A virtual automotive time capsule - from an early Pierce-Arrow to a trendy 1970 Chevy El Camino - will cross the auction block at William H. Bunch's suburban Philadelphia gallery on Tuesday, October 4.
The prized collection of vintage cars and trucks was amassed over many years by Pennsylvania businessman Dorando Faggioli, now 78, who made it his personal mission to restore each vehicle to perfection.
Faggioli considers his 1926 Pierce-Arrow Model 80 "New York" car to be the jewel of the collection. "In its day, the Pierce-Arrow was the most expensive car made in this country," Faggioli said.
Everything about Faggioli's Pierce-Arrow is deluxe; down to the special storage area for golf clubs. Purchased in the 1980s, the car won a national first place at the AACA Show in Hershey, Pasadena, and has plaque on the radiator to prove it.
Faggioli's sleek 1976 Cadillac Milan convertible derives its name from the fact that it was a Seville 4-door sedan converted to a 2-door roadster per a design originated by Milan Coach Builders Inc., of Simi Valley, California.
The number of surviving Cadillac Milans is not known. "What we do know is that Milans are rarely seen nowadays," said auctioneer William Bunch.
The collection's 1930 Model A station wagon was purchased for nostalgic reasons, Faggioli said. Not only did it remind him of the vehicle in which he learned to drive, it also brought back boyhood memories of accompanying his father - a landscaper - to a weekly job in posh Radnor, Pasadena.
Faggioli recalled: "While dad did his landscaping work, I would meet with the little girl who lived in the big estate across the street. She knew we would be coming every Monday and would wait for me. We'd talk and pass the time. Her name was Grace Kelly - yes, the Grace Kelly."
The nearly 500-lot auction is laden with fine estate jewellery. A 50-piece collection from a Wilmington, Del., estate contains a stunning assortment of Victorian Etruscan yellow gold jewellery, some adorned with diamonds or seed pearls.
A slide bracelet approximately 1 inch wide with niello ornamentation is a key lot, as are several brooches. An exceptional brooch is centered with a 28mm by 20mm amethyst whose "table" displays a painted portrait of a young woman with a basket of flowers. Its estimate is $1,000-$1,500.
Additional jewellery highlights include a yellow gold pin with a 1.5-carat center diamond and six additional diamonds of 60 points each, estimated at $3,000-$4,000.