Mercedes-Benz Type S

1928 Mercedes-Benz S-Type 26/120/180 Supercharged Sports Tourer by Erdmann & Rossi

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Ye Gods! I have to admit, this car is near the top of amazing cars we’ve ever featured. There is something just so alluring… so… bad ass about these big, early Mercedes-Benz Tourers. There is a mystique here that few cars can match. This is probably also why they so very rarely come up for sale.

Mercedes and Benz joined forces in 1926 and that same year they introduced a model called the Typ S (or Type S or S-Type… you’ll inexplicably find different names for the same cars depending on the auction house). The Type S was built through 1930 and it gave rise to the Type SS and the legendary SSK. The low slung chassis of the Type S is powered by a 6.7-liter straight-six and makes 120 horsepower – or 180 with the supercharger engaged. That’s pretty impressive for 1926… as was the price: $7,000 as a bare engine/chassis. Over 100 mph was possible as well.

The body is by coachbuilder Erdmann & Rossi and is original to this car (as is the engine). It was delivered new to the U.S. and was restored in the mid-1990s. The car’s been in Europe for some time, but is being sold again in the U.S., where it spent much of its life. Mercedes-Benz only built 174 examples of the Type S making it quite rare. It’s a gorgeous beast of a car and it’s entirely usable. Get it while you can because it could be years before another example hits the market. But it won’t come cheap. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $4,812,500.

Mercedes-Benz 630K Tourer

1928 Mercedes-Benz 630K Tourer by Erdmann & Rossi

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | July 12, 2013

1928 Mercedes-Benz 630K Tourer by Erdmann & Rossi

Mercedes became Mercedes-Benz in 1926 when Daimler and Benz merged. What is interesting about the 630K (okay, so there are many things) is that it was originally introduced in 1924 when Mercedes was just Mercedes. The model line was known as the 24/100/140 PS. When the companies merged, the name was changed to Type 630 (although 24/110/160 PS was still used on occasion). 1929 was the final year regardless of whatever you called it.

The model was more or less designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche when he arrived at Mercedes to replace the departing Paul Daimler. This model was a follow-up to the 6/25/40 PS model that Mercedes introduced in 1921 as the world’s first supercharged production car. Also: the slashes in the name denote the following: rated (or taxable) horsepower/horsepower without the supercharger/horsepower with the supercharger engaged. You can see that power in the new model was greatly improved. The engine in the 630K is a supercharged 6.3-liter straight-six making 138 horsepower with the supercharger active (and it was activated by flooring the gas pedal).

The “K” variant of the Type 630 was new for 1926 and it stands for “Kurz” and not “Kompressor” as one might think. “Kurz” translates to “short” – as in wheelbase. The K variant was available on other Mercedes-Benz models from 1926 through 1932. They had a 90 mph top speed and only 267 were built. Some had factory Sindelfingen coachwork while this one sports a Tourer body from Erdmann & Rossi. Other coachbuilders were involved as well.

This car was delivered new to Los Angeles with this body on it. It is presented in all-original condition and the color is apparently maroon (I guess). I personally find this car incredible and would love to own it, if I had the means. And means I would need: the pre-sale estimate is $280,000-$390,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.

Update: Sold $1,220,606.

Pebble Beach-Winning Horch

1938 Horch 853A Special Roadster by Erdmann & Rossi

Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey, California | August 17, 2012

This is one of the stars of the auction weekend in Monterey. If it looks familiar, that might because you’ve seen it featured as winning Best in Show at a number of high-class Concours d’ Elegance all over the country, namely Pebble Beach in 2004. Over the past eight years, this car hit the show circuit hard. I saw it in person in 2009 and I can attest that it is truly a magnificent car.

Horch was founded in Ehrenfeld, Cologne, Germany in 1899 by August Horch. The company moved to Reichenbach im Vogtland in 1902 and in 1904 relocated again, this time to Zwickau. August Horch was forced out of the company in 1910 and he went across the street and set up Audi. The company that bore his name would continue on without him, being merged into Auto Union in 1932 (coincidentally, Audi was also part of that group and is the sole surviving marque).

The Horch 853 (and 853A, as you see here) were introduced alongside other models of varying sizes/configurations in 1937 – but all used the same 120 horsepower 5.0-liter straight-eight engine. The main competition for these cars came from Mercedes-Benz and their lineup up elegant roadsters, namely the 540K. The Mercedes had a variant called the “Special Roadster” and they all look pretty much the same – about 25 were built.

Only eight Horch 853A Special Roadsters were built. The first one was bodied by Horch, the next six by Erdmann & Rossi, and the final one by Glaser. They are all different. The first three cars were referred to as “Series One” cars, while the final five are “Series Two.” This is one of three surviving Series Two cars.

One note about these cars when new: Horch wouldn’t sell you one until they concluded that you resided in an acceptable realm of society. They picked you to buy one of their cars instead of the other way around (well, you had to want one, I guess. But they almost certainly refused to sell them to certain individuals, although somehow Hermann Göring slipped through their screening process. I guess personality and likability weren’t among their requirements). In any case, this cost “significantly more” than its 540K counterpart.

Ownership history is known from the end of the war and the car was restored by RM, being completed sometime prior to being shown in August of 2004. This is one of the nicest pre-war cars around – and one of the most famous. But you better crack open your piggy bank(s) if you want to own it, as the estimate is between $6,000,000-$8,000,000. For  the complete lot description, click here. And for more from RM in Monterey, click here.

Update: Sold $5,170,000.