The simply spectacular Duesenberg Model J Long-Wheelbase ‘Whittell Coupe’ helped Gooding & Co to another record-breaking evening on the second day of the firm’s Monterey sale.
Bidding on the gorgeous, one-off two-door 1931 leviathan opened at $3m and the car looked to be about to sell when bidding stalled at a little over $6m. But that was before two determined bidders in the room fought tooth-and nail (well, credit card!) to secure the Murphy-bodied beauty, with one proving his pockets to be deeper with a final stunning bid of $9.4m on the hammer – a figure that will rise to well over $10m once commission has been factored in.
That means a new auction record for an American-built car - and, of course, for a Duesie.
The result was all the more impressive when you consider that just four lots earlier the firm had failed to get away during the sale a 1927 Mercedes-Benx S-type 26/80 Sportwagen (est $5.5-6.5m), which stalled at $4.6m.
There were no such problems among the younger cars, however, with a wonderful barn-find alloy-bodied 1966 Ferrari 275GTB (below) racing past its top estimate to sell for $1.4m - mega money considering immaculate, restored examples routinely sell for around a $1m - and a 1953 Siata 208S doing likewise to post a $1.425m result.