1931 Marmon Sixteen

Base Convertible Coupe
$53.8M for Mecum's biggest ever year in Monterey
Thursday, 12 August - Saturday, 14 August 2021
Sale Price
$1,200,000 - $1,400,000
Est. Range
20 August 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Concours Restoration
Mecum Auctions
Auction House
Chassis number 16144722. Black with red coastline over red leather. 491/200hp V-16, 3-speed, wire wheels, dual sidemount spares with mirrors, dash clock, golf bag door.

Evaluation: Believed to be one of five remaining. Driven by a Century Electric engineer until the 1950s. Then in storage until the 1980s and restored to CCCA 100-point scores. More recent restoration completed earlier this year. Excellent fresh paint, chrome, interior and underneath.

Bottom line: Four beautiful cars and 64 cylinders made up the Greg Dawson Marmon Sixteen Collection at Mecum this year, all with good histories and beautiful presentation. It was a buying opportunity not likely to be repeated any time soon. Three of them sold, and this one with its desirable body style brought the most money. While not the most dynamic segment of the collector car market, demand for these large, coachbuilt, multi-cylinder prewar cars is alive and well. Collectors will want the best cars no matter how old they are, and Howard Marmon’s masterpiece certainly qualifies. So lest you think that prewar cars are being left behind, remember that this one sold for $517,000 at RM Hershey in 2009, was a $450,000 no-sale at RM Arizona in 2012 (it was painted gray at the time), and is a million-dollar car today.

by Andrew Newton
29 August 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.