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Vintage cars cross the auction block at Meadow Brook

Sat, 24 Jul 2010

An impressive array of gleaming classics crossed the block on Saturday at RM Auctions' Vintage Cars of Meadow Brook sale in a white linen event that showcased the grandeur and glamor of automaking in the Motor City in the early part of the Twentieth Century.

The 16 annual auction, held on the eve of the Concours of America at Meadow Brook, is located about a half an hour north of Detroit on the grounds of a mansion where the widow of auto pioneer John Dodge one lived. Unlike the other RM auction, held in an convention hall on the other side of town in the spring, the Meadow Brook event carries an austere demeanor, and the automobiles roll with a similar vibe.

And they're not cheap. During our afternoon visit, a 1929 Duesenberg Model J convertible sedan gaveled for $750,000--well-bought considering it was estimated to possibly go for $1 million. With spoked wheels, big headlights and wide running boards, it was one of the more impressive pieces at the event and showcased the coachbuilding prowess of the Murphy Body Co.

Another shiny example, a 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Roadster, went for $330,000, and the easy-going, impeccably dressed auctioneer tried to count it down at least four times--with last-second bids coming always coming in. “You should listen to the auctioneer's advice--it's going to cost you more,” he good-naturedly chided one bidder who was reluctant to go to $325,000. We also witnessed a 1938 Packard Twelve convertible sedan gavel for $152,500, and a 1930 Cadillac V16 roadster go for $400,000.

The event also featured memorabilia and artwork. For a complete wrapup of the sale, come back to next week.

By Greg Migliore