In the middle of the afternoon on Saturday bidders opened their pocket books as some of the finest vintage collector cars in the country crossed the auction block here at the 2020 Fall Auburn Auction by RM Auctions in Auburn, Indiana. It was a stunning reminder of how much Americans love their automotive heritage. With nearly 500 cars in the three-day sale, early results from RM Auctions indicate that the sale earned an 88 percent sell-through rate, an incredible success for any auction company. (RM Sotheby’s came out with the official numbers the following week. They said they actually achieved a 91 percent sell through. That is an amazing number for any auction house.)
The top sale was a 1935 Auburn Eight Boattail Speedster, considered by experts to be one of America’s most popular sports cars. As the bidding progressed it became apparent it would be the top sale of the day. The final bid was $700,000 at the hammer. One of the star cars of the show was a 1936 Duesenberg Model J Tourster restored in the style of Derham. The reserve was dropped at $535,000. The hammer dropped at $575,000. The bidding was also heated for a 1953 Kurtis 500 B Indianapolis vintage race car with Bardahl Special livery. The car that actually competed in four Indianapolis 500 races sold for $500,000.
Here are some of the top cars and the prices for which they sold.
The 2020 Fall Auburn Auction is the historic auction that almost didn’t happen. Many top collector car auctions had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In fact, the famous Auburn-Cord-Duesneberg Festival itself was cancelled in Auburn, Indiana. The annual 2020 Fall Auburn Auction by RM Auctions is a big part of a normal Festival weekend. So after RM Sotheby’s great virtual sale in Monterey last month, RM Auctions decided to move full speed ahead to have a top “in-person” sale while the market was hot.
This was the 50th Annual Fall Auburn Auction in Auburn, Indiana, held September 3-5, 2020. The auction docket for Saturday was full of top quality collector cars. There were an unusual number of wood-bodied wagons and classic Fords from the 1950’s. A huge collection of Buick cars was also sold here on Saturday.
RM Auctions made the decision to close general admission for the 2020 Fall Auburn Auction. The auction, which was held September 3-5, 2020, was reported here on Cars-On-Line.com’s blog site. Only pre-registered bidders and accompanying guests were allowed into the Auburn Auction Park. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RM Auctions issued a statement that, “We came to this decision to safeguard the health and well-being of our clients, event attendees, and staff, and ensure that proper physical distancing can take place during the event while maintaining safety protocols as recommended by the State of Indiana.” All went well and there was a steady flow of cars through the auction all weekend.
On Saturday, Cars-On-Line held another Virtual Auction Watching party for our readers. Follow our posts on Facebook and Twitter to monitor the cars and prices from the Prime Time docket. Noting the number of “Likes”, you can tell we garnered some interest in this very special sale.