Pebble Beach-Winning Mercedes 680S

1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S-Type Torpedo Roadster by Saoutchik

Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey, California | August 16-17, 2013

1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster by Saoutchik

Whoa. Every once in a while (and seemingly more and more often as of late) a car comes along that just shouldn’t exist. It’s so rare and it looks like something out of a black and white photograph that it just can’t be real. Cars like this only exist in private European collections. And only 60+ years ago.

But no, here it is. This car won Best in Show at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. This car was also displayed at the 1929 New York Auto Salon. A lot of people have seen it in person. We’ve actually featured another Mercedes-Benz 680 (here) if you want to read more about the evolution of the model.

Here’s some specs on this car. It uses a 6.8-liter straight-six with the pedal-controlled supercharger. That is: it made 120 horsepower when cruising around and 180 horsepower when you matted the throttle, engaging the “Kompressor.” It has top-of-the-line mechanicals for 1928.

But then there’s the body. It’s low slung and designed by one of the top coachbuilders of the era: Saoutchik of Paris. The interior is lizard skin. It was ordered by the wife of a wealthy American and by the time the car was completed, the couple was broke. It sat in a New York showroom before it was sold to a young Standard Oil executive. There’s a pretty cool story about it that I won’t reprint here, but you can read about it on RM’s website.

The car was parked in 1952. It was restored for the first time in 1980 and in 1986 it was placed in a museum where it remained until 2006 (the first time it left ownership of the original family). The current owner bought it in 2008 and had it fully restored – with brand new lizard skin interior.

Only 124 Type S Mercedes’ were built. Only three had short-windshield bodies from Saoutchik. Of those three, this is the only one left. In order to bid on this car, you have to tell the auction house prior to the sale. That’s a solid hint that it is expected to bring an insane amount of money. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Monterey.

Update: Sold $8,250,000.

Update II: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba 2017.

S/N: 35949

All-Original Mercedes-Benz S-Type

1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S-Type Four-Seat Open Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, England | September 15, 2012

Well check this out. This 1928 Mercedes-Benz S-Type Tourer has been in the same family for the last 84 years. That’s single-family ownership from new. And it has never been restored and has covered only 8,375 miles. This is an incredible car and an example of one of those cars that proves there is always something out there that will surprise you when it surfaces.

Mercedes-Benz introduced the S-Type in 1927. It featured a 6.8-liter straight-six with supercharger that was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. Power was around 180 and the top speed was in excess of 100 mph. The big brothers of this car, the SS, SSK and SSKL are legendary for their performance.

This car was ordered by an Army Captain in early 1928. It was delivered to England as a bare chassis and bodied by Cadogan Motors Ltd. of London with this lightweight, four-seat, fabric open tourer-style body. It was road-registered up through 1937 and by the 1950s it was set on blocks in the custom-made garage built specifically for this car.

The original owner’s grandson acquired the car in 2012 and brought it back to life. It runs and drives and has been inspected by a Daimler-Benz Classic engineer. This was the first great car produced by Mercedes-Benz and everything is just as it was in 1928 (well, the tires are new and the transmission was replaced by the owner in the 1930s). You won’t find a car this rare and interesting that hasn’t been seen in 60 years anytime soon. Then again, who knows what else will drive out of the woodwork tomorrow.

The pre-sale estimate is $2,400,000-$3,200,000. For the complete lot description, click here. And for more from Bonhams at Goodwood, click here.

Update: Sold $4,544,000.