Fans of hand-built pre-war automobiles, take note.
One of the premier automotive events in the United States, Amelia Island Concours Week has something for everyone. That’s especially true if you’re a fan of hand-crafted vintage cars built prior to WWII. RM Sotheby’s is knocking out of the park with some fantastic classic vehicles crossing the auction block this weekend. Among the highlights is a 1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood, a 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by D’leteren, and a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy.
You just don’t see the kind of artisanal craftsmanship found in these fine examples. Each one has a flair which disappeared out of the industry after the war. Yet so many yearn after the flowing bodies and the fine detail touches throughout these cars, making them highly collectible.
For example, the 1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood is being offered without reserve. It’s estimated to hammer at upwards of $1,000,000 and for good reason. If this Bottle Green Cadillac looks somewhat familiar, it likely is, having been featured in quite a few books and magazines. Many agree it is one of the most beautiful bodies to be fitted to the early Cadillac V-16 chassis, with a mere 85 sport phaetons made. Out of those, only 17 are known to have survived.
Expected to hammer at between $1,500,000 and $2,000,000, the 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by D’leteren is wholly unique, being the only one built with a three-seater Aravis-inspired body style. The history of this car has been impeccably documented and includes an original D’leteren photo album with period photographs.
Another American classic, the 1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe, is also being offered at no reserve, adding to the auction excitement. While nothing is guaranteed with a no-reserve car, this one is estimated to hammer at upwards of $1,800,000. These are incredibly rare classics, and this one in particular has won multiple awards from CCCA, AACA, and ACD Club.
Photos credit: RM Sotheby’s