A Pair of Stunning 500Ks

A Pair of Stunning 500Ks

Offered by Bonhams | Stuttgart, Germany | March 19, 2016


1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet by Saoutchik

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The fact that this car looks so fresh as if the body was constructed during a restoration – but wasn’t – signifies that it is something special: it is entirely unique to this model. Jacques Saoutchik is responsible for some of the most beautiful designs of his era. And to have one of those stylish bodies on one of the greatest chassis of the era is quite a feat.

The Mercedes-Benz 500K is one of their most sought-after models with only 354 built. They are powered by a 5.0-liter straight-eight making 100 horsepower or 160 with the supercharger engaged. This particular chassis was displayed as a bare chassis at the 1935 Paris Salon.

It was sold new to California and remained there until the current owner acquired it in 1989. It has been restored but it hasn’t really done the show circuit. It’s quite the ticket and should bring between $6,600,000-$7,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.


1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sports Roadster by Sindelfingen

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This is a slightly more “standard” 500K – even though it is so beyond most of its 1936-era contemporaries. Most of the 354 500Ks built fall into specific categories such as Cabriolet A, Cabriolet B, Cabriolet C, Special Roadster, etc. This is a Sports Roadster and is one of somewhere between seven and 12 such examples built. There is a category of “other open cars” with regards to 500K body styles and this would fall in there.

The engine is the standard supercharged 5.0-liter straight-eight making 100 horsepower or 160 with the kompressor engaged when the throttle is held wide open. This car was delivered new to London and later ended up in Florida. In 1989, it returned to Europe – this time Sweden. It’s a wonderful example of one of MB’s all-time great models. It should bring between $3,900,000-$5,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Jensen-Ford

1936 Jensen-Ford Tourer

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Brothers Richard and Alan Jensen began building car bodies (officially) in 1934. That’s when their company was founded that bore their name. Their company is best known for the Interceptor and Jensen-Healey sports cars of the 1960s and 1970s.

Among their first ventures was a limited run of Jensen-Ford four-seat convertibles. Powered by an 85 horsepower 3.6-liter Ford V-8, about 30 of these very pretty Tourers were built between 1934 and about 1936. Only three of these were left-hand-drivers (this among those three) that were exported to the U.S. One of them was owned by Clark Gable.

This car underwent a six year restoration that was completed in 2013. It’s a beautiful car – one not many people have heard of and it should appeal to Ford and British car collectors alike. It’s one of the first British-built/American-powered factory hot rods. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $247,500.

Wanderer Roadster

1936 Wanderer W25 K Roadster by Wendler

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Wanderer brand name, which is now part of Audi, was first seen in 1911 on road cars for the 1912 model year. The company dates back to 1896 and they built cars until 1941 and military vehicles until the end of the war. But it became part of Auto Union in 1932. As Audi is the only surviving member of Auto Union, this marque sort of lies dormant somewhere in Audi’s basement.

Wanderer wanted a competitor to BMW’s successful 328 so they contracted with Porsche to design a beastly engine. And that’s just what he did. The 2.0-liter straight-six was supercharged in W25 K form and put out 85 horsepower. The top speed was 90 MPH.

Only offered for three years (1936 through 1938), the W25 K was sold in low numbers – only 258 were built, the final 37 of which were sold as “W25” – without the supercharger. It’s a very stylish car and one that doesn’t come up often. It’s every bit as sporty as a BMW 328 and a lot less common. It will likely sell for between $450,000-$650,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update II: Sold, Bonhams, Preserving the Automobile, Philadelphia 2015, $319,000.

Duesenberg J-523

1936 Duesenberg Model SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton by LaGrande

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 30, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

I’ll put this as simply as possible: Duesenbergs don’t get much better than this. Reason #1: this baby is supercharged. Reason #2: this is the best (my favorite) body style you can get. The body, the LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton, was an updated version of the LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaeton. The updates were done by none other than legendary designer Gordon Buehrig.

This is a factory-spec Model SJ – so it’s not a Model J that was upgraded years later. That’s pretty exciting. The engine is the standard 6.9-liter straight-eight that’s been supercharged to put out 320 horsepower. This is the original chassis and engine but the body was swapped with another car. Both of these cars simply wear each others bodies to this day.

The present owner bought this in 1978 after the current restoration had been completed. It has recently been serviced to running and driving condition. This is one of four LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaetons attached to a supercharged engine and one of the final of the kind built. It’s an awesome opportunity and should bring in between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this auctions’ lineup.

Update: Sold $1,265,000.

MG NB Magnette

1936 MG NB Magnette Cresta Tourer by Enrico Bertelli

Offered by Bonhams | Oxford, U.K. | March 8, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The MG N-Type was introduced in 1934 and the NB version came in 1935 and lasted through 1936. It was the final version, chronologically, but not alphabetically. It was also the most popular built (690 NA and NBs were built total with only handfuls of the other two models).

