RODDIN’ @ RANDOM
Historic hot rods cross the auction block; a new AMBR is chosen; making the scene at the Nickey Gasser display at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals.
RM Sotheby’s closed its 2018 auction season in December with an eclectic sale at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The 64 vehicles and 77 lots of memorabilia on offer ranged from high-brow to low, mixing exotic European sports cars and art by Von Dutch and Ed Roth. Headlines were made when a 1956 Ferrari 290 MM, a Scaglietti-bodied Scuderia Ferrari Works car driven by the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, and Stirling Moss, fetched $22,005,000, putting it on the list of the top 10 most valuable cars ever sold at auction.
The sale generated $39.8 million in total sales, with an 88 percent sell-through rate.
Among the several historic hot rods and custom cars consigned to the sale, the highest selling price of $252,000 was paid for a 1941 Mercury built by Coachcraft for designer Peter Stengel. Not far behind
was the $246,400 paid for Jeff Jones’ meticulous recreation of Ed Roth’s Mysterion show car.
The highlight of the hot rods at the sale was the Lloyd Bakan ’32 coupe, which famously appeared poolside on the cover of the Oct. 1957 HOT ROD. Restored by Don Orosco’s team for the Deuce’s 75th anniversary class at Pebble Beach, it was bid to $360,000 but not sold.
The Kustom Kulture items at the sale included artwork, signs, and knives created by Von Dutch, plus signs and artwork done by Ed Roth, and T-shirt and decal art from Roth Studios. Nearly all the memorabilia sold, with Von Dutch items commanding the highest bids. A metal sign featuring Dutch’s iconic flying eyeball brought $75,000; and his meat grinder self-portrait, “Goodbye Cruel World,” sold for $60,000.
Complete auction results are available at rmsothebys.com.
ROTH TRIBUTE: Unlike Roth’s original, Jeff Jones’ re-creation of the Mysterion is a running, driving vehicle. Offered at no reserve and including production molds and a trailer, it sold for $246,400.
COVER CAR COVER CAR: The Lloyd Bakan coupe looked gorgeous in the Petersen Automotive Museum lobby, a traditional counterpoint to the sale’s Porsches, Lamborghinis, and Mclarens also displayed there. It was bid to $360,000 but did not sell.
COACHCRAFT CUSTOM COACHCRAFT CUSTOM: Designer Peter Stengel commissioned Coachcraft to build this custom Mercury in 1941. The rigid top comes off in three pieces, and the side windows and vent windows can be lowered simultaneously, giving the car the feel of a roadster. It sold for $252,000.
DUTCH MASTERS DUTCH MASTERS: Some of the highest prices paid for the Kustom Kulture exhibits were for works by Von Dutch. The metal sign, “Originator of Modern ‘Pin’ Striping,” brought $75,000, while the “Goodbye Cruel World” self-portrait fetched $60,000.
PERIOD PERFECT: That’s how the RM Sotheby’s catalog described Jack Thompson’s track-nose T roadster, built in 1954 and restored to awardwinning condition by Gary Schroeder and Rick Cresse. It found a new home for $145,600. PERIOD PERFECT
ROTH STUDIOS: Quite a few Roth Studios T-shirt and decal art sketches were offered at the sale, several in groups of two and three. “Ford Man” was part of a trio of Ford-based sketches; the lot sold for $12,000.