740 lots of Americana – including a diner! – sell in 2-day auction

The remarkable Dingman Collection of cars, neon signs and automobilia is sold by RM Sotheby's – and a cutaway Ford V8 goes for ten times its estimate!

The Dingman Collection, all 740 lots of it, sold at the weekend for a total of $7,027,334 – with a neon sign going for $48,000, a Ford V8 cutaway engine for $45,600 and one of the 37 cars on offer achieving double its pre-sale estimate.

The collection was the life's work of the late Michael Dingman, a long-time Ford Motor Company director and one of the most important Ford collectors of modern times. This final sale of his collection by RM Sotheby's follows similar sales in 2006 and 2012 – and achieved some incredible results.

See also...

One of the favourite items of the sale was the authentic, beautifully restored 1940s Silk City Diner by Paterson Vehicle Company (below), which achieved $336,000. Other prime examples of roadside Americana included the Hamburger and Shake Neon Sign, which sold for $48,000, and others signs from iconic American brands such as John Deere, Lincoln, Ford and Shell.

The sale also featured 37 cars, mostly Mr Dingman's beloved Fords, and including several of the Ford Woodies that he was best known for. However, perhaps the most exciting moment of the sale was when the 1995 Ford Roush Mustang Cobra SCCA Trans Am, raced by three-time SCCA Trans Am Champion Tommy Kendall, nearly doubled its pre-sale estimate at a final price of $720,000.

Another great moment of the sale occurred when the Ford 24-Stud Flathead V-8 Cutaway Display Engine (1946-'48) brought in $45,600 against a pre-sale estimate of $4000-$6000.

There was bidder interest from 36 states across the US and from the UK, Australia and Asia. The sale room was packed throughout the two-day sale, but 30 percent of bidders participated via the internet, and 20 percent via phone. 40 percent of all bidders were said to be first-time RM Sotheby’s Group clientele.

'We saw wonderful attendance at The Dingman Collection sale from start to finish,' said Alain Squindo, chief operating officer, RM Sotheby’s Group, following the auction. 'Discerning collectors recognize the quality associated with the Dingman name and the late Mr Dingman’s meticulous collecting philosophy and came out in droves to add an important piece to their own garages. The entire RM Auctions team was honored to present this incredible collection on behalf of the Dingman family.'

Elizabeth Dingman, wife of the late Michael Dingman, said: 'RM Auctions is to be commended on a fabulous job showcasing the Dingman Collection in this weekend’s auction. I want to commend each and every person for their sensitivity and professionalism as my family and I processed the sale of my husband’s beloved treasures.

'I felt RM respected and valued each piece, which allowed us to go through the letting go process of the Collection itself which was so near and dear to my husband’s heart. I know Michael Dingman is smiling, knowing his treasures not only went to those who will continue the historic journey, but that his family was treated with such dignity and care, affording us the opportunity to calmly participate throughout the two-day process.'

Top 10 sales from The Dingman Collection

  • 1995 Ford Roush Mustang Cobra SCCA Trans Am ($720,000 )
  • Silk City Diner by Paterson Vehicle Company ($336,000)
  • 2006 Ford GT ($302,000)
  • 1937 Lincoln Model K Convertible Victoria ($184,800)
  • 1947 Ford Super DeLuxe Station Wagon ($145,600)
  • 1936 Ford V-8 DeLuxe Roadster ($140,000)
  • 1965 Porsche 356 C 1600 C Cabriolet ($134,400)
  • 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 ($134,400)
  • 1946 Ford Super DeLuxe Station Wagon ($123,200)
  • 1942 Ford Super DeLuxe Station Wagon ($117,600)

For forthcoming RM Sotheby's auctions click here or visit the RM Sotheby's website.

Classic Cars for Sale