Press Release

Gooding & Company Presents the Best of American Motoring, from Brass Era Legends to Postwar Sports Cars, at Its Pebble Beach Auctions

An incredible 1912 Simplex 50 HP Toy Tonneau, offered for sale from 111 years of single family ownership, will come to market for the first time, alongside motoring icons from the greatest eras of American automotive history.

Santa Monica, Calif. (July 6, 2023) — The official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, world renowned market leader Gooding & Company, is proud to present a group of cars embodying the best of American automotive excellence for its upcoming Pebble Beach Auctions. This August 18 and 19, these iconic selections, including an exceptional 1912 Simplex coming to market from single family ownership since new, will cross the auction block at the collector car world’s most premier venue in Pebble Beach. As with all Gooding & Company live auctions, the much anticipated sale will offer online, mobile, and telephone bidding capabilities for collectors worldwide. 

“We are especially proud of our lineup of historic American automobiles, which span several decades and motoring genres,” said Gooding & Company President and Founder, David Gooding. “It is virtually unheard of to have a car as remarkable as the 1912 Snyder Simplex, offered from well over a century of single family ownership and with such spectacular documentation from new. It is a privilege to present such unique, rare, and incredibly well preserved American icons to the forefront of the collector market at Pebble Beach.”

1912 Simplex 50 HP Toy Tonneau (Estimate: $3,000,000 – $4,000,000) In the collector car world, few words are as enticing as “single family ownership.” When this refers to a car that has never come to market in over 111 years, offered with impeccable documentation from new, the response is incomparable. Such is the case with the 1912 Simplex 50 HP Toy Tonneau on offer at this year’s Pebble Beach Auctions, originally purchased new for the consignor’s great grandfather, William Penn Snyder Jr., when he was just 24 years old. At the time, Simplex was one of the greatest American automotive manufacturers, catering to a clientele of the most prominent East Coast families. First named S&M Simplex after its builders, the New York City automotive import firm Smith & Mabley, Simplex Automobile Company was established after wealthy textile importer Herman Broesel purchased S&M in 1907. The Simplex Automobile Company unveiled a new 50 HP model, one of the finest cars of its era capable of reaching speeds in excess of 80 mph. Each Simplex was built on a robust Krupp steel chassis, featuring a powerful T-head chain-drive engine and mounted with custom coachwork from a host of respected manufacturers: Brewster, Healey, Demarest, Holbrook, or Quinby, as with the Simplex on offer here. 

This Simplex, chassis no. 799, has been integral to the Sndyer family legacy since February 1912, when William Penn Snyder Sr. purchased it initially as a two-passenger Runabout, or “Speed Car,” for his son as a college graduation gift. The influential family ran one of the largest integrated steel companies in Pittsburgh and played a pivotal role in the development of the state of Pennsylvania for several centuries. In the early 20th century, the Snyder family owned an impressive stable of cars, including over three Simplexes. Original documentation on file from the Simplex factory to Mr. Snyder notes that this chassis was an “extra fast one,” and this proved to be true, as the Speed Car got into an accident in its first year of ownership. Deeming the lightweight Runabout too fast for his son, William P. Snyder Sr. decided to have the chassis tastefully rebodied by Quinby as a four-passenger Toy Tonneau in December 1912. As fate would have it, the allure of the Simplex automobile would even lead William Penn Snyder Jr. to his wife: Mr. Snyder met Marie Elise Whitney on the Long Island Ferry, where she was driving her own 1909 50 HP Chain-Drive Simplex. Once the ferry docked, the two raced each other in their respective Simplexes. Marie Elise won! The two married in February 1917, and the new Mr. and Mrs. Snyder brought this 1912 Simplex along on their honeymoon. 

Since then, this Simplex has been meticulously maintained and exercised, and has always lived on the family property in Pennsylvania at Wilpen Hall, a family estate enjoyed by many generations of the Snyder family for more than a century. It was sympathetically restored in the 1950s, and throughout the years, has participated in many Glidden and Friends of Ancient Road Transportation tours. More recently, it placed 2nd in Class at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® Simplex event, and also earned the Briggs Cunningham Award for the day. This August, Gooding & Company has the special privilege of bringing this historic 1912 Simplex to market, offered from continuous family ownership for over an entire century, truly presenting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the most sophisticated collectors.

1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl ‘Barrelside’ Phaeton (Estimate: $3,000,000 – $4,000,000) More powerful, faster, and better built than any other American car of its time, the Duesenberg Model J was an instant sensation upon its debut at the 1928 New York International Auto Show. Of the long list of distinguished coachbuilders that provided bodies for the Model J, LeBaron stood firmly as the most celebrated and memorable. Its open four-door phaetons, offered in two distinct styles of “Sweep Panel” and “Barrelside,” were certainly its most popular creations. A total of seven Barrelside Phaetons were built, immediately distinguished by their sculpted cowl, folding windscreens, and distinctive side moldings. This one-off 1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl ‘Barrelside’ Phaeton, chassis no. 2323, engine no. J-318, is the sole example built on the more costly long-wheelbase chassis, and bears an unique hood louver treatment. 