The engine is a 56 horsepower 1.3-liter straight-six. It was a sporty car for 1936 (remember that it weighs practically nothing). It could do 80 mph. What makes this particular car special, however, is the body. Cresta Motor Company was a dealer in West Sussex, England. One of the owners was an Aston Martin factory driver and he bought an NB Magnette but didn’t like the body. So he – and Cresta – sent 10 NBs to the Aston Martin designer Enrico Bertelli to have special bodies fitted.

So this is a special coachbuilt MG. One of only 10 or 12 built. The most recent restoration was carried out in 2001. It is one of three Cresta Tourers still in existence (although a fourth is rumored to be out there somewhere). It is one of the rarest MGs in the world and the price reflects it with a pre-sale estimate of between $130,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Oxford lineup.

Update: Not sold.

Four Beautiful Delages

1937 Delage D6 70 Coach Panoramique by LeTourneur et Marchand

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1937 Delage D6 70 Coach Panoramique by LeTourneur et Marchand

This sale is packed with amazing cars and I don’t have time to feature them all (why does Retromobile have to be so close to the Arizona auctions!?). I’m stacking today’s post with four beautiful Delage automobiles, starting with my favorite of the bunch.

The Delage D6 was in production (in several different iterations) from 1930 through 1954 (with a break for the war). The D6-70 was built for 1937 and 1938 only. It uses a 2.8-liter straight-six making 78 horsepower. The body is the remarkable Coach Panoramique style by LeTourneur & Marchand.

This is a very desirable, very usable car and it is expected to sell for between $135,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $101,342

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1936 Delage D6 70 Cabriolet Mylord by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1936 Delage D6 70 Cabriolet Mylord by Figoni et Falaschi

Here’s another D6-70 that was built toward the end of 1936 and first registered in August of 1936. It uses the standard 2.8-liter straight-six making 78 horsepower. This was the top-of-the-line six-cylinder Delage you could buy – although any car bodied by Figoni et Falaschi could be considered pretty top-of-the-line.

The “Cabriolet Mylord” bodystyle is pretty and very regal-looking. The top can either be all the way down, all the way up, or sort of halfway in between where only the back seats are covered and it creates sort of a parachute effect. At any rate, this is a beautiful car that should bring between $250,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

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1933 Delage D8 S Cabriolet by Pourtout

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1933 Delage D8 S Cabriolet by Pourtout

The Delage D8 was the biggest car Delage built. It also had the biggest engine. The D8 S had an even bigger engine than the standard D8. Only 145 examples of the D8 S were constructed. It uses a 4.0-liter (or 4.1… it was 4,061cc) straight-eight making 120 horsepower.

This car is original and preserved. The Cabriolet bodystyle is by legendary French coachbuilder Marcel Pourtout. One design aspect I really like are the 1920s/1930s-style body-colored Rudge wheels. This is one of stars of the show and a really beautiful automobile that evokes the period brilliantly. It should sell for between $1,360,000-$1,630,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,281,647

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1931 Delage D8 Roadster by Chapron

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1931 Delage D8 Roadster by Chapron

The Delage D8 was introduced in 1929 and this 1931 model uses the 4.1-liter straight-eight, in this case making 102 horsepower. The body is by Henri Chapron and I would describe it as “restrained elegance.” It’s not flashy – but it is also earlier than the other three cars in this post. Dramatic design really flared up the farther they got into the 1930s.

This car was restored in the 1960s and has been maintained since. It would be a relatively inexpensive way to get behind the wheel of a Delage D8 – it’s expected to sell for between $550,000-$675,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $438,318.

Delage D6-70 Figoni et Falaschi

1936 Delage D6 70 Cabriolet Mylord by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1936 Delage D6 70 Cabriolet Mylord by Figoni et Falaschi

Photo – Artcurial

Here’s another D6-70 that was built toward the end of 1936 and first registered in August of 1936. It uses the standard 2.8-liter straight-six making 78 horsepower. This was the top-of-the-line six-cylinder Delage you could buy – although any car bodied by Figoni et Falaschi could be considered pretty top-of-the-line.

The “Cabriolet Mylord” bodystyle is pretty and very regal-looking. The top can either be all the way down, all the way up, or sort of halfway in between where only the back seats are covered and it creates sort of a parachute effect. At any rate, this is a beautiful car that should bring between $250,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Figoni & Falaschi Teardrop Delahaye

1936 Delahaye Type 135 Competition Court Teardrop Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by RM Auctions | New York, New York | November 21, 2013

1936 Delahaye Type 135 Competition Court Teardrop Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

This car is gorgeous. Elegant, French, swoopy lines wrapped around what was then a sporty chassis and engine combination. This car was the 1936 equivalent of – there is no modern equivalent to compare it to. Today’s car companies don’t wrap art around their race cars. It’s all about function. Style like this is, unfortunately, a thing of the past.

