Rare Cars From a Prolific Auto Enthusiast Will Be Auctioned Without Reserve
The personal automobile collection of the late businessman
will be sold without reserve by classic car auction house Gooding & Co. in April at his own Midland Motors museum in Lynchburg, Va.
Owner of Smith Automobile Investments, Smith was believed to have bought, sold, or handled many important classic cars. He acquired several buildings in historic downtown Lynchburg to house his collection, including Midland Motors museum, a former site of a Chrysler dealership that he transformed into a showcase for his prized possessions.
“A brilliant and refined collector, Mark put together an incredible and varied collection of primarily unrestored prewar American and European treasures, which he often acquired after years of research and persistence,”
president and founder of Gooding & Co., said in a statement.
Smith died in 2021 at the age of 69. His estate is selling about 87 cars he had collected throughout his life.
A live auction will take place at Midland Motors museum on April 7, while online or phone bidding will also be open.
One of the highlights of the live sale is a 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Offener Tourenwagen, estimated to be worth between US$1.25 million and US$1.75 million. The two-door model, with chassis number 105355, is one of only five known surviving examples of this style, according to Gooding.
Another top lot is a 1932 Chrysler CG Imperial Custom Roadster, which has an estimated value between US$800,000 and US$1.2 million. The car has only gone through five owners in its 90-plus-year history. Smith acquired it in 2001, and exhibited it on rare occasions. These included the Meadowbrook Concours d’Elegance in 2004, where it earned a trophy for the Most Significant Chrysler Product, as well as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2007 and 2021, where it was a repeat entrant in the Prewar Preservation class, Gooding said.
Additionally, the collection includes many Ford alphabet models, including a 1907 Ford Model K Touring, with an estimate between US$175,000 and US$250,000, and a 1924 Ford Model T Speedster, with an estimate between US$60,000 and US$80,000.
The collection can be viewed by ticket holders to the museum from April 6-7.