J-318 was delivered new to its first owner, William Keane Ryan Jr.,  the grandson of tobacco, insurance, and transportation magnate Thomas Fortune Ryan. It has been collector owned for decades, with just three owners since 1954. It joined the consignor’s notable Ohio-based collection, which features several other notable Duesenbergs, in 1979. After extensive restoration, J-318 went on to earn a streak of awards throughout the early 1980s, including AACA Junior and Senior National First Prizes, as well as a  perfect 100-point score at the 1982 CCCA Grand Classic. Lovingly maintained and scarcely shown since the 1990s, the Duesenberg remains in fine condition, and is finished in an attractive two-tone gray color scheme with orange highlights and brown leather upholstery. Having recently received a complete engine rebuild by respected marque specialist Straight Eight of Troy, Michigan, this highly regarded Model J comes to market as a unique example among the few genuine Barrelside Phaetons known to exist. 

1963 Shelby 260 Cobra (Estimate: $1,750,000 – $2,500,000) To this day, Carroll Shelby’s Cobra remains one of the most enduring and memorable sports cars produced in the 1960s. The earliest examples, built by hand in 1962 and 1963, represent the purest expression of these legendary sports cars. Just 75 examples of the original 260 were built, including street cars, factory team cars, independently prepared race cars, and one Dragonsnake. Only 62 street cars were made in total, accounting for less than 10% of all leaf-spring Cobra production. These early production 260 models are differentiated by their slab-sided aluminum bodywork, and come mechanically equipped with a Hi-Po 260 cid V-8 engine, cast-iron-cased Ford Galaxie gearbox, and 3.54:1 rear-end ratio. Very few 260 Cobras retain their unique, as-delivered details, and of those that remain, examples in good, original condition are few and far between. This 1963 Shelby 260 Cobra comes to auction alongside unrestored sports cars from a private collection, and presents in exceptional time capsule condition, with just three private owners from new and less than 5,200 miles on the odometer. 

Originally finished in red with black leather upholstery, this Cobra was shipped to Tasca Ford of East Providence, Rhode Island, one of the first authorized Shelby dealers. This example was a press loan car for Car and Driver magazine, who road tested the Cobra for its March 1963 issue, greatly praising its performance capabilities. Its first private owner, James Hall of Concord, New Hampshire, ordered a special competition intake manifold with three Holley twin-choke carburetors, resulting in an utterly exciting drive with explosive acceleration. The Cobra then went on to join the collection of Stan Hallinan, who kept the Cobra from 1964 to 2013. The current owner acquired the car after Mr. Hallinan’s passing, and commissioned Antique Auto Restoration of Seaside, California for sympathetic mechanical work. Keeping preservation in mind, the restorative work returned the car to running order without disturbing this exceptionally rare Cobra’s wonderful originality, integrity, and patina, which it all proudly retains.

1954 Chevrolet Corvette S.O. 2151 Prototype (Estimate: $1,500,000 – $2,000,000) Prior to series Corvette production, Chevrolet built approximately 15 handlaid fiberglass bodies for experimental or Motorama use. A precious few of these Motorama-era prototypes survive today, including this example, which originates with the S.O. 2000, the pale-yellow Hardtop prototype of early 1954. At least two of these S.O. 2000 show cars were built, and it is believed that one was retired early so its body could be reassigned to a new project – S.O. 2151. This body was returned to General Motors’ famous Art and Colour department, overseen by legendary designer Harley Earl, to serve as the proposal car for the 1955 Corvette. This new prototype incorporated several innovative features, including a decorative hood scoop, egg-crate front grille, bumper-exit exhaust tips, and slanted front-fender vents. The body was painted Bermuda Green, a beautiful, metallic jade-like hue. As the story goes, the 1955 Proposal Car never made its way into production, and S.O. 2151 somehow escaped the fate of most GM prototypes, eventually making its way to California. After passing through the hands of several owners, it was acquired by George F. Campbell in 1975, who rigorously studied the car’s history and collected parts for over four decades in anticipation of a future restoration. Following Mr. Campbell’s passing, the Corvette was acquired by the current owner, an Indiana-based enthusiast with over 45 years of experience in the restoration business. Throughout the restoration process, which took place over a span of three years and more than 1,800 hours, the consignor painstakingly restored S.O. 2151 to its exact 1954 specification. Once completed, this Prototype was shown just once at The Amelia in 2023 with acclaim, where it received The Founders Award. Today, this one-of-a-kind piece of Corvette history is a rare remnant of Motorama-era automotive glory. 

1913 American Underslung Type 56-A Traveler (Estimate: $800,000 – $1,200,000) Few Brass Era cars are as imposing and attractive as the American Underslung. Produced by the American Motor Car Company of Indianapolis, the Underslung is the brainchild of designer Fred Tone, featuring a sleek, racy profile due to its front and rear axle placement above the frame rails. Its low-slung body is carried by an exceptionally large set of wheels, with its low center of gravity resulting in superior handling and a strikingly aggressive silhouette. The Type 56 was the largest and most dramatic of all the Underslungs, with an especially long wheelbase, full rear door, jump seats, and the largest wheels ever fitted on the model at 41". For the 1913 model year, the Traveler was updated to the Type 56-A, featuring new electric headlights and redesigned inset cowl lights to include ventilation inlets. This 1913 American Underslung Type 56-A Traveler is the sole example known to survive, with a rich, well-documented provenance tracing back to its original owner. 

