June 15, 2024

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Gooding & Company Brings Best of the Brass Era to Pebble Beach

The Jerry S. Foley III Estate Photo copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Image by Brian Henniker.

Summer will be here soon, as will be the Monterey and Pebble Beach auctions. In the lead-up to this year’s mid-August events, Gooding & Company has released some early information about consignments planned for their 2023 event — and their early news includes some special examples of early motoring.

Two cars come from the same collection: The Jerry S. Foley III Estate. The first is a 1913 Lozier Type 72 Meadowbrook Runabout, and the second a 1914 Mercer Type 35-J Raceabout.

In addition, the company will also present a 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet by Castagna and a 1936 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet by Saoutchik.

“We are proud to kickstart the countdown to our Pebble Beach Auctions with this especially significant grouping of Brass Era and sporting classic cars,” said Gooding & Company President and Founder, David Gooding. “The phenomenal Jerry S. Foley III Estate features the absolute pinnacle of the Brass Era with the Mercer Raceabout, and the Lozier Meadowbrook, a treasure that has not been offered for sale in over six decades. Along with our Classic Era selections, these cars represent the crème de la crème of the early automotive world.”

1913 Lozier Type 72 Meadowbrook Runabout (Estimate: $1,000,000 – $1,500,000)
Photo copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Image by Brian Henniker.

The 1913 Lozier Type 72 Meadowbrook Runabout features a rich history of rally and show appearances — and it’s been in the Foley estate since it was last offered for sale in 1959. These cars were built in the U.S. to compete with the European standards of the time, and they were both quick and reliable. The Type 72 was launched in mid-1912, featuring left hand drive and multi-point ignition on its T-head Type 51 engine. This car is estimated to be worth between $1m and $1.5m.

1914 Mercer Type 35-J Raceabout (Estimate: $3,000,000 – $4,000,000)
Photo copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Image by Brian Henniker.
Barney Oldfield driving the Mercer Type 35-J Raceabout, pictured with a female companion in NYC in 1936.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Williams.

The 1914 Mercer Type 35-J Raceabout is an example of America’s first real sports car, complete with a low-slung chassis, exposed driver’s position and a top speed in excess of 80 mph, which was astonishing for its time. A Mercer Raceabout was the first American-built car to win the American Grand Prix, and was the choice of many top-level competitors in its day. The example offered from the collection is chassis 1967 — one of just four known survivors of its type. It features the rare and desirable 4-speed gearbox and has a four-cylinder T-head engine that makes 60 hp at 1,900 rpm. This car was once owned by Socony Oil, and in 1935, it was driven by Barney Oldfield, Mercer Team driver, and was later used in the match race for early cars at the start of the 1936 Vanderbilt Cup — where it was driven by Ralph DePalma, another Mercer Team driver. Later it passed to legendary opera singer James Melton, and served as the centerpiece for his world-renowned collection. It’s been in the Foley collection for five decades. It’e estimated to be worth from $3m to $4m.

1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet by Castagna (Estimate: $4,000,000 – $5,000,000)
Photo copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Image by Mathieu Heurtault.

The Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet by Castagna is said to be incredibly authentic, after spending several long-term stints with notable collectors. It was originally bought by Mr. Erminio Codonio of Ravenna, ITA, where it stayed until coming to the U.S. in 1942, when it was bought by Haig Ksayian. After five decades, the car sold again, this time to David Sydorick, and then Bud Lyon, who had it restored by Paul Russell and Company. The car was inspected by noted Alfa Romeo authority Simon Moore, and restored in a proper period-correct deep blue over rich claret, with correct workshop gray chassis, engine bay and suspension. It was shown at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours, where it too First in Class Open, 1922-1934. It’s estimated at $4m to $5m.

1936 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet by Saoutchik (Estimate: $2,500,000 – $3,500,000)
Photo courtesy of owner. Image by Michael Furman.

The 1936 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet by Saoutchik is chassis 14018 — one of only nine open-body J12s known. This 12-cylinder J12 was delivered to its first owner in 1936. It was eventually sold to Michel Seydoux, heir to the Schlumberger oil fortune, in the mid-1970s. In 1985, it joined the collection of a highly regarded American collector and longtime Pebble Beach Concours judge, who kept it for the next 25 years and commissioned restorer and pre-war automotive specialist Rick Hamlin to restore it. After the rebuild, the J12 participated in Hispano-Suiza Society Rallies in Spain and California, as well as the Colorado Grand and CCCA CARavans. It was acquired by the current owner in 2010, who commissioned a restoration by specialists in California’s Bay Area: Phil Reilly & Company worked on the engine, Perfect Reflections did the paint and bodywork, and Ken Nemenic directed the reupholstery. The car was then shown at Pebble Beach in 2013, where it won the Alec Ulmann trophy. It was later exhibited at Chantilly. It’s estimated at $2.5m to $3.5m.

Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auctions are on Friday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19. Learn more here.