It will be the auction debut of the ‘Austie’ Clark 1911 Mercer Type 35R Raceabout when it goes under the hammer at the RM Auction’s RM Monterey sale.
It has been owned for 65 years by the family of purchaser Henry Austin ‘Austie’ Clark Jr, who bought the vehicle in 1949. He was a pioneering researcher, noted collector, and proprietor of the Long Island Automotive Museum.
Austie Clark accumulated such a large and diverse range of vehicles that when it was packed and shipped off to The Henry Ford Museum it involved an entire month of packing, three moving trucks and over two decades to sort through and file the 54,000 pounds of material that had been collected.
The particular vehicle going up for sale is one of Clark’s earliest additions to his collection. It was a fixture at his Long Island Automotive Museum and it took part in exhibition runs in conjunction with the Bridgehampton races. Clark had a hand in organizing and funding these races.
The museum closed in 1980 and the Mercer has been driven mainly on windy stonewall-lined roads by two further generations of the Clark family. It’s now the right time to pass it on to a new generation of owners and this will be the first time it is presented for public auction. The Mercer is expected to bring in a huge level of interest with estimates of $2.5 million to $3.5 million (US dollars) expected to be achieved for this historic vehicle.
“Austie Clark was a connoisseur who knew great automobiles and made extraordinary efforts to preserve as many as possible and ensure they resided in good homes. As a result, even a quarter century after his death, knowing that a car was part of the Henry Austin Clark Jr. Collection is a stamp of approval, and the name is an integral part of its provenance,” says Shelby Myers, Car Specialist for RM Auctions.
The sale will be held on August 15–16 in Monterey, California — so if anyone’s planning a trip over there during that time it may be worth heading along to a preview day. Otherwise you can check out the lots from your living room at rmauctions.com