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Press Release

Automobiles with Exceptional Provenance Highlight Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (July 10, 2014) – Gooding & Company, celebrated for its world-class automotive auctions and record-breaking results, will begin its second decade as the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® on August 17 and 18. Gooding & Company is pleased to share a hand selected group of consignments from our Pebble Beach Auctions with exceptional provenance. Exciting entries include an extremely rare 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 Cabriolet with spectacular one-off Pinin Farina coachwork (estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000), the first production 1954 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing 300 SL to be delivered new to a private customer (estimate upon request), the 1927 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix, which was owned and raced by the “Bugatti Queen”, Hellé Nice (estimate: $2,800,000-3,500,000), a rare 1955 Aston Martin DB3S sports racer (estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000), one of the last unrestored 1929 Model J Duesenberg with coachwork by the Walter M. Murphy Company (estimate: $1,350,000-1,750,000) and two pre-war Packards from the legendary Phil Hill Family Collection (estimates range from $225,000-500,000).

David Gooding, President: “I have a great affinity for automobiles with exceptional provenance. They inspire us with their colorful histories and carry on the spirit of their former owners. At Gooding & Company, we have the distinguished privilege of presenting not only these rare automobiles, but the amazing figures and historical events that surround them.”

Spectacular one-off Alfa Romeo Tipo 256
 This 1939 Tipo 256 Cabriolet is one of an exceedingly rare breed of pre-war Alfa Romeo sports cars. The Tipo 256 was a special competition version of the 6C 2500SS prepared by Scuderia Ferrari in Modena for the 1939 racing season. This example, 915.026, was originally sold to Sigfrido Koelliker of Torino and, like many of the 256s, it was immediately reconfigured as a road car. Mr. Koelliker commissioned Pinin Farina to build a body for his Alfa Romeo and together they created this splendid, extremely modern cabriolet, designed by Count Mario Revelli de Beaumont. This Tipo 256 features a fully-enveloped design, cutting edge for the period, and shows the influence of the aerodynamic racing cars of the late 1930s. In December 1940, the car was sold to well-known Italian industrialist, soccer player and racing driver Piero Dusio, a loyal Alfa Romeo customer, who went on to create the Cisitalia company. By 1951, this car was sold to Karl Weber of Zurich. Weber raced the car in Swiss hillclimb events and it remained in his care until the 1980s, when ownership was transferred to his mechanic. The current owner acquired this car from Weber’s mechanic and displayed it at the 2008 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Finished in grey with beautifully preserved blue leather upholstery, this genuine pre-war Alfa Romeo competition car is one of the most striking and elegant examples with unbroken provenance to come to public auction in recent years. (estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000)

The First Customer This 1954 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing, chassis 4500003 is the first production 300 SL to be delivered new to a private customer. This stunning car was purchased by legendary American sportsman and entrepreneur Briggs Swift Cunningham II, and is presented in its factory-original colors of German Racing Silver (DB 180) with a plaid cloth interior. There are numerous fascinating pre-production features on this car that differ from production Gullwings, including slightly different exterior proportions, hand formed under-hood sheet metal components, steel door hinges and an asymmetrical roof vent. Never previously restored, this prized 300 SL has recently had its show-quality restoration completed in Germany by respected Mercedes-Benz experts. This 1954 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing is one of the most significant 300 SLs in existence and would be a welcome addition to any collection. (estimate upon request)

“The Bugatti Queen” Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful race cars of the period, the Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix holds an important place in history. This Type 35 on offer during our Pebble Beach Auctions boasts ownership by famed Parisian actress, dancer, acrobat and race car driver, Hellé Nice. Dubbed “the Bugatti Queen,” Nice was one of the first female race car drivers in the sport. She led a colorful life and created quite a sensation both on the track and off. Her Type 35 is presented today in green with brown leather interior. Recently restored by marque expert Scott Sargent, this is one of the most important Grand Prix Bugattis to come to auction in recent years. (estimate: $2,800,000-3,500,000)

Historic Sports Racer This 1955 Aston Martin DB3S is one of the rarest and most important sports racing cars of the 1950s. It showcases Aston Martin’s design and performance achievements, and epitomized the height of sophistication in the motoring world of the day. This DB3S is one of only 20 examples built for customer use and served as the 1955 Earls Court Motor Show car. After a racing career that included podium finishes at Snetterton and Silverstone, this DB3S was the centerpiece of the famed Forshaw Collection for approximately 40 years. A truly elegant and exceptionally original race car, this DB3S boasts a traditional Aston Martin racing green exterior with a green leather and plaid interior. (estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000)

One of the last unrestored Duesenberg Model J Sedans Admired, respected, and coveted by collectors, this exceptional unrestored 1929 Duesenberg Model J is one of the most charismatic examples in existence. This car features attractive open coachwork by the Walter M. Murphy Company and is beautifully presented in exceptional original condition in black over black leather. Just five documented owners since 1929; this Duesenberg boasts an impressive Concours record that includes FIVA Awards from both Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and Greystone Concours d’Elegance. Possessing a rich history, unbroken provenance, and elegant coachwork, this Duesenberg is one of the most impressive unrestored American classics that Gooding & Company has ever had the pleasure to offer. (estimate: $1,350,000-1,750,000)

Other entries that have noteworthy provenance include two pre-war Packards offered without reserve from the legendary Phil Hill Family Collection. The first and only American driver to win a Formula 1 Championship, Hill was an accomplished driver, restorer, historian and the consummate gentleman’s gentleman. Highlights from the Phil Hill Family Collection offered during Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions include a 1912 Packard Model 30 Seven-Passenger Touring (estimate: $400,000-500,000) and a 1938 Packard Twelve Model 1608 All-Weather Cabriolet (estimate: $225,000-300,000).