor Company; an elegant 1985 Daimler DS 420 Limousine, one of only two four-door saloons intended for royal use in North America; a 1939 Cadillac V8 Convertible Coupe, originally owned by William Wrigley Jr, chewing gum magnate and owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team; and a 1966 Shelby GT 350 Racing Car, which started life as a rental car for the Hertz “Rent-A-Racer” program and has since enjoyed considerable success on the track.
RM’s much-anticipated “Automobiles of Amelia Island” – formerly known as “Vintage Motor Cars of Amelia Island” – will be held at the elegant Ritz-Carlton Hotel on March 8^th , 2008. An auction preview will be held March 7^th between 9am and 6pm. Doors open on March 8^th from 9am, with the auction action getting underway from 11am.
Admission to the auction is by catalog only, which admits both the catalog holder and a guest. The full-color collectible catalog is available for $80 U.S. (plus shipping), by calling (800)-211-4371 or visiting www.rmauctions.com