The Type 135 was introduced by Delahaye in 1935. There were other models in the line including the 135M and 135MS. This is the base model, which used a 3.2-liter straight-six making up to 110 horsepower. The Type 135 stayed in production until 1940 and did not go back into production after the war like the other two models.

This Competition model (which features bits and pieces from Delahayes race cars, like a shorter chassis and a very rare four-speed manual transmission) was bodied by Figoni & Falaschi by special order. It was the last of six Type 135 Coupes built by the coachbuilder and it is different from the other five: the headlights, for example, are fared into the fenders. This car was also a Delahaye factory demonstrator before being hidden during WWII.

Ownership history is known from the early-1950s (it was likely owned by Delahaye up to that point). It sat parked in Italy for 40 years until being uncovered in the late-90s and restored by its new American owner. It has been displayed here and there, winning awards wherever it goes. Coachbuilt French Teardrops have been popular for a long time and because they are art-in-motion (just like Joseph Figoni intended) they will likely remain so.

This is one of three short-chassis Figoni coupes that still survives. It is estimated to bring between $3,000,000-$4,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in New York.

Update: $2,420,000.

A Scuderia Ferrari Alfa 8C-35 Grand Prix Car

1935 Alfa Romeo 8C-35 Grand Prix

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 14, 2013

1935 Alfa Romeo 8C-35 Grand Prix

Before Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren there was Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati and Auto Union. The 1930s were a thrilling (and scary) time in Grand Prix racing and some of its all-time stars came from that era: Caracciola, Nuvolari, Rosemeyer, Varzi and more. And so did one other man: Enzo Ferrari. Scuderia Ferrari began as a race team in 1929 – becoming the Alfa Romeo factory team. It wasn’t until after the war that he started building his own cars.

This is a special, special car. It’s an 8C-35 – it uses a supercharged 3.8-liter straight-eight engine making 330 horsepower – quite a sum for 1935. This is an actual Scuderia Ferrari team car driven by Nuvolari (and more). The Ferrari-era history of this car is not known, but legend holds that Nuvolari won the 1936 Coppa Ciano with it. Toward the end of 1936, this car was sold to a privateer – Hans Ruesch, who raced it as often as possible. Some of his driving career in the car is as follows (including 3 European Championship – the precursor to Formula One – eligible races in 1937, as noted by asterisk*):

  • 1936 Donington Grand Prix – 1st (with Ruesch and Dick Seaman)
  • 1936 Mountain Championship at Brooklands – 2nd (with Ruesch)
  • 1937 South African Grand Prix – 4th (with Ruesch)
  • 1937 Grosvenor Grand Prix – 5th (with Ruesch)
  • 1937 Finnish Grand Prix – 1st (with Ruesch)
  • 1937 Grand Prix des Frontieres – 1st (with Ruesch)
  • 1937 Bucharest Grand Prix – 1st (with Ruesch)
  • 1937 German Grand Prix* – 8th (with Ruesch)
  • 1937 Monaco Grand Prix *- 8th (with Ruesch)
  • 1937 Swiss Grand Prix* – 15th, DNF (with Ruesch)
  • 1937 Mountain Championship at Brooklands – 1st (with Ruesch)

Ruesch sold the car in 1939 after much success (and a few major repairs). The car came into the hands of Dennis Poore during the war and he maintained the car for 40 years, using it in a fair number of events. It was sold at auction in 1988 and was restored to its 1930s-era look in the late-1990s. The current owner acquired it about 10 years ago and has used it in some historic events as well. This is the only surviving example of an 8C-35 and it should sell for between $8,600,000-$10,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.

Update: Sold $9,511,542.

S/N: 50013

500K Cabriolet C

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet C by Sindelfingen

Offered by RM Auctions | London, U.K. | September 8-9, 2013

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet C by Sindelfingen

RM Auctions is offering an incredible collection (all from the same owner) of Mercedes-Benzes. Like 70 or 80 cars – it’s an entire day of the auction. Anyway, there are a lot of old Benzes in the sale that I’ve never seen before. Many are more generic, pedestrian models than this 500K (but sometimes that’s even more interesting).

The 500K was the followup model to the 380K. It was introduced in 1934 and uses a 5.0-liter supercharged straight-eight engine making 100 horsepower and 160 with the supercharger engaged. The body is by Sindelfingen – Mercedes’ then in-house coachbuilder. Between the 500K and the 540K, only 122 Cabriolet C bodies were built.

This car has been beautifully restored and the interior shows signs of use. It would make a great driver – something that is rare among these high-dollar Mercedes cabriolets. The pre-sale estimate on this car is $1,100,000-$1,400,000. You can read more here and see more from this auction here.

Update: Not Sold. High Bid of $1,025,000.

S/N: 215011