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The Journal Gazette

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette A 1999 Cadillac DeVille presidential limousine went to auction with other luxury and collectible vehicles Sunday at the RM Auctions Auburn Fall Sale.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette A 1963 Heinkel Trojan was shown Sunday at the RM Auctions Auburn Fall Sale during the final day of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival. See story on Page 2A.

Monday, September 03, 2018 1:00 am

Mercedes roadster sells for $852,500

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

The biggest-ticket items on the Auburn auction block this weekend smashed expectations and prompted bidding wars.

The top five bids at the RM Auctions Auburn Fall Sale on Saturday – which saw more than 200 cars cross the podium – generated $2.7 million, with a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster leading the pack at $852,500, according to a news release.

Bidders – both on-site and on the phone – fought over a 1929 Duesenberg Model J sedan that ultimately sold for $737,000 to a private bidder on the phone, according to a news release.

A 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider conversion fetched $442,750; a 2006 Ford GT got $357,500; and, the release said, a 1929 Auburn 120 eight speedster went for $330,000, exceeding a presale estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.

Friday, the 1976 Ford Escort formerly owned by Pope John Paul II sold for $121,000 with proceeds to benefit the O'Quinn Foundation, the release said.

Houston multimillionaire John O'Quinn bought the Escort in 2005 for $690,000.

O'Quinn, who died in a 2009 car crash, amassed more than 1,000 classic cars in the 2000s. RM Southeby's began selling his collection, which included 23 Duesenbergs, in 2010. The pope's Escort was one of the last, a company spokesperson has said.

Established in 1986, the O'Quinn Foundation has awarded more than $117 million in grants, mostly within Texas.

The foundation supports a variety of charitable activities but focuses on the Houston area for conservation, education, health, and programs benefiting underprivileged youth, according to its website.

Information about Sunday's sales – which featured more than 100 collector cars – was not immediately available Sunday night.

asloboda@jg.net