The Bonhams Mercedes-Benz Sale takes place at the Mercedes-benz Museum on Saturday, March 28th, 2015, and you can view the details and register online via the Bonhams website.
As you might expect, it’s packed with stunning cars and memorabilia, including one of just 18 Mercedes-Benz 770 Cabriolet D cars ever made. The 1931 example estimated at €2,300,000-2,800,000 was owned by German actor, producer and director Erik Carell and cost around 47,5000 Reichsmark when new, which was about the same price as a family home. It features a 7.7 litre engine which put out 150bhp, before an optional supercharger aded a further 50 horsepower. The body for the four door cabriolet was created by the Mercedes-Benz in-house coachbiuilders, Sindelfingen. Although it might pass by in a blur with a top speed of around 99mph in the 1930s.
It’s not the only gorgeous and glamorous vintage car in the auction. Also up for sale is a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A, estimated to sell for €2 million – 2.5 million. It features a 5.4 litre supercharged straight-eight engine which had a top speed approaching 110mph, thanks to 178bhp through the four-speed gearbox. And this model is particularly gorgeous, with an enclosed rear wheel and sporty rear end.
Moving onto the 1950s, this beautiful 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Clubsport Roadster was first owned by the local Mercedes agent in French Morocco, Joseph F Weckerle, and it’s likely to be the same car in which he won the 2-litre GT class at the 1956 Casablanca Grand Prix. It’s never needed a full restoration, and features the 1897cc overhead camshaft engine producing 120bph and giving a top speed of 106mph. It features on of the very rare original Clubsport packages along with red leather seats, two fog lights, and a second spare wheel among other extras.
You’d almost expect any auction of vintage and classic Mercedes to include at least one 300 SL, and there are a number on offer. The earliest is this 1957 300 SL Roadster with Hardtop, estimated to sell for €1 million – 1.3 million. The model became a legend with wins in the Carrera Pan-Americana, Le Mans etc with 0-60 in 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 140mph with a spaceframe chassis, 2996 engine with 215bph, and the iconic looks of what could be claimed was the world’s first true supercar.
There are cars for those of us with slightly smaller budgets. For instance, the 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Roadster with Hardtop estimated at €65,000 – 75,000 if you want to invest in a 120mph Pagoda, or the 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230Sl Convertible with Hardtop.
For the fan of modern Mercedes, you could invest in a 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster which has only recorded 18,900 kilometres with one lady owner. On of just 2,114 cars ever completed, the 207mph two-seater is estimated at €250,000 – 350,000 compared to the cost of €439,800 on the original sales invoice.
And while we could spend all day looking at the list of cars we might lust after, we’ll finish this look at the 100+ auction items with the 1996 Mercedes-Benz C-Class DTM Competition Saloon driven by Jan Magnussen, Ricardo Zonta and Juan Pablo Montoya. That season saw the DTM and International Touring Cars combine for just one year before the series again split and this Warsteiner-sponsored car was put into storage.
This auction is definitely not one to miss if you’re a fan of Mercedes-Benz and have the cash to invest. And it’s almost impossible to pick between the beautiful and stately cars of the 1930s, the stylish machines of the 1950s and 1960s, and the 1990s racing thoroughbred for what we’d want most to fill out dream garage. If I really had to choose, I guess it’d have to be the 1955 190 Clubsport SL Roadster to combine the classic looks and racing pedigree in one car with buckets of history. But I’d need the ’69 280 SL as well for trips to the shops. You can find out more information and follow the auction live via the Bonhams website.