The Market


The Good Old Days: RM’s $10.1m 2022 Hershey sale

The Good Old Days: RM’s $10.1m 2022 Hershey sale 9th October 2022

“Rumours of my death…” etc. The market for pre-War American cars moves slowly and its decline has long been predicted. RM’s latest event, however, held at the bastion of the movement – the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Eastern Division Fall Meet – produced figures remarkably similar to previous years.

Compared to 2015, though, when the average value of cars sold was $110k, this year that slipped to $89k – but not dissimilar to comparable figures for Monterey Week. The big difference is the explosion in the number of entries to auctions on the Peninsula and the relative decline in cars offered at Hershey; the more expensive Duesies and Packards migrating to Amelia Island.

Top-selling car at Hershey this year was the 1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton ($900k to $1.1m, pictured, top) that sold below estimate for $800,000 net, or $880,000 gross with RM’s old-fashioned 10% buyer’s premium. The casualties going home unsold were mainly from the more expensive end of the catalogue.

“A chic new auction experience” it wasn’t – that’s RM strapline for its new ‘Youngtimer’ event at Miami in December. Hershey proved once again, though, that there’s life left in the old-timers – and their much-loved cars are still sought-after, too.

RM Sotheby’s at Hershey, 5-6 October 2022 – results (2021)

Total gross cars: $10,115,550 ($12,814,450)
Number of cars not sold: 15 (4)
Number of cars withdrawn: 3 (2)
Total number of cars: 129 (133)
Number sold: 114 (129)
Percentage cars sold by number: 88% (97%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 62% (80%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 61% (64%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 79% (76%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 16% (16%)
Average value of cars sold: $88,733 ($99,337)
Average year of cars offered: 1941 (1939)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 57% (54%)

Photo by RM Sotheby’s