RM Sotheby’s, Hershey, Pennsylvania, October 6-7, 2016
Hershey is a week-long celebration of old cars, really old cars.
Sure, there are plenty of not-so-old cars running around town, but it is nothing like Monterey, Amelia or even Scottsdale where McLaren P1s and Ferrari 488s seem to be ubiquitous. Hershey is pre-war country this week and it is reflected in the consignments at RM Sotheby’s auction.
This is Sports Car Digest, and there were a few readily recognized sports cars (Austin-Healey, Sunbeam Alpine, Porsche Speedster, etc.) on the docket. More importantly, however, the RM Sotheby’s consignment featured a number of sports cars from the dawn of the motoring era, Speedsters and Runabouts with names like E-M-F, Mercer, Chalmers and Pullman that don’t come readily to mind in word-association with the term ‘sports car’.
Yet, they are extremely important. They defined the sports car concept at its most elemental [and these vehicles are nothing if not elemental.] Their four- and six-cylinder engines may not have much sophistication by present-day standards but for their time they were powerful, innovative and imaginative. Many of the ones on offer at RM Sotheby’s were highly original or well used older restorations, ideal for taking out on a crisp fall day for a blast down winding lanes with goggles on and a flat cap turned backward. They would have delighted Henry Austin Clark, Jr. and his early collecting contemporaries in whose hands they have been maintained, preserved and restored.
Hershey is always a good time, even when the weather is awful (which it wasn’t this year.) The opportunity to observe and inspect the originality of thought and design of these early sports cars is part of the charm and appeal.
Even more appealing is the fact that, as evidenced by some of the results in Hershey, they’re not expensive. It is an economical way to experience something that few people in recent generations have enjoyed.
RM Sotheby’s Hershey 2016 – Auction Report