For anyone who ever visited an autojumble and was enraptured by its dusty romance, the recent sale of the Lee Roy Hartung collection was possibly the ultimate expression of the form.
Chicago collector Hartung had carefully and dutifully assembled his treasure trove over half a century and when it went under the hammer in Glenview, Illinois, the response was electric.
As a result Auctions America by RM achieved over $3.95 million in total sales with 100% of lots sold in the no-reserve sale.
The catalogue included everything from general Americana to highly collectable classic cars and motorbikes, as well as one of the world’s largest and most complete licence plate collections, totalling nearly 5000 plates.
For the auction house it was a hugely labour-intensive process, Auctions America spending two months just preparing the 1600 lots for sale.
The best hammer prices went to a timeworn motorcycle – a 1911 Flying Merkel Twin Belt Drive that made an impressive $201,250 – and an exquisite, one-off 1950 Veritas BMW with coachwork by Spohn (top) that made $195,500.
A 1950 Edwards R-26 Roadster, believed to be the 1950 inaugural Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance-winning example sold for $143,750.
"We were honoured to have been entrusted with the sale of the famed Lee Roy Hartung Collection and are very pleased with the results," said Donnie Gould, president of Auctions America by RM.
"The sale was a terrific celebration of one man's drive to collect and preserve American history. Collectors recognised the range of rare ownership opportunities the sale presented, as was reflected in the strong attendance and results."
For full results from the Lee Roy Hartung Collection sale, see Auctions America's website.