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Magnificent series of coachbuilt classics to Grace RM's Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Sale
1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupe by Walker-LaGrande. Photo: Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions.
BLENHEIM, ON.- RM Auctions, the official auction house of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, has announced a dazzling roster of notable entries for its highly anticipated Amelia Island sale on March 9.

Returning to the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the well-established annual sale is set to continue RM’s strong track record in Northeast Florida, lifting the gavel on more than 80 investment-quality automobiles. In keeping with the concours’ focus on celebrating great automotive design, this year’s offering once again has a strong emphasis on elegance and sophistication in styling, as illustrated by the sale’s headline attraction: the only supercharged 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Walker-LaGrande Convertible Coupe (pictured top).

“The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend is a highlight of the global collector car calendar and an event that we look forward to participating in each year,” says Gord Duff, Car Specialist, RM Auctions. “We enjoyed a very strong start to our year in Arizona earlier this month, and as we now look to Amelia Island and the association we’ve had with the concours there for 15 years, we’re celebrating the occasion with one of our finest offerings in the event’s history.”

Coachbuilt classics will play a starring role at this year’s RM Amelia Island sale, with a magnificent series of entries carefully handpicked by RM specialists to match the concours setting. Leading the charge is the previously mentioned 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Walker-LaGrande Convertible Coupe. Widely regarded as the most beautiful convertible coupe on the Duesenberg chassis, the example on offer holds the distinction of being one of just three examples of its kind, and it is the only example built with a powerful, supercharged factory engine. Designed by J. Herbert Newport and with coachwork by Walker-LaGrande, the stylish coupe incorporates the best of Duesenberg’s trademark styling cues, with the curves of modern streamlining and an innovative “semi-automatic” top, which folds virtually out of sight, to produce an open two-passenger car. Originally purchased by Chicago banker John Nichols, this car spent its early life in the Chicago area before surfacing in California in the late-1950s. It has since passed through a chain of well-known enthusiasts, including Raymond Lutgert and General William Lyon. Carefully maintained by its current owner since the early-1990s, during which time is has seen routine, enthusiastic use, the upcoming sale represents the first time it has come to market in more than two decades, presenting an exclusive ownership opportunity for discerning collectors (Estimate: $3,500,000–$5,000,000).

“The supercharged Walker-LaGrande Duesenberg is a terrific example of the automobile as art, and it fits perfectly into our roster of Amelia Island offerings,” adds Duff. “In many ways, it is the American counterpart to the Mercedes-Benz Roadsters of the pre-war era, in that it embodies the best in style and performance a motorist could demand in those days."

Joining the Duesenberg center stage at RM’s Amelia Island sale will be an outstanding trio of Cords from the esteemed Jim Fasnacht Collection, including the remarkable 1930 Cord L-29 Sport Cabriolet, chassis 2927898 (pictured right). A well-documented example with one-off German custom coachwork by Voll & Ruhrbeck, this classical pre-war convertible was at the 1931 Berlin Motor Show Car, and later, spent time in Argentina, before arriving in the United States in the 1970s. A cherished part of the Fasnacht Collection since 2002, it underwent an extensive, no-expense-spared restoration in 2004, prior to debuting at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance—the first time it had been displayed to the world since 1931. Today, ACD Club certified, it is offered for auction as the only known surviving L-29 fitted with open European coachwork and an invitation to participate in this year’s Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s (Estimate available upon request). Also on offer from the respected Fasnacht Collection, an incredibly original 1929 Cord L-29 Town Car, chassis 2926758, another one-off Cord L-29, this time featuring custom Belgian coachwork by d’Ieteren Freres (Estimate: $150,000–$200,000), and a 1931 Cord L-29 Cabriolet, chassis 2929758, considered the finest L-29 Cabriolet in the world (Estimate: $450,000–$650,000). A short video highlighting the collection is available for viewing online at http://bit.ly/UlkTns.

Two additional examples of magnificent coachbuilt design at RM’s Amelia Island sale include a pair of pre-war Stutz automobiles: a beautifully restored 1930 Stutz SV16 Monte Carlo, chassis M854CD27S, and a spectacular 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria, chassis DVPC1558.

One of only three examples built on the SV16 chassis, the 1930 Stutz SV16 Monte Carlo is widely considered the most beautiful Stutz sedan ever produced. Clothed by French coachbuilder Weymann, it was among the most expensive Stutz styles available to the market when new, listed at a factory price of $4,495. Formerly the property of noted Stutz collector Alexander K. Miller, M854CD27S was acquired in 2000 by its current owner, who engaged RM Auto Restoration to restore it to as close to its original appearance as possible. The quality of the restoration has been recognized via numerous accolades at the world’s leading events, including Best in Class at the 2002 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Most Elegant Closed Car at the 2005 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (Estimate: $400,000–$600,000).

A genuine example, with original engine, chassis, and custom coachwork by Rollston, the 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria is also expected to garner strong interest from collectors. Resplendent in Sierra Sandstone and Antique Veridian Green over beige leather upholstery, it is considered the ultimate Classic Era Stutz, equipped with a 322.1-cubic inch dual overhead camshaft inline eight-cylinder engine and featuring an aggressively slanted windshield that serves to lower the roof and lengthen the proportions of the car. Well-documented, it has passed through a chain of noted collectors since the 1950s, including William Harrah, Joseph Cassini, and David Kane. Like the Monte Carlo, it is exquisitely restored and accompanied by numerous awards, including Best in Class accolades at Amelia Island in 2007 and Meadow Brook in 2009 (Estimate: $600,000–$800,000).

Additional notable entries for RM’s Amelia Island sale include:

• an award-winning, superbly restored 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport ‘Superleggera’ Berlinetta by Touring, chassis 915030, offered from the collection of a prominent West Coast collector (Estimate: $1,500,000–$1,750,000);

• an ultra-rare 1970 Porsche 908/3, chassis 004, the fourth of just 13 examples produced, and the factory test-chassis of the Targa Florio-winning model that contributed to Porsche’s 1970 and 1971 Makes Championship (Estimate: $1,400,000–$1,700,000);

• a beautifully restored 1954 Pegaso Z-102 Series II Cabriolet, chassis 0102-153-0136 (Estimate: $1,250,000–$1,750,000);

• a highly desirable 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, chassis 07751, offered for the first time in more than 35 years (Estimate: $1,000,000–$1,300,000);

• an outstanding 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, chassis 198.040.5500674, in single family ownership from new (Estimate: $1,000,000–$1,250,000);

• a well-documented 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra, CSX 3259, (Estimate: $800,000–$950,000); and

• a tremendous 1909 Austin Model 60 Touring, chassis 62, the 1909 Chicago Auto Show car and boasting just three owners from new (Estimate: $500,000–$750,000).





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