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Art of the Automobile in NYC

An exhibition and auction celebrating some of the rarest and finest motorcars in design history

by Lauren Espeseth in Design on 04 November 2013

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Though a global front-runner in all matters of design and culture, New York City has missed out on a lot of America's heavy car culture history and is regrettably unfit for traditional car exhibitions and auctions. In fact the city has been without a stellar car auction for over a decade. But this month, RM Auctions is delivering the most impressive car auction Manhattan has seen in years—with over 30 cars, many of which were made-to-order and are the last survivors for their respective generations. Held at Sotheby's New York, the auction "Art of the Automobile" is a celebration of these masters in design and the marks they've made on automotive history, and they'll be on exhibit for the public for several days leading up to the big event.

"Art of the Automobile" will present a remarkable collection of the most enduring models in design from each era of motoring, including some of the biggest hits from this year's star-studded Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach. From classic carriages to the world's fastest cars, RM Auctions and Sotheby's—the brands behind some of the world's most renowned car shows and auctions—are celebrating highlights of form and function down to the finest details in bespoke vehicles. Each automobile on offer has been hand-picked to showcase the purity of form found in the very best machines.

We're more than excited to catch a glimpse of the made-to-order cars that are making their way to NYC, and have highlighted three American motorcars that are standouts of the upcoming auction and showcase.

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The 1933 Auburn Twelve Custom Speedster, chassis 2119E, marks the "classic era" of cars—a magnificent series of elegant, streamlined automobiles. The sole surviving 12-cylinder speedster of three built in custom trim in 1933, this 2119E is certified Category One by the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club, retaining its original body, engine and chassis. Restored to the highest standards by RM Auto Restoration, this vehicle (one of the most iconic American shapes of the classic era) has celebrated award-winning success in ACD Club national competition as well as at the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. One of very few genuine, original, ACD Club Certified factory-bodied Auburn Twelve Speedsters remaining—and the only one of its kind known today—the car's upcoming showcasing in New York presents an opportunity not to be missed.

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The '50s stand as another significant era in automotive styling, distinguished by a period of designers who dreamed up futuristic automotive masterpieces while testing the wildest engineering limits of the time. The best of the '50s era design will be represented at the upcoming NYC event thanks to the confident 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study with coachwork by the Italian firm Boano. With stunning Italian coachwork on a classically American chassis, this one of a kind show car is among the most vivacious examples of custom coachwork ever created on a Lincoln chassis. The car was the heartthrob of car experts and eager onlookers alike at this past Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, having been restored to its original appearance with eye-popping colors and trim. The 1955 Lincoln is certain to attract strong interest from automobile and art collectors alike, so be sure to stop by Sotheby's to get a peak before it's gone.

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The unparalleled collection is made complete by an exclusive 1957 Dual-Ghia Convertible, chassis 145. Like the Lincoln, the Dual-Ghia, which is the work of mastermind Eugene Casaroll, illustrates the perfect fusion of Detroit engineering with Italian design. The exclusive chassis 145 is one of approximately a hundred of its generation built between 1956 and 1958, and is now one of the very few that remain. The celebrity favorite stands resplendent in Bronze with a red interior and is arguably the finest restored Dual-Ghia convertible in existence, and an incredibly prestigious example of one of the most elite and exclusive automobiles of its generation.

In addition to these bespoke wonders, keep an eye out for a few spectacular motorbikes on hand, including the popular 1914 Flying Merkel from the Pebble Beach Concourse. Whether looking to buy or not, it's worth stopping by the showroom, which will be open before the auction from 18-20 November before the auction on 21 November. RM Auctions has all the details on the event and the rest of the cars in the special NYC collection.

Images courtesy of Michael Furman for the 2013 RM Auctions

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