Bonhams is holding their ‘World’s Oldest Marque’ Mercedes-Benz Auction in Stuttgart, at the Mercedes-Benz Museum on March 28, 2015. It will be a single-marque auction, all cars being, appropriately enough from Mercedes-Benz. The sale coincides with Retro Classics Stuttgart week. The sale is to feature more than 40 Mercedes cars spanning more than 100 years of production history, from a 1900 Benz Ideal 4 1/2 HP to a 2003 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG.
According to Bonhams, “The sale will be led by a ‘fresh to market’ 1938 540 Kompressor Cabriolet A. Fresh to the market, the 540 K is estimated at $2.3 – $2.9 Million in restored to Concours condition.” Great looking in dark blue, an imposing motorcar by anyone’s standards.
There are two 300SLs listed in the sales catalog thus far, the car pictured below is described as a highly original example owned by the consignor since 1980. The car was previously owned by German industrialist Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (1907-1967), of the Krupp dynasty. According to the catalog description, ” it retains matching chassis/engine numbers together with its original synthetic resin brown paintwork, beige leather interior, Becker Mexico radio and disc brakes, the latter ordered by Alfried Krupp shortly after delivery.” It looks to be a well sorted car in a color not often seen on 300SLs. Auction estimate is $1 – $1.4 Million.
Another interesting consignment is a 1968 Mercedes Benz 600 with an auction estimate of between $79,000 and $96,000. There is currently, precious little information about this particular car visible in the online auction catalog, but any 600 SWB is worth investigating. Condition is key with 600s as they can be costly to repair or put back on the road if they’ve been neglected although, from the couple of photos available in Bonhams’ online catalog, the car looks complete and fairly nice.
Considering what these 600s cost when new, just about any decent 600 under $100,000 has to be considered a bargain. Sedans always have a cross to bear in the market, as so many people prefer open cars and coupes, but if you’re going to own a sedan you might as well have the absolute pinnacle of the automobile world of its day and that is the Mercedes-Benz 600.
The oldest ‘car’ on offer is a charming 1900 Benz Ideal 4 1/2 HP. Again, there isn’t much information in the online auction catalog at the moment, but from the extensive photos, the car looks to have recently undergone a complete restoration. Tiller steering and high carriage style wheels this motorcar offers an opportunity for serious veteran motoring. One must imagine that it would be eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. Built by Benz long before the merger with Gottleib Daimler, this piece stands as a piece of history documenting the early days of the motor car. Auction estimate is $260,000 to $320,000.
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com