The Good Old Days: RM at Hershey, 4-5 October 2023
In a galaxy far, far away from matching numbers, original colours and “How many built?" lies the Antique Automobile Club of America’ National Fall Meet. It’s always been a popular fixture in RM’s calendar, and over two days this year the Canadians sold nine out of ten motor cars offered, grossing $10.2m, more or less in line with 2022.
Fashionable, it is not. “Look, hon, it’s already been painted red, that’s one job it won’t need…” – as no one said, but you get the picture. It’s a throwback to simpler times with genuinely nice people following their passion rather than lines on a graph.
Top-selling car at Hershey this year was the 1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Roi des Belges in the style of Barker (pictured, above) that was hammered at $635,000, or $698,500 with an across-the-board buyer’s premium of 10%. The pre-sale estimate was $800k to $1m. It is another example of a general trend for the Earlies being let go pragmatically. Unless it’s super-rare and desirable Brass Era car, such as the ones sold by Gooding at Pebble Beach this year, values are only going in one direction.
Three-quarters of the catalogue was No Reserve, only beaten in recent years by 82% in 2019 – a weak year for classic cars in general.
RM Sotheby’s at Hershey, 4-5 October 2023 – results (2022)
Total gross cars: $10,221,600 ($10,115,550)
Number of cars not sold: 12 (15)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (3)
Total number of cars: 134 (129)
Number sold: 122 (114)
Percentage cars sold by number: 91% (88%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 71% (62%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 68% (61%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 80% (79%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 12% (16%)
Average value of cars sold: $83,784 ($88,733)
Average year of cars offered: 1940 (1941)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 72% (57%)
Photo by RM Sotheby’s