Skip to main content

Rolls-Royce convertible cruises to sale price $39,600

Hundreds of lots of classic automobiles, automotive art and memorabilia, from the collection of the man known as the "King of Hershey," changed hands during an Oct. sale through Milestone Auctions.

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – The late Charlie Schalebaum needed no introduction at the renowned Hershey Car Show. He was a legend in the trade, his moniker “King of Hershey” spoke volumes. His consistently high-quality displays of automobilia includes a scarce Rolls-Royce, 

On October 14, Milestone Auctions brought forth a 496-lot sale of Schalebaum’s fine automobiles, art, and eclectic antiques. Most especially, Milestone co-owner Chris Sammet describes the offering as “an absolutely unique collection of conversation starters.”

Rolls-Royce Leads Luxury Cars

Rolls-Royce car

1981 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible, 15,707 actual miles, classic blue over silver exterior; black interior, sold for $39,600. (All photos courtesy Milestone Auctions)

Not surprisingly, big-ticket items of the sale include Schalebaum’s beautifully maintained luxury cars. A West Coast online bidder acquisition set the pace. The item, a 1982 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible with only 15,707 actual miles on its odometer. The vehicle is classic blue over silver and the interior is black. The elegant automobile rose to $39,600 against a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$25,000.

A four-wheeled flashback to 1972, the second-highest lot was a super-clean, all-original Volkswagen delivery van that had clocked only 25,000 miles. “Charlie spent a lot of money on new parts and maintenance to keep the van in great condition,” Sammet commented. “It’s very unusual to see a VW delivery van in such great condition, so we knew there would be a lot of interest in it.” Estimated at $8,000-$12,000, it commanded a winning bid of $20,400.

In addition, seafaring bidders recognized the rare opportunity that came in the form of a 1961 Chris-Craft Continental wood boat with high-style jet-age tailfins. Fully loaded with all the most desirable options, the sleek 21-footer had undergone a complete cosmetic restoration, with no small detail overlooked. Complete with a tandem-axle trailer, it headed off to a new port for a within-estimate bid of $34,800.

Curiosities Capture Bidder Interest

Some of the curiosities in Schalebaum’s collection would have been quite at home in a historical museum, if not a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not attraction. “Charlie had a real curiosity for objects of the past. He loved historical memorabilia, antique advertising, folk art, nautical memorabilia, antiquities – you name it,” Sammet said. “If he saw something unusual that he thought he might never see again, he bought it.”

Furthermore, ,any of the esoteric items Schalebaum acquired had a nautical theme. This includes the original canvas life preserver ring from the USS Maine. Accompanied by papers of provenance and previously auctioned by Skinner, it sold online for a buoyant $3,360. In addition, a very large and impressive Chelsea-style brass ship’s clock manufactured by Smith & Sons of London garnered $3,000, going six times over the high estimate; and a flag flown on the MS Stockholm on the day in 1956 that it tragically collided with the TN Andrea Doria reached an above-estimate price of $1,380. Perhaps the most unusual of all the maritime items is an authentic bronze spike from Christopher Columbus’ ship the Santiago de Palos. The ship came to rest in St Anne’s Bay, Jamaica, in 1504. Accompanying a letter of authenticity, the spike surpasses pre-sale expectations, settling at $870.

Auction Sell Thru Reaches 98%

In all, the sale was 98% sell thru (by lot), with a gross of $341,000, inclusive of 18% buyer’s

USS Maine preserver ring

Original canvas life preserver ring from the USS Maine, sold for $3,360.

premium. More than 386 registrants took to bidding through LiveAuctioneers. Of that group, 199 were live via the Internet during the sale. Also, 1,237 absentee bids came through LiveAuctioneers prior to the event. Finally, this synergy resulted in 37.5% of the auction lots selling through the online site and contributing $126,300 toward the bottom line.

“Most of the bidding came through the Internet and phones, but a nice crowd was present, as well,” said Sammet. “We were overwhelmed by the number of positive comments people made about Charlie. He was very well liked and respected by his fellow collectors. His name brought a lot of people to the sale, and they were spenders. If they knew a piece had come from Charlie’s collection, that was all the provenance they needed.”

In conclusion, to contact Milestone Auctions about consigning to a future sale, call 440-527-8060 or email, or visit

Milestone Auctions will bring a selection of comic character toys to auction Nov. 18 Among the lots are soft dolls, celluloid wind-up toys dating to the 1930s-40s, and character wristwatches, among other items.Learn more>>>