Among the $7.6 million in sales that RM totaled in its auction over the weekend at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan, all eyes turned to the most visible of the lots: the Plexiglas-bodied Pontiac built for the New York World’s Fair of 1939-1940, which sold for $308,000, including the 10 percent buyer’s premium.
One of two or three cars Pontiac and Plexiglas manufacturer Rohm & Haas built for the World’s Fair, the B-body Deluxe seven-window touring sedan debuted at the fair in 1939, then was later freshened with a new nose and fenders to bring it in line with the 1940 Pontiac sheetmetal. After the end of the World’s Fair, it toured the country as a Pontiac dealership promotional exhibit, then went into the Smithsonian for the duration of World War II. It has since passed through several private owners before being consigned to RM with an estimate of $275,000-$475,000.
While the $308,000 selling price (for a car that runs, but is unable to be registered due to its lack of a VIN) landed the Pontiac in the top 10 list for the St. John’s auction, the top sale of the auction went to the car that sold immediately prior to the Pontiac, a Dietrich-bodied 1932 Packard Twin Six custom convertible sedan, which sold for $1.1 million, including 10 percent buyer’s premium. Originally owned by entertainer Al Jolson, it was first restored in the early 1960s by Harold Crosby, who took a best in class at Pebble Beach with it in 1963. The selling price landed squarely in the pre-auction estimate of $950,000 to $1,150,000.
Rounding out the top 10 list from the St. John’s auction were a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline, sold for $704,000; a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe, sold for $676,500; a 1934 Duesenberg Model J Boattail Speedster, sold for $506,000; a 1939 Lincoln Model K Convertible Sedan, sold for $297,000; a 1931 Cadillac V-12 Five-Passenger Phaeton, sold for $200,750; a 1930 Packard 734 Speedster Runabout, sold for $187,000; a 1939 Packard Twelve All Weather Cabriolet, sold for $178,750; and a 1938 Packard Twelve Convertible Coupe, sold for $165,000.
For more results, visit RMAuctions.com.