The focus of the global collector community turned to Madison, Georgia, this past week (February 15 16) as RM Auctions
lifted the gavel on the world-famous Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum, generating more than $9.1 million in sales* with 100 percent of all lots sold.
A true labor of love carefully amassed over more than 15 years by businessman and lifelong collector, Bruce Weiner, the museum was internationally celebrated as the worlds finest and largest collection of rare microcars. After making a decision to disperse the collection last year, Weiner entrusted RM Auctions to present 200 vehicles and 284 lots of collectibles without reserve, setting the scene for one of the most colorful and fun collector car auctions in recent history. Illustrating the tremendous international interest received in the sale, bidders represented 20 countries from around the world, including as far away as Brazil, Japan and Australia, with those in the room joined by a large volume of collectors participating remotely via the phones and Internet.
In terms of its diversity, international interest and prices realized, the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum sale was truly unprecedented. Never before had such a large group of microcars been offered to the public at one time in one location. With many items offered for the first time in auction history, collectors reacted with enormous enthusiasm to the chance to own part of the collection, resulting in spirited bidding and prices frequently exceeding their estimates. It definitely set a new benchmark for this type of private collection sale, said Alain Squindo, Vice President, RM Auctions.
We were tremendously pleased to contribute to the record-breaking results that shine a light on this "small" but historically important segment of automotive history, Squindo added. It was certainly one of the most exciting auction events RM has ever hosted. From start to finish, the atmosphere was electric with the audience smiling and laughing ear-to-ear."
Top sales honors went to a highly desirable 1958 F.M.R. Tg 500 Tiger, the rarest Messerschmitt of all and the fastest microcar ever built with a top speed of 78 mph. Attracting an aggressive opening bid of $140,000, fierce bidding saw its price quickly escalate to an outstanding final $322,000 an all-time record for a microcar sold at auction (pictured top). The Tiger headlined a magnificent series of Messerschmitts offered across the two-day sale with prices for the group skyrocketing to exceed all expectations. Among other examples well surpassing their pre-sale estimates were a 1955 Messerschmitt KR 200, formerly owned by American circus personality and entertainer Vic Hyde, for a remarkable $115,000 (versus a pre-sale estimate of $45,000 - $55,000), and a 1957 Messerschmitt KR 201 Roadster for a fantastic $103,500 (against a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 - $70,000).
Another group of pint-sized treasures attracting big bids were a pair of Peels from the Isle of Man. Measuring just 4 ft. 6 in. long by 4 ft. high and 3 ft. wide, the worlds smallest production car, a 1964 Peel P50, garnered strong interest from collectors, selling for an incredible $120,750 to applause from the crowd. Also breaking six-figures, a 1966 Peel Trident which realized a remarkable $103,500. Other notable sales included a 1951 Reyonnah for $184,000, and a 1955 Inter 175A Berline for $161,000, more than four times its estimate.
RM Auctions The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum top 12 sales:
1. 1958 F.M.R Tg 500 Tiger - $322,000
2. 1951 Reyonnah - $184,000
3. 1958 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter PEZ - $172,500
4. 1955 Inter 175A Berline - $161,000
5. 1959 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter Pickup Coca-Cola - $138,000
6. 1963 Goggomobil TL-250 Transporter Dubble Bubble - $132,250
7. 1955 Fuji Cabin - $126,500
8. 1964 Peel P50 - $120,750
9. 1955 Messerschmitt KR 200 Vic Hyde - $115,000
10. 1957 Messerschmitt KR 201 Roadster - $103,500
11. 1966 Peel Trident - $103, 500
12. 1957 Jurisch Motoplan Prototype - $103,500
The impressive catalogue was rounded out by an eclectic assortment of collectibles, including period neon signage, exceptionally rare kiddie rides, literature and delightful period vending machines and candy dispensers, all from the 1950sthe heyday of the microcar. Highlights from this segment of the sale included a large Rustler Used Cars neon sign and a Rocket Space Ranger kiddie ride, each selling for $44,850, almost triple their pre-sale low estimates.
"My family and I had the best time of our lives," said Bruce Weiner following the sale. "Kudos to the RM team. Their presentation, creativity and enthusiasm was second to none. My only disappointment of the weekend is that the show had to come to an end."