Big Mercedes-Simplex

1904 Mercedes-Simplex 28/32 Five-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Monterey, California | August 19, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Mercedes-Simplex was one of the premier cars of the pre-1910 era. They were big, powerful, and fast. The Simplex was produced by Daimler between 1902 and 1909 and was the successor to the Mercedes 35HP, a car largely considered as the “first modern automobile.”

There were multiple Simplex models, the largest being the 60 HP model. This is the mid-range 28/32HP – meaning it is powered by a 32 horsepower 5.3-liter straight-four. It will do 65 mph+. Imagine being able to keep up on the interstate today in a car from 1904… that has dual chain drive.

When new, a Simplex would have cost roughly $7,500 – an absolute fortune in 1904. This example was sold new in England and later used by the British military during WWI. It was discovered on a farm in the 1970s and has been completely restored (and “refurbished” a couple of times since the restoration was completed). It’s extremely usable and has seen its fair share of use at the London-to-Brighton run.

In total, 1,500 Mercedes-Simplex cars were built and only 20 pre-1905 Mercedes cars still survive. Only six of those are this model. It’s a beautiful machine and should bring between $2,500,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,805,000.


1905 Mercedes-Simplex 28/32 Phaeton

Offered by Coys | London, U.K. | December 3, 2013

1905 Mercedes-Simplex 28-32 Phaeton

Daimler was one of the first automobile companies founded anywhere in the world. It was started in 1890 by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach. In 1902, they introduced a model called “Mercedes” and it soon became the name under which Daimler sold cars. In 1926, Daimler would merge with Benz and Mercedes would become Mercedes-Benz.

One of the first Mercedes models was the Simplex. Shortly after its introduction, they followed it with a number of other Mercedes Simplex models (hence I classify it as a separate, short-lived marque).

This model is powered by a 5.5-liter straight-four making 35 horsepower. The 28/32 model was in production from 1902 through 1909. This regal Phaeton was delivered new to the U.S., spending time in the Arturo Keller collection and was restored under his ownership. The restoration still looks outstanding and the mechanicals have been rebuilt more recently.

The Simplex was an important automobile – as it made often-clunky early automobiles easy to operate and standardized the way in which their controls were laid out. These are very rare today and this one is one of the best examples still around. You can read more here and check out the rest of Coys’ lineup here.

Update: Sold $1,174,900.

Pierce “Great Arrow”

1905 Pierce 28/32 Five-Passenger Roi-des-Belges

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 2, 2013

1905 Pierce 2832 Five-Passenger Roi-des-Belges Great Arrow

George N. Pierce’s automobile company began building internal-combustion automobiles in 1901. In 1903, a two-cylinder model was introduced and it was known as the Arrow. In 1904, Pierce shifted focus to larger, more luxurious cars – these were referred to as Great Arrows and, initially, they used four-cylinder engines. In 1908, Pierce became Pierce-Arrow.

This Great Arrow uses a 24/28hp straight-four of 3.8-liters. Six-cylinder engines would be used from 1907. This is an early Great Arrow with cast aluminium bodywork that was at least five years ahead of its time.

This particular car was discovered during World War II and restored – or “recommissioned” – under the ownership of Henry Austin Clark. In the 1990s, he sold it to another owner via the Imperial Palace Collection. This is the first time this car has ever come up for public sale. The car is in its 1950s restoration state. The seats are original, the paint 60+ years old. The engine was overhauled in the last 15 years.

The Great Arrow is the car that set Pierce on the path to becoming one of the most legendary luxury car manufacturers of all time. It is expected to sell for between $170,000-$220,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Connecticut.

Update: Sold $243,100.