Tustin, CA, June 16, 2008 — Several examples of Southern California’s automotive history crossed the auction block in yesterday as RM Auctions offered the personal collection of Orange County motoring icon, the late Joe MacPherson.
Many of the sale highlights exceeded expectations, including a supercharged 1923 Miller 122 that sold for $2,035,000, a legendary 1954 Chrisman Bonneville Coupe for $660,000, the late Dale Earnhardt’s championship-winning Winston Cup 1994 Chevrolet Lumina brought $209,000, and an ultra-rare 1939 Crocker Big Tank V-Twin Motorcycle for $302,500.
A passionate, lifelong auto enthusiast, MacPherson amassed an impressive collection of historic sports, racing and custom cars, as well as vintage motorcycles during his lifetime, many which embodied the spirit of the Southern California car scene.
Yesterday, enthusiasts had the opportunity to pay tribute to Joe MacPherson and purchase a piece of the state’s renowned car culture as 50 historic motor cars, 25 vintage motorcycles and a range of selected memorabilia from the esteemed Joe’s Garage – The MacPherson Collection were presented for auction. The single-day event attracted professional collectors from across the continent and recorded total sales exceeding $10 million.
“Today’s MacPherson Collection auction event was a celebration of automotive history, Mr. MacPherson’s lifelong motoring passion and the local Southern California car culture” said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions.
“The collection offered an unprecedented range of important motor cars which represented several milestones of California motoring and racing history. Collectors recognized the incredible significance of the offering and this was reflected in the sales results,” he added.
With each lot representing the ‘best of the very best’ in their respective genres of automotive history, spirited bidding was evident throughout the day as collectors – including a large number of local Southern California enthusiasts – vied for a piece of MacPherson’s unique motoring legacy.
The star attraction of the sale was one of the most important Miller racing cars in existence – a magnificently restored, Pebble-Beach winning 1923 Miller 122, driven by such racing greats as Eddie Hearne, Ira Vail, Earl Cooper and Bill Albertson. The car spurred a frenzy of bidding on the auction block and was eventually won with a final price of $2,035,000.
The collection also offered a range of exclusive ownership opportunities for motorcycle enthusiasts, with an ultra-rare 1939 Crocker Big Tank V-Twin bringing $302,500; a 1948 Indian 648 Big Base, one of the most sought after of all Indian motorcycles, selling for $165,000; and a very rare 1912 Flanders “4” Belt Drive Single won with a bid of $55,000.
Other notable sales include:
* A legendary 1954 Chrisman Bonneville Coupe, built by the famous Chrisman brothers, for $660,000
* A multi-award winning 1957 McCluskey Sprint Car “Tamale Wagon” brought $115,500
* A 1966 All American Racers Gurney Eagle Indy Car, considered amongst the most beautiful and inspiring of all Gurney Eagles ever built achieved $528,000
* An exceptional 1956 Ford F-100 Custom Cab Pickup, for $380,000
In memory of MacPherson’s incredible generosity and philanthropic spirit, a portion of proceeds from the auction were donated to the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County – a local non-profit organization of which MacPherson was a known, devoted supporter during his lifetime.
RM Auctions will return to Southern California later this month for the esteemed Art Astor Collection auction event in Anaheim, June 27th to 29th. Described as one of the most diverse, highly original and extremely well maintained collections of its kind ever offered to the public, this three-day event will offer over 200 vintage automobiles and 800 lots of pre and postwar memorabilia.