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Olds' concept car sold for $3.24 million
Golden Oldsmobile version of Corvette tops Scottsdale auction event. Also: Kennedy limousine.
February 1, 2005: 6:53 AM EST
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A golden 1954 Oldsmobile concept car sold at auction this weekend for $3.24 million.

The Oldsmobile F-88 is similar to the Chevrolet Corvette concept car -- they were termed "dream cars" at the time -- that debuted a year earlier and quickly entered production. Both were two-seat roadsters with fiberglass bodies. The F-88 is powered by a 324 cubic-inch Oldsmobile Rocket V-8 engine producing a maximum 250 horsepower.

The car was auctioned Saturday at the 34th annual Barrett-Jackson classic car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. The $3.24 million final selling price was the highest ever paid for a car at that auction.

The previous record, $2 million paid for a Hispano-Suiza J12 Binder, had stood for 15 years.

"While most of their brethren were destroyed after their debuts at GM's Motorama shows, the gold-toned Olds survived this fate to become one of the most historically significant vehicles of its era," said Craig Jackson, president and CEO of the classic car auction company Barrett-Jackson. "Many automobile historians consider the roadster to be one of the greatest expressions of automotive design to ever come from North America."

Other seven-figure sales during the weekend occurred at RM Auctions' Vintage Motor Cars event also held in Scottsdale. That sale took place on Friday. All prices include a 15 percent "buyer's premium."

A 1934 Duesenberg Model J convertible coupe sold for $2.75 million. The car's 265 horsepower straight-8 engine has dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. Duesenberg, a car company founded by brothers Fred and Augie Duesenberg in St. Paul, Minn., in 1913 and later bought out by E.L. Cord, was famous for building some of the worlds most expensive and powerful drivetrains and chassis. The cars' bodies were usually designed and built by other companies as selected by the individual car's purchaser. In this case, however, the body was designed by Duesenberg and built by the A.H. Walker Company.

A 1953 Ferrari 250 Mille Miglia Berlinetta sold for $1.43 million. The 12-cylinder race car sold in Scottsdale was the prototype for a series of cars named in honor of a dramatic Ferrari win in the European Mille Miglia race in 1952.

A 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT "Zagato" sold for $2.7 million. This Italian-designed British sports car has a 305 horsepower, 3.7-liter engine.

Also sold at the RM Auctions event was the 1962 Lincoln Continental "Bubbletop" limousine used by President John F. Kennedy. It sold for $632,500. The Continental, from which this limousine was created, is widely regarded as one of the most elegant American luxury cars ever made. The car was used frequently by President Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, according to R.M. Auctions. Among other notable occupants were President Lyndon Johnson, Pope Paul VI, and the Apollo astronauts.  Top of page


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