Delivered new to Courtney Willits of New Boston, Illinois, it remained in his ownership until his passing in 1945. It was then purchased by D. Cameron Peck, heir to the Bowman Dairy fortune, who outbid celebrated opera tenor James Melton for the car. Mr. Peck then sold the Underslung to Frank Miller of Ohio, who commissioned noted restorer Ralph Buckley to paint it Orleans Blue ahead of its participation in the 1948 Glidden Tour. The car joined the collection of Philip Peterson of Worcester, Massachusetts in 1974 before being acquired by the current owner, a knowledgeable and passionate Southern California collector. The consignor entered the Traveler in a number of Brass Era rallies,  including the famous Modoc Tour, prior to embarking on an exacting restoration in the late 1980s. This multiyear process was initiated by former director and general manager of Harrah’s Automobile Collection, Clyde Wade, and completed by noted antiques restorer, Scott Andrews. Faithfully presented in its original color scheme of American Red with black accents, this Traveler has been selectively displayed since its restoration, including at the Ironstone Concours d’Elegance and the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, where it received the Charles A. Chayne Trophy. It has also been loaned to the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, for continued display. This impressive Model 56-A Traveler, the sole surviving Type 56, embodies the zenith of the American Motor Car Company, ready to provide its next owner with years of enjoyment as an early automotive treasure.

Selections from the John O. Bohmer Estate Gooding & Company is proud to present selections from the John O. Bohmer Estate, offered entirely without reserve. A lifelong car lover and enthusiast, Mr. Bohmer’s deep passion for all things automotive began with metal toys on his basement floor as a child in rural Minnesota, and eventually realized into a sustained hobby of restoring and collecting classic cars for over 70 years until his passing last year at the age of 101. Following his time serving in World War II, Mr. Bohmer began restoring cars, developing a special affinity for barn finds. He would frequently scour through midwestern towns in search of his next great restoration project. Mr. Bohmer’s collection at one point grew to include over 150 cars, before it was pared down to the grandest prewar models, including 12-cylinder Packards and 16-cylinder Cadillacs. His finest possessions included examples featuring custom coachwork by the likes of Howard “Dutch” Darrin and Raymond Dietrich. Mr. Bohmer frequently took his cherished cars to classic car meets or caravan driving tours, and prioritized their preservation for historic value. Highlights from the John O. Bohmer Estate collection include a Dietrich-bodied 1934 Packard Twelve Model 1108 Individual Custom Convertible Sedan (Estimate: $750,000 – $1,000,000, Without Reserve) and a 1930 Cadillac Series 452 V-16 Convertible Coupe (Estimate: $275,000 – $325,000, Without Reserve) featuring coachwork by Fleetwood. The Estate collection also includes a 1940 Packard Custom 180 Super Eight Convertible Sedan (Estimate: $225,000 – $275,000, Without Reserve), as well as a 1936 Cord 810 Cabriolet ‘Sportsman’ (Estimate: $150,000 – $200,000, Without Reserve), among other offerings. 

The Pebble Beach Auctions will also present a 1953 Studebaker Land Speed Coupe (Estimate: $250,000 – $350,000), deemed the “World’s Fastest Coupe” in 1966. Famously campaigned by Neil Thompson and Belmont Sanchez from 1955 to 1972, this Bonneville legend comes to market with its famous 1970 livery. Presented in “barn-find” condition, the Studebaker has been mechanically refreshed, but maintains all of its original cosmetic components as is. 

Pebble Beach Auctions Dates: Friday, August 18, at 5 p.m. PDT, and Saturday, August 19, at 11 a.m. PDT Location: Pebble Beach Parc du Concours Public Preview: Wednesday, August 16 through Saturday, August 19 Auction Catalogues: $120, includes admission for two to the viewing and the auction General Admission: $50, includes admission for one to the viewing and the auction Bidder Registration:  Live Auction Broadcast:  Facebook:  Twitter: @goodingandco #GoodingPebble  Instagram: @goodingandcompany #GoodingPebble  YouTube:  Phone: +1.310.899.1960 About Gooding & Company Gooding & Company is celebrated for its world-class automotive auctions, private brokerage, and unparalleled service in the international collector car market, achieving over $2.6 billion in sales since the company’s inception. The auction house continues to deliver market-leading results through both its live auctions and Geared Online platform, setting new trends and world records with best-of-category cars across numerous verticals. Gooding & Company consistently presents the highest quality consignments while operating with openness and integrity, providing the company a reputation of trust and respect unmatched in the industry. Offering a wide range of services including private and estate sales, appraisals and collection management, the auction house is ready to assist you with numerous collector car services.

Media Inquiries: Pauline Pechakjian +1 (310) 383-7437

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